They don't make em' like this anymore!! Fortress is an Aussie film which was inspired by the infamous Faraday school kidnapping in the early 70s. A teacher and her students from a small country school are kidnapped by 4 masked gunmen. They're shoved into a panel van and then forced into a remote cave. Up until this point the story is pretty much as it really happened, however, writer Everette DeRoche does what he does best and spins the rest of the story into a great little genre peice with the teacher and her kids escaping the cave via an underground water system. They walk for kilometers before finding a farm house, only to realise that the kidnappers have taken the owners hostage also. Its a really creepy movie and there aren't too many movies like it. The masked men are pretty scary characers and the violence towards the end is horrifying **** SPOILER **** The teacher and students hack and dismember one of the kidnappers in a most brutal way. I wonder if this scene inspired Guilmero Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone? Anyhow, its a great movie. Rachel Ward's acting leaves a lot to be desired but the themes and delivery of the story is totally enthrawling. Another gem from Everette De Roche... a national icon in my opinion.
Note: The real kidnapping ended with the teacher & students escaping their captors at night. The State Govener of Victoria arrived at the school with the ransom but it wasn't collected. The next morning the men were captured by heavily armed police. The ringleader escaped prison a few years later and staged another school kidnapping at the Wooreen State School in Gippsland.