A hardbodied actioner for the softheaded, MAXIMUM SECURITY relocates the overused DIE HARD formula plot to a prison.
Shortly after he boards his waiting jet in Los Angeles, an Arab prince (Vanick Moradian) is taken hostage by terrorists led by the superciliously sinister Murdock (John Lazar). Muscular LAPD cop Mason Richter (Paul Michael Robinson) talks his way aboard and decimates the gunmen singlehandedly.
Then he's forced to shoot the enraged prince, who had staged the whole thing to extort money from his family. Because the State Department values relations with the Sultanate, Richter is railroaded for the killing and sentenced to the new maximum-security Innsmouth Prison, a high-tech pen
improbably erected in downtown LA. Richter is one of only five inmates present for the facility's opening, covered by pretty TV reporter Tracy Quinn (Landon Hall).
Meanwhile, Murdock and his surviving band have broken out of prison and easily invade Innsmouth, bringing with them a thermonuclear time bomb. By detonating the device in the heart of the city, Murdock hopes to start a war between the US and Arab states, for some reason, and his thugs want revenge
against Richter. But the ex- cop and his fellow prisoners escape their cells. Between organizing the surly, treacherous convicts into surly, treacherous comrades and taking out Murdock henchmen one by one, Richter finds time to romance Tracy. Finally, the tireless hero sends Murdock plummeting to
his death from an overhead walkway and disarms the bomb at the last possible second. All this earns Mason Richter a government pardon.
At least MAXIMUM SECURITY is short. It could have been even shorter without director Fred Olen Ray's habit of halting for a prolonged sex scene whenever the script allows the slightest breathing room. The impressively prolific Ray, a Roger Corman admirerer from Florida who transferred to
Hollywood, peaked at directing 10 features a year (invariably for the cable/homevideo market) about the time he worked on MAXIMUM SECURITY. He breezes through this third-rate material with a casually flippant tone, maximum entertainment value derived from numerous in-joke pseudonyms in the closing
technical credits ("Cash Flagg," "Crash Corrigan" and "E.R. Burroughs" worked on this film, not to mention several Marvel Comics superheroes) and the H.P. Lovecraft-derived tag "Innsmouth." John Lazar's snide delivery as the villainous Murdock makes him stand out only slightly more than the rest
of the two-dimensional characterizations; one really wouldn't want to be locked in for very long with any of them, under any circumstances. Kim Read, briefly seen as an Arab princess, married Fred Olen Ray in November 1997. (Violence, profanity, nudity, adult situations, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: A hardbodied actioner for the softheaded, MAXIMUM SECURITY relocates the overused DIE HARD formula plot to a prison. Shortly after he boards his waiting jet in Los Angeles, an Arab prince (Vanick Moradian) is taken hostage by terrorists led by the superci… (more)