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Worth A Look: 20.63%
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Pretty Crappy: 15.87%
Sucks: 7.94%

3 reviews, 45 user ratings

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by Dr. Isaksson

"It has a gory Primary Function"
5 stars

Richard Stanley was 24 years old when he wrote and directed 1990's "Hardware". This is a devilishly creative film with it's premise set in post apocalyptic times. As with a lot of Sci-Fi films, "Hardware" could easily have ended up coming across stale and unmotivated, but Stanley handles the familiar material with an inventive twist.

Hardware is set in the distant future, Earth has become a brutal wasteland. The threat of pollution and radiation seem to be man's worst enemy now. In a ravaged city setting, a guy named Moses Baxter (Dylan McDermott) is retuning from his stay in the core. He and his friend Shades (John Lynch) drop in to visit a dwarf salvage dealer Alvy (Mark Northover) to see if there's any money to be had by selling some junk they've found in the endless wastelands of discarded machinery. While they are there, a strange drifter approaches with a find of his own that greatly interests Mo.

The drifter says he's come from 'The Zone' and has discovered what looks to be the remains of a maintenance drone. Intrigued, Mo buys the drone pieces for his girlfriend and he and Shades make their way over to the apartment complex where his girlfriend Jill, (Stacey Travis) lives.

After a rough reintroduction after some time apart, Jill warms up to Mo when he hands her the drone pieces. Jill takes them and welds them into a big piece of industrial art she has been working on. Later that evening, Alvy calls Mo, asking that he come to see him. Alvy learns that the drone is a discarded military creation called the M.A.R.K-13, manufactured by the people behind the Emergency Population Control Bill. The M.A.R.K-13's mission is.. to kill.

Later in the night, as Jill lies asleep and alone, the M.A.R.K-13 begins to reassemble itself using the apartment's main power supply. This is the setup for the remaining film. The droid is now able to activate all of it's horrific weapons for doing what it was programmed to do. Destroy the human race.

Hardware now leads us through an intense and graphic life or death struggle as Mo, Jill and Shades wage war against the M.A.R.K-13. There are a few others who fall in way of the M.A.R.K-13, like a fat 'peeping tom' named Lincoln Wineberg Jr. (William Hootkins), who has been watching Jill from across the street. His greasy ways put an almost funny spin on things in-between the harsh murders by our droid visitor.

This leads me to bring up the subject of the film's very violent content. Richard Stanley had to curb a lot of the gore in Hardware before it could get an R rating. That's a pretty creepy notion considering that the film is already kinda gory as it is. Surprisingly, (and a good surprize at that) instead of just having the viewer going "ewww.." Stanley imbues Hardware with a great emotional pull. It doesn't just contain a bunch of body parts lying about. In one instant we are pulled unknowingly into the actual horrors (or pleasures) of death, through the eyes of a victim of the M.A.R.K.-13. Unusual in these types of films. We are also shown the killer droid's ramifications on those who have survived. This film's contemplation of death and destruction comes across with a deep power, thanks to the great performances by Stacey Travis as Jill and Dylan McDermott as Mo. Surprisingly, for a Sci-Fi killer droid film, the emotional impact Hardware makes is defiantly one of the film's strong points.

Another nice aspect of Hardware is the overall look it offers. A beautiful orange haze is added to enhance the images of dryness and desolation. Stanley also uses a great deal of strobe lighting in an array of colors which gives off a really dynamic texture. The film's music score is also effective as it shifts between the styles of classical, electronics and western. All of these qualities make Hardware an intense and kick ass kind of film.

P.S. I noticed that Jill goes flying through three separate panes of glass. I think Richard Stanley has a fetish for women and breaking glass.

"Hardware" is not just a killer machine movie. Similar to "The Terminator," it works off a lot of human emotions during and in-between the violent action, which makes for a much more engaging view. **** 1/2 Stars

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2184&reviewer=296
originally posted: 01/29/02 02:36:39
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User Comments

10/04/14 cykodrone Was released 24 years ago, are we not headed there? 4 stars
12/19/10 David W. The grittiest, realest, post apocalyptic cinema and score to be put on film! 5 stars
3/22/10 Zzzt Slow, utterly predictable, amazingly dull, cheesy 2 stars
11/30/09 action movie fan good story and special effects but way too arty, with sleepwalking persformances-flopped 2 stars
10/31/09 Just Some Guy Everyone is mad from grief, unlike the hypercalm survivors of other end-world films—see it! 4 stars
10/14/09 porfle After a long overdue rewatch, I love this movie. 4 stars
10/01/06 Pritchett Came highly recommended. I thought it sucked ass. 'Hope DUST DEVIL is better. 1 stars
7/11/06 ian afford cack 1 stars
4/03/05 Ric All style and no substance, with zero intrigue or suspense. 1 stars
2/27/05 mike one of the best 5 stars
2/02/05 Marine Dude Awesome shower scene with a pup Dylan McDermott naked ..... that part alone is worth it 5 stars
7/30/04 Lincoln F. Stern This movie is a "cult classic", I really liked this movie! Where can I buy it? 5 stars
7/29/04 Miffo2000 This is even better than Lord of the Rings 5 stars
6/27/04 Eddie Seen it once, and would love to watch it again with the Lights OFF!! 5 stars
4/11/04 Nikolai Stars&Stripes droid makeover herasy to Bush's 'Kinder, gentler' peace loving democracy 5 stars
11/10/03 MacMillan It is our future, I am afraid. 5 stars
10/19/03 Sugarfoot Well worth renting! 4 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Initially interesting but lamely followed through upon. 2 stars
2/09/03 Xupmapisse Great movie... excelent soundtrack 5 stars
1/26/03 Lorrie Gorey best Sci Fi of the 90's, period 5 stars
1/05/03 S23 Great movie, one of my favorites. Excellent soundtrack. 5 stars
6/02/02 Big Crull Easily on my 10 best movies ever list 5 stars
4/25/02 Charles Tatum Also check out Stanley's Dust Devil 4 stars
4/11/02 Shadowy Grave Scary when I was younger. Liked the futuristic imagery and music. Too much focus on sex. 4 stars
4/04/02 Gehin Carl McCoy... drool 5 stars
3/01/02 Alan Smithee Very gory and very silly, but in a cool way. 4 stars
2/05/02 Stephen C This is a stylish and highly underrated film. Its true meaning is subtle and overlooked. 5 stars
1/24/02 Jake Intense movie with great action. Jill flying through glass. Violent but not overly sick. 5 stars
1/12/02 John Great piece of B cinema. Great sound and editing effects. 9/10 5 stars
12/23/01 HOJU The '5 Stars - Awesome' rating would not do it justice! 5 stars
10/13/01 John Dziurlaj A movie that will become a classic for all time.... 5 stars
9/12/01 eva wonderful film 5 stars
6/12/01 blap Brilliant — a Terminator remake with great soundtrack 5 stars
6/12/01 Gene Genius filmmaking. Anyone who picks at this movie for being cliched is missing the point. 5 stars
3/16/01 Ratatosk My favorite movie. It's got Ministry on the audio and GWAR on the video. 5 stars
3/13/01 Sthenno Amazingly gripping film with a great atmosphere,cast,acting and images of violence. 5 stars
11/08/00 Anders This is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, Richard Stanley is a genius. 5 stars
11/03/00 Mark and Bob This film was the biggest bag o wank we've ever seen !! 1 stars
8/26/00 Steve Zeldow One of the 5 best Sci-Fi movies ever 5 stars
6/19/00 C.B. Yeah--what Max said! 5 stars
3/14/00 Steve THE worst fucking movie of all time! 1 stars
1/02/00 Max Sparber Hardware is exactly what a silly, comic-book inspired scie-fi/action/horror film should be. 5 stars
1/02/00 Nugget I just saw this movie-(kicks ass)- but if someone else did it, it would be alot better 5 stars
11/03/99 V. Stanley is vastly underrated. 5 stars
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  02-Jul-1990 (R)

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