Old 03-03-2001, 07:26 AM
Hardware - 7,5/10

Despite it's bad fame and a 5,1 average on IMDB, the british scifi film Hardware is one of my all time favorite movies. It was made for about 1$ million in 1990 and was very succesful making 67$ million worldwide on theatrical and video release. For some reason very few people seem to remember the film anymore.

Director/writer Richard Stanley was asked to make a low budget scifi film for a british film company as his debut film. Stanley knew that he had only one million to spend and combined all kind of popular elements from other scifi films to make Hardware a sure bet commercially. The film has echoes of Terminator, Blade Runner, Mad Max and countless of other scifi flicks.

The story starts when a guy called Moe finds a destroyed robot from radio active desert zone. World has been destoyed in Nuclear War and what is left of USA is under a totalitarian control. Moe takes the robot to his artist girfriend Jill and she uses parts of the robot to her modern scupture. But when the night falls the robot re-assembles itself and starts going after Moe and Jill. It is soon revealed that the robot is called Mark 13 and it's a killer robot used in the third world war.

Sounds like crap, right?

Well, despite having a very cliched storyline Hardware manages to be a pretty original film. Stanley wrote lots of layers to the script and it has plenty of christian symbolism, smart totalitarian criticism, well-drawn characters and lots of memorable scenes. Most important of all the directorial style of the film is very unique. Shot on shades of golden brown, the film happens almost entirely on Jill's flat and delivers a very atmospheric, original feel. Soundtrack is one of the greatest I have ever heard. Lot's of hard, dark metal rock mixed with more traditional but yet original film score. The visuals are very inventive and effective and the directorial execution of the scenes ranges from good to brilliant. Of course the SFX and stuff like that is not the same quality as in big Hollywood films, but they couldn't have done any better with the budget they had.

Actingwise the film is rather good, but delivers nothing special. It's notable that this was the first starring role for the now famous Dylan McDermott.

Richard Stanley himself has called this film as a "monster child" to him. He doesn't know if he should love it or reject it. After Hardware he went on to make a more personal "Dust Devil", which was the raped in post production when the film company cut 30 minutes out of it and released it as a 80 minute film. After that it was the "Island of dr. Moreau" and Stanley was kicked out of the production after a couple of weeks because Val Kilmer disliked his vision. Nobody has heard anything of Stanley since then and that's really a shame because this guy was an exceptionally talented film maker. I found a couple of films by him on IMDB but there were no comments about them. Apparently nobody has seen any of his work since Dust Devil. Someone should give this guy some work.

I have seen Hardware about seven times so far and I totally love it. Since I'm dreaming of making low budget films as well, it's nice to see how good stuff you can make with so little money.

PS. If I would rate this film on purely subjective level, it would get a 9/10 from me. One of my all time favorite films.

[This message has been edited by Tuukka (edited 03-03-2001).]
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Old 03-04-2001, 08:09 PM
I saw and enjoyed that movie too.I like the way they used colors on the film.
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