Hidden deep in the south of France, practically untouched by the modern age, is a place known by many as 'the Zone'. In this space, the supernatural is an everyday reality of life. Magic is... See full summary »
2037. Rugged soldier Max and weary sculptress Nicky try to sustain a relationship in a bleak totalitarian future plagued by war, nuclear fall-out, and overpopulation. Flashbacks show Max ... See full summary »
Alex, a burned out LA cyborg cop, is forced by commissioner Farnsworth to find his former cyborg partner and lover Jared who's about to deliver sensitive data to cyborg terrorists who wish to wage war against humans. Is he being played?
In the future, a nuclear war has transformed the Earth into a radioactive wasteland where the sea has dried up leaving it as a post-apocalyptic desert. In the desert, A desert scavenger named Nomad discovers a robotic head, arriving in New York City, A space marine named Moses Baxter buys the robotic head from Nomad as a Christmas present for his girlfriend Jill Grakowski, who decides to use it for one of her sculptures. But all hell starts breaking loose, when the robotic head is activated and begins to rebuilt itself. When Alvy, a junkyard dealer discover the robotic head is a Mark 13, a military cyborg of a project that was abandoned. Moses learns Jill's life is in danger, as the Mark 13 cyborg goes on a violent rampage in Jill's apartment as Jill has become the the prime target for extermination. Written by
Richard Stanley wrote a sequel to the film, called "Hardware II: Ground Zero", and tried to get the project off the ground for a few years. The sequel would have been somewhat different than the original film, closer to a western, with a much larger scale. The project stalled because the rights to the original movie are split between several parties (among them Miramax and producer Paul Trijbits). See more »
After Jill attacks it with the buzz-saw, the Mark 13 steps back: if you look closely, you can see the legs of the man underneath the droid suit. The same thing can be seen towards the end as Jill and the robot are entering the bathroom. See more »
I must admit I am a huge fan of this under-estimated, enigmatic South African director.
Like his magnificent masterpiece, Dust Devil, Hardware deals with similar themes - the desert, the Old Testament, and sexual violence.
I first saw this movie many years ago when still basically a kid before I went to film school and certain sequences have stayed with me forever.
Watching it again in 2005 the movie seems a little dated or rather post-rock video in places, but when it was made in 1990, this was all cutting-edge stuff. I am not giving anything away by saying that the plot is in many ways a re-working of The Terminator or Alien, when Dylan McDermott gives his girlfriend Jill (played by Stacey Travis)what he thinks is a load of unusual scrap metal salvaged from the desert. She is an artist and welds these robot parts to a sculpture she is making...
This is an extremely visceral movie, laced with religious iconography (mark-13 often adopts crucifixion poses and in the shower scene at the end, appears to be in a prayer position) and boosted by an extremely eclectic and unusual cast. Motorhead singer Lemmy crops up playing a sort of ferryman, Iggy Pop plays DJ Angry Bob, and John Lynch is excellent as my favourite character from this film, Shades.
The narrative is essentially straight-forward but what makes this movie different and memorable is Stanley's vision. The mise-en-scene is bleached red (post-appocalypse), the use of montage is often extremely effective and nightmarish and I was frequently reminded when watching it of Renaissence paintings, just in glimpses here and there (hell, maybe that's just me..!) There is also some American comment in this movie; mark-13 is adorned with a stars-and-stripes, and the deadly toxin it employs is described as 'smelling like apple pie'. This of course is akin to Dust Devil, where the demon is simply called 'Texas' by Wendy.
So, to conclude, if you haven't seen this movie or heard of this director before I urge you to seek him out. Anyone with a love for avant-garde and challenging cinema (like me) should have heard of this guy (proper auteur by the way) and his thematically-consistent visions.
This is still a fine film but probably hasn't aged as well as it might have done - it's strength is that it is far more complex than it first appears to be.
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