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April 8, 2013

Movie Review: Hardware (1990)

South African born director Richard Stanley has really done some fine work - the only thing about this genre film specialist that’s odd is that he doesn't have a huge resume to show off his talents. I loved Dust Devil and also dug Stanley’s entry in the bloody anthology film Theatre Bizarre (Mother of Toads), which was stylish and a stand-out amongst the other short films.  Even the panned remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau - that he was later replaced on – had its charms.

His first film Hardware was raped by the MPAA upon its initial release in 1990 but now you can, in the comfort of your own home theater view it uncut with all of its wonderful truncated sex and gore thanks to the folks at Severin Films.

 Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) plays the role of a nomadic soldier who comes across the skull of a powerful and incredibly intelligent robot. This little keepsake serves to be the perfect gift for his lady, Jill (Stacey Travis).  Unlike an overpriced rock from Kay Jewlers this present becomes a nearly unstoppable killing machine after building itself back-up and slaughtering the inhabitants of an apartment complex.
Stanley really takes advantage of the production here as Hardware looks excellent considering a scant budget of just over a million dollars. This same kind of movie would cost millions more dollars if it was produced now, so kudos to Stanley and his crew. The FX are also an area of delight with some of Bob Keen’s (Event Horizon, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth) finest work on display. The killer robot known as M.A.R.K 13 that wreaks havoc throughout the film is really a cool creation.

Hardware is a really nice mix of both post-apocalyptic sci-fi and horror all wrapped in one very gruesome package. Severin’s uncut release is definitely the way to go. Recommended

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