Hardware (1990)
Rated R

Starring: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, and John Lynch

out of

Working as a projectionist in 1990, I heard some really cool music emanating from one of the moviehouses in the theater where I worked. The music was a song by Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and it was part of Hardware's closing credits. Unfortunately, the movie left before I had a chance to sit down and see the film in its entirety. The short engagement should have been a tip-off to its relative quality.

Hardware depicts the adventures of a government-created killing machine that manages to reassemble itself in the home of a techno-sculptor named Jill (Stacey Travis). She'd received the parts of the robot, named Mark 13, as a gift from Moses (Dylan McDermott). It seems that he just found them while scavenging around in the desert created by the recent nuclear holocaust that's apparently just taken place. Well, the robot goes on a killing spree and, basically, it's up to Jill to defeat it. Yawn.

There are quite a few criticisms that can be leveled at this movie. It's confused, cliched, boring, depressing and simply not very attractive to look at. The movie's atmosphere is extremely claustrophobic with most of the action -- what little there is -- taking place in a seemingly sweltering, stifling apartment complex. And the characters are, for the most part, stupid or revolting. Only Iggy Pop's vocal performance as Angry Bob, a disc jockey for WAR radio, is amusing or worth noting. Lemmy, from the heavy metal band Motorhead, makes an appearance as a taxi-driver. He's OK too but, like Iggy, he's only in the film a short time.

It seems that what initially attracted me to the film -- the soundtrack -- is the only thing I can find to recommend about Hardware. Avoid this film.

Trivia: Hardware's director, Richard Stanley, directed music videos before taking the helm of commercial features. Since 1990, he's directed only two other films. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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