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Hardware - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, Iggy Pop, William Hootkins
  • Directors: Richard Stanley
  • Producers: Paul Trybits, JoAnne Sellar
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Jun. 2009
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001XVA74E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,063 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller written and directed by Richard Stanley. Mark 13 is a government-built killing machine programmed with artificial intelligence, able to repair and recharge itself from any energy source. Through a series of coincidences, the cyborg's head ends up in the home of a sculptress (Stacey Travis) as a bizarre Christmas present from her boyfriend (Dylan McDermott). Once inside its new home, the cyborg promptly reconstructs the rest of its body using a variety of household utensils and proceeds to go on a murderous rampage. The cast members include Carl McCoy, John Lynch and rock icons Iggy Pop and Lemmy.

Review

"Former pop-promo director Stanley's feature debut is an impressive assault on the senses, a shamelessly plagiaristic robotics nightmare laden with OTT apocalyptic symbolism and brash cinematic homages, from Argento's Deep Red to Cameron's The Terminator. Stanley's gaudy vision achieves a roller-coaster pace, swept along by an incessant industrial soundtrack, the perfect backdrop for Image Animation's deliciously fetishistic creation, all pumping pistons and sinewy flex. An energetic, low-budget Pandora's Box of delights, tailor-made for the disposable '90s" --Time Out --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Angus on 18 Jan. 2007
Format: DVD
The UK doesn't produce that many really interesting directors these days, and Richard Stanley is one of those who somehow never quite broke through. Hardware was his first full feature, rumoured to be made for under a million pounds, and with his limited resources he created a cult classic for the early nineties.

The plot is lifted from the pages of a one-off 2000AD comic strip, with a war robot going crazy within the confines of a futuristic appartment. Stanley expanded the premise, but kept the claustrophobic atmosphere of the single setting and crafted a unique horror around it. With gruesome special effects, a pumping soundtrack, and some committed performances from its mainly British cast, the film has an undeniable energy, and Stanley's background in music videos is apparent from the clever camera angles, fast cuts and blend of music and visuals.

Unfortunately, the collapse of Palace Pictures meant that Stanley was unable to capitalise on the success of Hardware, and his second feature, the fantastic Dust Devil, was only finished at great financial cost to himself. Thereafter he seems to have been unable to get another full feature backed and, after a failed attempt to helm The Island of Dr Moreau, sadly Hollywood seems to have turned its back on him.

So - good film, but is this DVD worth purchasing? Well, Hardware was pretty savaged for its original 4:3 VHS release, and its unclear if this DVD is merely a print from that or something more. Buena Vista were due to release a properly remastered version, but it has been cancelled. The only good version currently on DVD is from Laser Paradise, taken from the Japanese original Laserdisc. Unlike Dust Devil, of which at least 2 decent DVDs are available, Hardware still awaits a definitive DVD treatment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Angus on 13 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's a measure of the complex nature of Richard Stanley's career that his lesser-known and less successful work, Dust Devil, made it onto DVD a few years before Hardware, his early cult hit. Indeed, at the same time as this Region 2 release from Optimum, there is also now a Region 1 DVD from another new print with different extras and different commentaries. Suddenly we're spoilt for choice!

Which is the better release I cannot say, but having only ever seen this film on a pan and scan VHS, this version from Optimum is a revelation. Apart from some graininess in the opening desert shots, the picture is crisp and detailed, and the colours much more balanced than ever before. The audio is good too, but although it was touted as being a 5.1 mix it only seems to be available as Pro Logic Surround (a little disappointing but not the end of the world).

The film itself has survived the passage of the years and of my memory, and was even better than I remembered. The claustrophobic confines of Jill's apartment and the low-fi dystopian future setting mean that the film's low budget feel remains vibrant where major Hollywood sfx films of the same era now look incredibly tacky. More than any other sci-fi since, it builds on Blade Runner's legacy without diminishing it - dark, confined spaces, decay mixed with technology , rain and neon. The sound effects and music are used in the classic horror style, building tension and creating atmosphere, then pounding you when the action starts. The lead performances are solid without overshadowing the real star, the Mark-13, who looms in and out of frame and is still genuinely scary.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Brady Orme VINE VOICE on 3 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Does anybody remember Richard Stanley? That erratic South African director / screenwriter responsible for the mini-classic "Dust Devil" and notorious for being booted off "The Island Of Doctor Moreau" by John Frankenheimer? Oh yes, and let's not forget the rumours of him returning to the latter's set and attempting to sabotage it... Which is probably why no film studio will touch him with a barge pole nowadays. Anyway, his first movie has finally gotten the go-ahead for release - "Hardware" (1990) and by God, if any movie needs more attention lavished on it...

Known intimately by only the hallowed few through late-night viewings on old-school Channel 4 and currently the Zone Horror channel, the film details how scavengers Mo Baxter (Dylan McDermott) and Shades (John Lynch)come across the M.A.R.K. 13 droid in a heavily polluted 21st Century landscape and attempt to make use of it - Mainly by giving the remains to Baxter's estranged girlfriend Jill (Stacey Travis) to turn into an art project. As the name of the robot states (Mark 13 is a New Testament gospel verse that states "no flesh shall be spared") it's out to fulfil it's programming, which entails slaughtering Jill and taking it from there. Everyrobot needs to start somewhere, right? Cue mayhem and Future Shock on a low budget, which you won't mind to tell the truth. And how Stanley managed to persuade Lemmy from Motorhead, Carl McCoy from Fields Of The Nephilim and Iggy Pop's voice masquerading as a radio DJ to feature is beyond me.

The DVD (as well as the Blu Ray) is a lavish affair, which is a sight to behold in this Age where four-quid re-issues are the norm. Look, you even get conceptual art cards with it by Gawd! Expect commentary from Stanley himself, deleted scenes and a documentary, "Voices Of The Moon". Apocalyptic film always get's me in a lather, and "Hardware" is right up there with the greats. OKay, maybe not "Def Con 4", but close. That was a joke.
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