Hardware

Tagged: Film

Film (1990). Palace/Millimeter/A Wicked Films Production. Directed by Richard Stanley. Written by Stanley, based (it was admitted after a threatened lawsuit) on a 1980 Judge Dredd story. Cast includes William Hootkins, John Lynch, Dylan McDermott and Stacey Travis. 94 minutes, but many prints shortened to avoid adults-only rating. Colour.

In a radioactive City in an apparently Post-Holocaust near future, a dope-smoking sculptress is given a military robot's head to incorporate into a steel sculpture. It reincorporates itself using pieces of the sculpture, thereby taking the film from the technopunk-Dystopia genre into the Luddite killer-Robot genre. The 24-year-old director, Stanley, had a track record in so-called Industrial Music rock videos, and the eclectic, pack-rat junk sensibility which this suggests (a bit of Andrei Tarkovsky here, a bit of Dario Argento there, a bit of Cyberpunk everywhere) surprisingly transcends Cliché in the images if not the script. Though Hardware is basically a simple low-budget Splatter Movie, it is unusually inventive in its design and in several of the characters, notably Hootkins as a rotund sadistic voyeur. The crazed robot is a Mark 13, and the film's epigraph is adapted from (where else?) the Gospel According to St Mark, Chapter 13: "No flesh shall be spared." [PN]

see also: Cinema.

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