Hardware is often referred to by genre fans as a cult classic, a film that came to prominence mostly on video. I found it in a bargain basement store, where I was drawn in by the tag line “Terminator For The Nineties.” The movie is a post-apocalyptic science fiction actioner, directed by Richard Stanley, a music video veteran, who has taken inspiration from the worlds of Blade Runner and Mad Max.

A nuclear war has ravaged the earth; a permanent orange sky represents the toxic environment in which these characters find themselves. Whilst walking across this radioactive wasteland, a scavenger comes across a heap of metallic junk, a seemingly worthless pile of rubbish, which he sells to a young sculptor. Unknown to all is that this carcass used to be a killer cyborg, armed with drills, saws and syringes, capable DIY resurrection, which contrasts beautifully with the born again aspects of the DVD. For 19 years Hardware has been waiting in the wings and finally now has reactivated and made its way back to a screen near you.

Copy picture

Mostly set in one location, a dark apartment, the film clearly is low budget and could have been a disaster. Luckily, however, it was steered by a highly talented auteur in Stanley, who knows how to capitalize on limitations by making the movie an unapologetic horror thrill ride. There is plenty of gore to enjoy and the visuals are captivating in an artsy cyberpunk kind of way.

Hardware is quite gratuitous and a little tedious in places, but remains an enjoyable retro slasher scarefest.

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2009
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Hardware packshot
British futuristic sci-fi horror on a tight budget.
Amazon link

Director: Richard Stanley

Writer: Richard Stanley

Starring: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, William Hootkins, Iggy Pop, Carl McCoy, Mark Northover, Paul McKenzie, Lemmy, Mac McDonald, Chris McHallem, Barbara Yu Ling, Oscar James, Arnold Lee, Susie Savage

Year: 1990

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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