"Hardware (1990/Blu-ray/Severin Films)" Review

Hardware follows 3 people in a post-apocalyptic world. Two of them are scavengers who one of which has brought home a cyborg skull for his girlfriend for Christmas. Unaware they are in possession of M.A.R.K. 13 which lies inside of the cyborg skull. M.A.R.K. 13 is a very deadly bio-mechanical droid that has the power to re-assemble itself and tonight it will be reborn and is ready to do exactly what is was made for, to kill everything in it's path. Put up against the droid will these three survive the night or will they be torn to shreds like all others who come in contact with it?

Review: I overlooked this gem of a film for far too long, now since Severin released this film a couple years ago I finally got to see it then on DVD. I am glad that I have this opportunity to re-review this film again because my original review was done in the early years of myself reviewing films and plain and simply that review sucks. This film deserves a way better look at than I previously did. Also this time around my viewing is of the Blu-ray release. Enough blabbing and lets get into this review.
My first encounter with director Richard Stanley's work was the film "Dust Devil" which was quite a good film and opened me up to his filmography. The film that caught my eye the most was Hardware and it was due to the cast that consists of Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Stacey Travis (Venom), Lemmy (Motorhead), Mark Northover (Willow) and of course Iggy Pop (The Stooges). Now aside from those actors/characters I did find myself really liking the other characters involved. Shades was a very cool character who oddly enough made me laugh, the other one I found myself enjoying for what the character was is Lincoln Wineberg Jr., he was a very sick and disturbing voyeuristic perv who got a very brutal death.
Now the film basically revolves for the most part around this one apartment which I thought brought a claustrophobic feel to the scenes when the M.A.R.K. 13 robot is on the prowl. That really adds to the suspense and fright factor of the film even in scenes I knew when something bad was going to happen. For example is when Lincoln Wineberg Jr. gets viciously destroyed by the machine, you know he is about to get what he deserves but can't help to still have that feeling of shock when it happens. Well that was they way it was for me. Now aside from the suspense and fright this film delivers there is a sequence with Dylan McDrmott when he has this very strange hallucination, it's bizarre and at first seemed kinda odd to be in the film, but looking back it goes great with the whole film because in alot of ways the whole thing is bizarre in a good way of course. In alot of ways it reminds me of the late 80's early 90's industrial music scene in a weird way.
 On my first viewing I will admit I thought that M.A.R.K. 13 looked kinda bad as a robot, but after watching it many times since then I really got why it looked the way it did. That was due to the droid only having what it is surrounded with in Jill's apartment to make it's body up of. Also I for whatever reason did not realize that they told what kills M.A.R.K. 13 very early on in the film. There really is nothing I would really want them to change about Hardware, it has a very cool post apocalyptic look and feel and works great as a horror film. Great cast and great atmosphere is what made this film so good to me, if you are into something a bit different than I highly suggest you go pick this film up and give it an open-minded chance! One last thing I want to say is that I really hope Richard Stanley gets to do a follow up film, because I think it deserves to be expanded upon!
 As far as the picture quality goes on this blu-ray release it is simply great, the picture is quite cleaned up and the film grain is still intact. It's not over scrubbed like you get sometimes also I can say it is an upgrade from the DVD release, some may say it's not but I can reassure you it is. There is no compression here like you get with standard DVD. Overall great picture and audio as well.

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Richard Stanley
Genre: Horror/Sci-fi
Blu-ray/DVD Release Year: 2009
Theatrical Release Year:1990
Time Length: 93 mins.
Company: Severin Films
Website: www.severin-films.com