Hardware - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hardware Reviews

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January 7, 2017
I had a friend in college that worked in the movie theater. I got to go see this gem for free. It was the worst sci-fi movie ever. Low-budget effects, intellectually-challenged dialog, throw in some sex and violence to try and make it remotely interesting... FAIL FAIL FAIL!

Don't waste money or time on this.
½ September 23, 2016
If you like red and black and robots... a must see... or not :P
August 25, 2016
Whaaaaaaaaat! I found a movie that I haven't rated and reviewed yet.
I saw Hardware in the theatre when it came out. It was not very good but had a few moments as I recall...its been 26 years, give me a break!
I did not know that it was diirected by Richard Stanley who made the ill fated Island of Doctor Moreau.
July 22, 2016
Some have called it a precursor to T-2, or simply the prototype for all techno-dystopian genre films to come. All that is perhaps a bit overstated, but cult UK director Richard Stanley's thinking-man's midnight movie -- which centers on a sentient, homicidal robot terrorizing residents in a futuristic slum (and features a hunky, young Dylan McDermott with a bionic arm!) -- has some cheap thrills, shocking gore, machine-on-human innuendo to rival Demon Seed and an underlying message not out of step with acclaimed predecessors like They Live. But mostly, Dylan McDermott with a bionic arm.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2016
I can't sit here and tell you that Hardware is outright "good", but what I can do is recommend it anyway. At least I can if you think your tastes might be even fractionally similar to mine. If you go in for 80's cinema, cyberpunk, PiL, Motorhead, Iggy Pop, Post-Apocalyptia, Psychedelia, sex, drugs and rock & roll, practical effects and Dylan McDermott, or you think you could go in for any of those, then give Hardware a chance. At a runtime of just 94 minutes, you haven't got much to lose.
½ June 23, 2016
Being a cult classic that bears the name Richard Stanley as director while featuring Iggy Pop in the cast, Hardware was a mystery waiting to be unravelled.

Hardware is the kind of film you need to see more than once to embrace. On the first viewing there is every possibility that it may not live up to your expectation. It's scienjce fiction themes hint at a universe with much potential to explore that is never completely embraced, falling back to a reliance on slasher conventions instead. It's easy to see the film very much as a crossover of Alien (1979) and The Terminator (1984) as it's premise entirely centers around a robot hunting everyone in its path. Given the small scale of the story it's fair to make this assesment, and while the film hints at a wider universe with its dystopian layout and clever visuals this potential becomes an afterthought which drifts into the obscurity of sporadic script lines rather than throughout the spectacle of the feature. Clearly Richard Stanley is only capable of exploring so much ground with his limited budget, and while there is no denying the glory that he produces with such budgetary constraints there is all too often a greater reliance on conventional methods of storytelling. In essence there are positive intentions with Hardware as a science fiction film, but its greater ambitions exceed the film's budgetary grasp.
Audiences need to be aware when going in to view Hardware that it is not a science fiction film, it is a slasher. While set in a science fiction context and maintaining much of the genre's iconography, this is not the path that the story follows. Hardware is rather meandering as far as science fiction cinema goes, but it transcends so many standards as a slasher film that it is likely to find much greater appreciation with a horror audience. With that understanding I found much to enjoy out of Hardware and therefore found that the science fiction elements expanded the film's quality beyond the tropes of its slasher context. The concept behind the film is very original, though audiences must pay close attention to understand the wider implications of the universe it occurs within. Hardware cleverly builds up tension as the film hints at the film unveils elements of the post-apocalyptic wasteland humanity has been reduced to while the audience progressively discovers more about the robotic Mark 13 before unleashing it into a barrage of slasher-fuelled violence. Richard Stanley's direction in this all prioritizes things extremely well as he refuses to hold back on the blood and gore, using it with appropriate shock value that doesn't go excessive or come up short of its generic contract. There is also enough nudity to suffice, so Hardware's cult value is well-established within fans of slasher cinema.
As far as directorial debuts go, Hardware is a strong testament to the capabilities of Richard Stanley as a director. Once a creator of music videos, Hardware gains a lot of manic energy from the director's clear passion for the style. Hardware is a powerfully atmospheric film which progressively gains its thrills nicely and rewards audience patience with blood, gore and boobs spread out over its 94 running time fairly well. It never overstays its welcome and the pace of the film is consistent, even when expanding the story context and developing the characters fails to follow it in this regard. But sometimes, the mystery of it all is enough to suffice as an afterthought in the face of its slasher-oriented themes. There also small satirical elements to the film which lighten it in the face of the brutality depicted, and the soundtrack is awesome because it provides intense energy through embedding rock music instruments into some strong instrumental compositions. And even though character development is not a key strong point of Hardware, the cast leave audiences with little to complain about.
If there is anything to be frustrated about its the fact that although Iggy Pop receives fairly large credit for featuring in Hardware, he is actually a mere voice cameo in the start and end to the film which would be easy to miss if you turned away for a second. He has as much relevance to the story as Lemmy, but you don't see him getting the same credit as Iggy Pop. That may frustrate the big fans, but as far as the key actors go Hardware manages to wring some terrified performances out of its cast.
Stacey Travis is the highlight of it all, and not just on the basis of her topless scenes. Stacey Travis proves capable of capturing a consistently paranoid character lost in her own fears before intensifying them even more so for the real terror Jill faces in the story. She is constantly on edge and never loses her fearful energy in the process, keeping active with the natural progression of the story. Stacey Travis' combination of terrified and spaced-out makes her an ideal product of the universe Jill lives in, and she adds reality to the film through her genuine emotion.
Dylan McDermott is also a nice touch. The best parts of his performance come from his chemistry with Stacey Travis because even though the subplot regarding their mysterious relationship is nothing too remarkable, the realism that comes from the distance they share in their interactions gives a more human feeling to this tale of a killer robot. The actor is a man of his natural charms and so even though he doesn't get challenged all that often he remains a likable protagonist who steps and fights for his character's right to survive with dedicated energy. Dylan McDermott does his duty as best as the film can demand.

Hardware doesn't fully capitalize on its post-apocalyptic setting and proves to come up short as a science fiction movie, but Richard Stanley's keen eye for imagery and relentless passion for violence results in a well-paced and thrilling slasher film which transcends many limitations of the genre.
April 26, 2016
One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
November 25, 2015
Post nuclear film about a man who recovers some spare parts of a deadly android which somehow puts itself back together in his girlfriend's apartment. Not as good as similar films from the 80's, our seemingly indestructible robot here dies tragically in the shower from water exposure. One notable positive was the brief cameo by Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmeister.
½ November 4, 2015
Hardware has a narrow outlook on its cyberpunk world. Most of the movie takes place in an apartment. Something on a more broader scale would have worked out nicely.
October 13, 2015
A 90 minute music video about nothing. Still looks good today though.
½ October 6, 2015
A simple story, told in a postapocalyptic setting. It is surprisingly well-made.
½ August 23, 2015
Some really, really interesting visuals even if the story is essentially just a slasher movie done with music video caliber effects. Worth a watch though for sure. Shame that the director went mental and flaked out.
½ August 18, 2015
An interesting sci-fi horror. The oceans have dried up and the world is just a chemical wasteland. A drifter gets more than he bargained for when he buy a rare robotic helmet as gift for artist. M.A.R.K. 13 is the result. Taken from the Bible, Mark 13:20 "No flesh shall be spared". Robotic rampage, gory results. Pretty impressive sci-fi with expert visuals, some pretty nice music and overall tone. Richard Stanley should make more movies.
August 16, 2015
Cyberpunk SciFi cult classic from the great Richard Stanley that does have a decent amount of influence taken from other SciFi projects of the era, but comes off as a nicely wrapped tight fresh product. In a near dystopia version of the future, where finding scrap technology is the gold of the day a scavenger brings pieces of a cyborg into town that pose more of a threat than anyone is aware of. The special effects look great with a dirty realism look that will leave you grasping from time to time with balls to the walls violent deaths and how the cyborg operates. Shock ending is a nice touch that will also leave you feeling why more horror films don't mix it up.
August 7, 2015
A very visually impressive and creative flick that unfortunately suffers severely where the writing is concerned.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2015
A collection of interesting ideas and style that isn't matched by the final execution which falls into a lot of familiar horror tropes. However, I appreciate that the filmmakers actually followed through with their cynical themes.
½ May 29, 2015
An ultra cheap, yet super stylish sci-fi monster flick. Unfortunately a lot of moments are so awkwardly handled, the movie becomes devoid of anything remotely interesting. Good looking, but boring. SKIP IT
½ March 25, 2015
Style over substance....what a shame.
March 7, 2015
Another one of those tricky sci-fi films that you either loved or really, really hated. I was always a fan and when a friend gave me the DVD I was just unbelievably excited, which just may say more about me then I really need it to.
January 17, 2015
90's Awesomeness....!
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