Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hardware (1990)

Directed by Richard Stanley

Runtime: 93 minutes

So there was a nuclear war. Nuclear destruction did not stop the fighting between either unknown side. Most of the world is an irradiated desert. Also Lemmy from Motorhead is forced to a drive cab and Iggy Pop is insane radio DJ. This is the feel good movie that is Hardware.

The movie starts with a red tinted sky, red tinted desert and a nomadic junk collector wandering the desert looking for things of value. The Nomad (played by Carl McCoy) finds a minefield and robot that had the misfortune of stepping on one. So in stupid movie logic, the Nomad picks up the all robot pieces he can and starts the plot moving forward.

The scene shifts to the ruins of some bombed out city on Christmas Eve. We meet Moses (play by Dylan McDermott) and Shades (played by John Lynch). Moses has been recently let go by the Corps and Shades is an astronaut. It is good to know that even after nuclear war there will still be a space program.

The two of them go to visit Alvy (played by Mark Northover) to see about selling some salvage so Moses can pick up a Christmas for his girlfriend. While at Alvy's Moses encounters Nomad and buys the robot parts. He leaves a hand with Alvy and takes the rest to his girlfriend's place.

Jill (played by Stacey Travis) is Moses' girlfriend and an artist who specializes in sculpture made out of scrap metal. She is being stalked by Lincoln (played by William Hootkins) who is an ex security expert and all round creepy jerk. Also the movie goes out of it's way to get the audience to loath this man.

Now that we have meet most of the victims it is time to set up how they get killed. Moses and Jill have a softcore scene or two. Lincoln watches Moses and Jill and behaves like a perverted bastard who has a kill me note taped to his back. Shades is getting wasted on some sort of drug and will be useless for the rest of the film  And Alvy does some research on the robot and finds that it is a classified military robot. A Baal mark 13 robot. Which means it has multiple killing arms, can recharge itself on any power source but solar, has a neurotoxin that kills while making the victim feeling euphoric and will breakdown if you get it wet. 

Alvy calls Moses with the new about the robot. With everyone being busy doing what ever it is they are doing, the robot decides to start rebuilding itself. Also it has the ability to remote control it's body parts over amazing distances. So the robot starts by getting it's hand to kill Alvy with the neurotoxin. So Moses arrives to late help Alvy but finds all the notes on the killer robot. Back at Jill's apartment the robot has switched to slasher mode and takes it time killing Jill.

Lincoln noticing that Jill is dressed and Moses is gone decides to go over to her place and get himself killed. Moses calls Shades to help in this impending crisis but Shades is next to bloody useless. So Moses hurries to get back to Jill. Back at Jill's apartment Lincoln finally gets killed by opening the blinds where the robot had been hiding. Jill goes back to avoiding being killed by the robot as Moses eventually gets back to the apartment.

Moses and couple of apartment security guards try to get into the apartment but the robot has locked the doors. With some work Moses and the guards get the door open but the robot uses the door the crush one guard and as the guard dies he shoots the other guard. Moses gets into the apartment but finds that it has left. This is just a rouse as the robot is out side the building and pulls Jill out on the ledge. She manges to grab a power line that the robot cuts and causes her to crash into her downstairs neighbor's place.

Moses get killed by the neurotoxin and we are shown what it looks like to him as he dies. Jill recovers from crashing into her neighbor's place and goes back to apartment to confront the robot. The robot is waiting for her and starts stalking her. For some reason I could not catch after re-watching the film a couple more time, Jill knows that water is the robot's one weakness and lures it to the shower. The robot follows Jill to the shower and Jill turn the shower on and beats the crap out of it with a baseball bat. Oh and Shades shows up after the fact. The movie ends with DJ Iggy Pop talking about how the government has approved the mass production of these killer robots and a final shot of The Nomad wandering the desert wastes.

MVT: This looks like it is a society that has find and reuse everything. Also the tv segments that show up through the movie really hit home the point how horrible the whole situation is.

Make or Break: Two breaks for me. The first is how this robot who is an expert at killing people fails at killing a stoned women on a bed. The second is the pacing of the film. The beginning just drags for the first half hour like the they forgot the parking break is still on and then it moves along for the rest of the film.
Make for me is the whole feel of the whole movie. Everything in this movie looks like what you may in a society that is war weary.

Score:  7.85/10

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