Hardware (1990)


 "The head of a cyborg reactivates and rebuilds itself and goes on a violent rampage in a space marine's girlfriend's apartment."

    This one has been labelled as a classic, and I frequently have had it recommended for me to watch it by Netflix. Well, most of the general reviews have it listed as "style over sustenance," and I think I can see why. To be frank, I don't expect this to be a long opinion piece like many of the other ones, simply just on the principle of what this movie is and isn't. As a last word to the forewords, let me just state that this is not  a movie for the younger audience - if you wouldn't let them watch Game of Thrones  (for example), then you will want them to stay very clear of this.

   The plot here is as simple as the blurb on the box: Guy gets a robotic head from a merchant, gives it to his girlfriend, and by the end of the movie it re-assembles its body from ragtag slabs of wire and metal across her apartment and tries to kill every single person it lays its cyber-eyes on. Why the world is so devastated and everything is so gritty we may never know - because as far as the movie is concerned, it's irrelevant. Character development suffers along with the plot - you might get a little bit of development between the main lead and his girlfriend, but even at that it feels pretty darn shallow.

   Of course, you may have noticed that I said I mostly see why people are saying style comes first right? That's because as far as visually, everything looks incredible. Even the barren wastelands are something to behold, and the level of imagination involved in the set pieces is downright awe-inspiring. Character's themselves, although not being developed much at all, all come through as at least having some sort of theme to them from how they act/react and are costumed. It's definitely a nice touch, as even people who are at a loss as to what's going on can still feast in the visuals as they are presented.

   That being said, even though it's a incredibly simple plot with no real explanation as to why the world is in a state that it is in, the movie does have a large amount of thought-provoking depth to it.  You could go on to tangents about being human, perversion and stalking, art, wrong and right ways of dealing with over-population, and to some extent even faith. It's a lot of stuff that just seems to be floating around in there, although thought out enough where none of it seems out of place (although the stalking pervert does make for a bit of an awkward set of moments while watching). It's a happy bit of depth to an otherwise straight forward and semi-shallow film.

   Now, flat out, this is not a movie for everybody. I honestly (having now seen it once) will probably never revisit the film myself, although some people very well may absolutely love this thing (there is a reason people consider it a [cult] classic after all). The visual style of the movie is something to behold, assuming you can stomach some rather lack-luster acting, a sex scene, and a couple scenes of violence.  It's enough that I don't regret watching it, however, so I'll leave it up to you as to if you should watch it or not - just watch the trailer. It really gives you everything you need to know about the quality of everything from video to sound right in it (if you watch it all the way through, it basically gives you the spark-notes of the entire movie though, so just watch what you need I suppose).

Hardware on IMDB

Hardware (Two Disc Limited Edition)
Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, William Hootkins, Iggy Pop