Thursday, 17 December 2009


I saw Richard Stanley's Hardware the other night and was most impressed. I had watched Dust Devil when I was in my teens and was instantly hooked, but by this point in time Hardware was stuck in ownership-rights-hell and could not be obtained for love nor money so I went without.

From the screengrabs and stills I had seen I assumed Hardware was a very low-budget outing and was not really expecting that much. However, this is not the case and the set design and lighting are pretty good. The film is tightly edited, except perhaps at the end where it drags a little. The Wiki page summarises the plot so all I will say is that it's about a post-apocalyptic scavenger who brings back the corpse of a droid to his sculptor-girlfriend's flat. The thing, of course, is not quite a corpse...

The tech-designs are very of-their-time but have aged well and don't seem quaint in the light of today's 80s enthusiasm. The droid is rarely seen other than in close-ups of its head, which is one of the most horrific techno-skull things imaginable (it features a dragonfly-lava like set of hypodermic mandibles which are slung under its jaw). I am a great fan of juxtaposed imagery and so the American flag design which Jill, the artist, stencils onto the cranium really appeals to me. It is unfortunate the paintjob seems to disappear halfway through the film for no good reason.

There is an interview with Richard Stanley on YouTube which is very interesting. It was only upon watching this that I realised that the young Chris Cunningham worked on Hardware which may go some way to explaining the slick effects.

Oh, and it's got Iggy Pop and The Fields of the Nephilim's Carl McCoy in it!

More on Richard Stanley to come, but below are some images from Hardware.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading the original future shock in 2000ad back in the late 80s "shok" i think it was called , then being rather surprised to see this low budget movie obviously based on it a few years later, was a bit viceral if i remember correctly and felt a lot like saturn 3, nice find again, I tried to find the original comic online but failed sorry