Futuristic 'Hardware' is gory and repugnant and all too familiar


"Hardware" is a hard watch. Yeah, it's an old, familiar expression, but this is a very familiar film, one that was done in England and Morocco and plays like a closet version of "Alien."

It also plays like "Friday the 13th, X." The gore is overwhelmingly repugnant. You'll be looking away much of the time. If you're smart, you'll look the other way all the time.

"Hardware" is futuristic. We know that from the first frame, one that scans the desert to pick up what looks like a street person. It's the sort of opener that always identifies the post-holocaust film.

The plot has a young woman living in a high-rise in what is supposed to be total security. Outside, the smog is intense, the temperature unbearable and the rats multitudinous. You might wonder why anyone would care to live under these conditions. You might wonder why anyone would care to make a movie about it.

Stacey Travis is Jill, whose boyfriend brings her the head of an android, thinking the girl, a sculptor, will appreciate it. As happens in all these movies, the android restores itself and, for the next hour or so, menaces the girl and others who happen into her apartment. One of the visitors is a voyeur who lives next door and spies on the girl, particularly when she makes infrared sex with her boyfriend. As the voyeur talks, "Hardware" sounds like a porn film.

Before the film ends, the leading man, thinking he has destroyed the android, says "It's gone, it's finished."

No such luck. We're in for the long haul on this one. The film runs no more than 92 minutes but seems hours longer.

In addition to its gore and its porn talk, "Hardware" is a bore. It may churn a few stomachs, but entertaining it is not.

Dylan McDermott plays Mo, the sculptor's boyfriend, and John Lynch is Shades, a young man who spends most of his time spaced out. Yeah, they're still using drugs and smoking in this particular future.

"Hardware" is at area theaters.


(No stars) A woman living in the future is plagued by a murderous android.

CAST: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, Iggy Pop

DIRECTOR: Richard Stanley

RATING: R (sex, nudity, language, violence)

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

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