Hardware (1990)



It activates it exhilarates… it exterminates See »

A wandering soldier finds a robot head in the post-apocalyptic desert. He brings it back to his girlfriend for use in one of her sculptures. He investigates the origin of the head, and discovers it\’s from the Mark 13 project, canceled because of unreliability. His girlfriend, nay, society at large become endangered when the robot puts itself back together using the parts she has for her sculptures.

Written by
Ed Sutton <[email protected]>

In the future, a nuclear war has transformed the Earth into a radioactive wasteland where the sea has dried up leaving it as a post-apocalyptic desert. In the desert, A desert scavenger named Nomad discovers a robotic head, arriving in New York City, A space marine named Moses Baxter buys the robotic head from Nomad as a Christmas present for his girlfriend Jill Grakowski, who decides to use it for one of her sculptures. But all hell starts breaking loose, when the robotic head is activated and begins to rebuilt itself. When Alvy, a junkyard dealer discover the robotic head is a Mark 13, a military cyborg of a project that was abandoned. Moses learns Jill\’s life is in danger, as the Mark 13 cyborg goes on a violent rampage in Jill\’s apartment as Jill has become the the prime target for extermination.

Written by
Daniel Williamson

Genre: Horror,Sci-Fi,Thriller

Hardware (1990)
Release Date: 14 September 1990 (USA)
Country: UK , USA
Director: Richard Stanley
  • Dylan McDermott
  • Stacey Travis
  • John Lynch
  • William Hootkins
  • Iggy Pop
  • Carl McCoy
  • Mark Northover
  • Paul McKenzie
  • Lemmy
  • Mac McDonald
  • Chris McHallem
  • Barbara Yu Ling
  • Oscar James
  • Arnold Lee
  • Susie Savage

33 Responses to Hardware (1990)

  1. Wylder1324
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    Maybe some of you fellwo film buff can help me out? When I was a kid (was born in 1986 and If I had to guess I probably saw this when I was something like 4 or 5 so late 80s early 90s) I remember a horror/sci fi flick and from what I can remember there were people on what I thought to be the moon or some other planet other than earth and there were machines that were cutting their body parts off with saws I think to use the body parts for something else I know this is pretty vague but hey I was 5 LoL so its all I have to work with an ideas ?

  2. governor_breck
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    Sure sounds like it, but she’s not credited.

  3. jayskitstar
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    Just posted my review for this underrated and rare gem of a film. Check it out and if you haven’t seen the film, run out and get it now. It’s a classic!


    I’m runnin this monkey farm now !!

  4. saint-21
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    sept 1990, senior year. went to see this by myself, and midway through . i got bored and took off.

  5. vindicator19
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    Reason one.

    This film was super hyped. At every commercial break this film was compares to being better than aliens and better than the terminator. This advertisement misled the american populace. In 1990, people still had faith that hollywood was going to ddeliver summer blockbusters. Then they rolled this baked turkey out and almost completely destoryed the last one hundred years of film making (terminator 2 restored people’s faith).

    The second reason this film is bad is that it’s the script and everything else in it is all out of pace with the rest of the film.

  6. fgwri
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    It’s been 13 years since I saw this movie, and to this day I cannot forget how truly horrible it was. Terrible acting, virtually no plot, lousy special effects; violence, violence, violence. This is the only movie I’ve ever seen that I honestly say that I hate. (Well, other than the Matrix, but at least it was entertaining).

  7. royalty1974
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    I think that this movie is the one they used the skeletal frame from the Alien because someone thought it looked cool. If it is, then what I hated about this film is that the killer robot stalked people and did that stupid walks by in the background crap and does not simply pick a target and kill it, it psychologically mind screws them first. I had snuck into this movie for free and still got up and walked out when I saw that. I hate the cheap stupid scares like it’s too quiet and a cat jumps outta nowhere or in the blurry distance at an angle only the viewer can see the killer sneaks by to scare the victim who could not have noticed anyway. But the oh it’s just a cat boom now I am dead garbage is too cheap and stupid and I get pissed quickly when they use it. I also have a personal policy of only one miracle save per hero per movie. That is when the hero lands on mattresses or trips or otherwise is not killed not by their own skill but by dumb luck. That is crap unless it is the original Inspector Clouseau.

    If this is a different movie then I apologize and will watch it and then decide if it was turd or terrific.

    But laser guided targeting systems robots still can’t hit Rambo SchwarzenVinDam Statham-Seagal in a million years. Why?


  8. themanamp
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    I’ve just checked the reviews section for this film. V.depressing, everyone seems to rate it under 5 or so :(

    I think this is an absolute under-rated gem of a film and I know I’m not alone. So why don’t get some text together and give it the phat 10/10 (well 9, maybe) review it deserves?

    I think the majority of sci-fi fans who under-rate this film don’t really `get’ it because it is very much a pastiche and `arty’ flick.

    It really winds me up because I don’t see understand how fans of the macabre designs of Alien and Terminator can’t see the same aesthetics (admittedly cheaper and more European – another plus point) at work in Hardware, ok


  9. mobstar1967
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    i cannot believe that there is a post saying this is the worst film of all time.i saw hardware upon its us theatrical release and was blown away,no it was not a traditional hollywood big budget summer blockbuster with cameron or ridley scott and it was not a franchise film wich would have its built in audience,it was one of the first films that i ever knew to throw in punk/thrash metal into the score that the hollywood elite would only emulate years later.the film is dark and grimy given its a post apocalyptic film so it didnt need to bee clean and spitpolished.great suspense,great casting and the budget was not outragous like lets say $300 mil.wich is sickening,the hardware special effects were outstanding for the time and im not so keen on todays blue screen cgi anyway,i kinda like the old latex and corn syrup,but thats just me im old school.

    i just could not let a post go unchallenged saying hardware was the worst film of all time when most of the antagonizers werent born when it was released and are now part of the high tech world we live in today.hardware was truly ahead of its time and i think portrays post apacolyptic earth in a realistic fashion,not space marines with spitpolished boots and kick ass gear but a world in chaos,if you notice even stacy travis has dirt under her nails,she’shot but truly grimy was the way they lived.i kinda compare this film to ALIEN 3 wich nobody appreciated at the time but as time went on people tend to look at the film differently and see that it stands fine on its own and they didnt take the easy way out and just pick up with newt,hicks and bishop but took it in a whole different direction and only years later did it start getting recognition.

    dylan mcdermott as hard moe baxter was outstanding and the supporting cast was excellent as well not to mention lemmy as the taxi driver.

    there is a reason that the dvd was going for $100 to $200 for the past 5 years until it was rereleased just this past year..because over time through word of mouth it has caught on to be one of sci-fi/horrors best..it holds time very well.i can pull the dvd out once a year and it doesnt diminish,not even the score,for instance no matter how great terminator 1 was with michael bien the score is 80’s synth and theres no erasing that one.its the only drawback to T1,were hardware mark 13 is ultra cool with PIL,motorhead,ministry witch will always hold time just like the film..HARDWARE MARK 13 one of the best sci-fi/horror films of all time

  10. donnyg
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    A post-cyberpunk take on this cyberpunk cult classic: http://bit.ly/9EnVWB

    Schlockmania, your online guide to the schlock experience… http://www.schlockmania.com

  11. AnthoBenebet
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    This picture had so much potential but was a severe let-down. Check out a review of the new Severin DVD @


  12. bluhorn
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    Anyone with the new disc able to comment? Thanks!

  13. Stu-M
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    Check out the story about his obnoxious, self-aggrandizing "compliment" as told by the producer on the optimum dvd. He essentially takes credit for ideas that have nothing to do with him by saying Stanley took things from his (Camerons) movies that he "never even knew were there".

  14. Silent_Bob01
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    …and, let’s face it, Lemmy IS god, and his cameo is pretty cool, but…

    …wow, what a weird, disjointed, incoherent mess of a film.

    Sorry if I’m insulting the cult fans here, because I actually DO love all sorts of odd B-movies and cheesy horror films, but Hardware just didn’t do it for me at all.

  15. gore-zone
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    is anyone els having a problem with the actual movie disc i have got 2 copy’s now and they both don’t work properly its very, very dark throughout the whole movie and its not suppose to be like that, just was wondering if anybody else was having this problem or any other problems thanks.

  16. na1219
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    Ok I’m a huge Dylan McDermott fan and wanted to know what part does he play in the film? I keep hearing about the sex scene, is he in it??? That would be yummy

    I plan on ordering the film from Netflix soon and wanted to know more about it.

    Sarcasm is the body’s natural defense against stupid

  17. jmchimino001
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    I was reading some forum, People were talking about the 2 dvd set not working right, Just wondering if its happened to anyone else out there,

  18. paddyhutch
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    Any pics of the the nomad? im a big fan of FOTN and collect there pics,help would be appreciated.


  19. jrock310
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    why did Mo have to die? he was the best character in the movie! anyone else with me on this one?

  20. carnivore24
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    Anyone know what kind of boots he is wearing?

  21. priorityoverride
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    I remember that back in the day when this movie had first come out, there was some kind of controversy about it that had some people complaining that the movie was originally a hardcore, triple-X-rated sci-fi/horror movie and then they toned it down to Rated R when it came to the U.S. The original British version apparently was supposed to have the sex scene different from the American version. I don’t know what they were talking about because when I watched the movie the sex scene was not hardcore, XXX-Rated. A sci-fi/horror porno flick this was not.

  22. eraceheadd
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    This was one of my fav sci-fi movies back when i was a kid. I understand, its a bit rough around the edges in almost everyway, but with a small budget, this is a kick-ass movie! I had an ex-g/friend that watched it once with me, and of course, she didn’t like it. Then i broke down the mostly religious references going on and the political influences and she got into it a bit more. Then she watched it a few more times, ended up writing a paper on it and really enjoying it!

    I think that most of the badmouthing this film got is based on peoples’ first impressions, and those that didn’t give it a chance. This movie deservers a much better rating then its poor 5.1, its a damn shame. Im not saying 10 or anything, but… how about a nice 6.7 or so, huh? And as soon as it gets its release on DVD im there… i hope soon.


    Any-others wanna give Hardware its props?

    u [email protected]$king bitch… god i love u

  23. DrJesus
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    Anybody here ever read Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic series Preacher?

    Notice that Mo’s friend in this bares a resemblance to Cassidy? Both Irish, both have shades, both are sidekicks, same kinda personality… was Cassidy "inspired" by this character>

    Would be ironic, seeing as Hardware is a bit "inspired" by 2000AD :)

  24. british1500
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    I’ve seen the movie, played the Fallout games many moons later. some of the elements in Hardware remind me of Fallout, ie the costumes, etc. Good stuff all around.

  25. NoTripod
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    I bought the Hardware soundtrack CD when it was released in 1990

    and I have listened to the disc countless times….

    That’s 19 YEARS of regular rotation and it has NEVER GOTTEN OLD!

    You get great tracks from PiL, Ministry and get this…

    the London Symphony Orchestra. You also get great bits of dialogue

    which includes the DJ breaks with Iggy Pop as the nihilistic Angry Bob.

    The commercial for radiation-free reindeer steaks is priceless.

    You might also want to check out the Until The End of The World soundtrack.

    UTEOTW also has a futuristic cyberpunk feel, but has a much brighter outlook.


    …before the dark times, before the prequels.

  26. Mister_B_Gone
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  27. Strontium-ae
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    Is the ending the same as in this adaption?

    I know one thing baby…you will survive

  28. GoneWithTheTwins
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    The little known 1990 thriller Hardware mimics many of the sci-fi masterpieces that preceded it, but still surprisingly succeeds in producing a creatively original post-apocalyptic setting and its fair share of unique ideas. Ultimately, it can’t stand up to Ridley Scott’s Alien or James Cameron’s Terminator, but it’s worth a look just to see how close it comes.

    War-ravaged Earth resembles a harsher version of Tatooine where scavengers roam the wastelands and a thick orange haze blankets the skies. Moses (Dylan McDermott) and his brother Shades (John Lynch) cross paths with a cryptic stranger whose escapades combing the deserts find him in possession of a mysterious robot’s head and hand. Seeking an appropriate Christmas gift for his estranged girlfriend Jill (Stacey Travis), Mo barters for the android parts, but quickly realizes his mistake when he discovers they belong to the highly advanced, self-repairing military droid M.A.R.K. 13 who begins a murderous rampage across Jill’s apartment.

    Bizarre characters fill out the cast and only McDermott and Travis attempt to play it straight. Mo provides a believable rogue soldier though Jill is realistically the hero of the film, exuding a little of the tough-girl attitude that worked so well for Ellen Ripley. Much like her obvious role model, she thankfully doesn’t become overly gung-ho when she faces the powerful renegade robot throughout the climax. By far the strangest character inclusion is that of the perverted voyeur neighbor that spies on Jill from afar during intimate moments. Cult director Richard Stanley chooses to build the character into a truly disgusting villain, but then fails to have him act accordingly on his vile intentions, even when he’s trapped Jill alone in her apartment. He becomes a wasted opportunity to drum up additional suspense and his departure doesn’t bring the closure it should have. At least he manages to break out in a creepy singing session before then.

    The special effects in Hardware provide the majority of accomplishment and appear as a cross between Terminator and Alien 3. Dark reds and burnt orange hues wash over the entire picture and desolate, debilitated buildings evoke the required post-apocalyptic feel. M.A.R.K. 13 himself is an interesting blend of leftovers from Terminator and Virus and his design and movement relate his primary function of destroying all life forms (though the slim cast doesn’t allow as much of a killing spree as one would hope). Utilizing poisonous needles, saws, and blades makes the nearly unstoppable robot all the more frightening, though his appearance reflects the movie as a whole – lots of style but little substance.

    Hardware takes a great idea (though not entirely original one) and limits the scope of its impact by giving a monstrous robotic villain a tiny apartment to play in. The compact setting affords a claustrophobic mood, but also fewer possibilities for massive mayhem. Though at times Hardware tries too hard to be cool (such as opera music infusing the final battle and a lengthy psychedelic poison-death scene), fans of obscure sci-fi thrillers will likely appreciate at least some aspect of Stanley’s homage to the genre.

    – Joel Massie


  29. GG_Pan
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    First it was supposed to be out 9/29 (today).

    Then I was notified it got pushed back to 10/13.

    And now, Severin has pushed it back to 10/20.

    Funnily enough, this doesn’t surprise me too much. With a history of Stanley’s films being cursed, I figured this DVD release couldn’t run toosmoothly.

    [[ OBEY ]]

  30. AnthoBenebet
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    Check out this sneak peek from Severin @

    http://reviewfix.com/2009/10/hardware-promo-featuring-lemmy-of-motorhe ad-from-severin-films/

  31. GG_Pan
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  32. NunoFM2005
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    What is the song of the Final Credits?


    Grab A Friend before someone in the audience grabs you!

    Deadly Friend (1986)

  33. vindicator19
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    1990. Lots of big hair, mullets galore, and acid wash jeans. All that asside I saw this turkey in the theater and I remember that the crowd was diverse. There were old and young people there and everyone had a huge expectation of this film. I knew nothing about this film other than the commercial segments. This film was touted as being better than blade runner. Back in 1990, people still believed tv commercials.

    The film began and instead of their being explosive visuals and an awsome soundtrack the crowd was treated to a sexual deviant who spied on hot chicks, a hot chick in a triple X rated love scene and a robot that wanted to make it with her.

    The audience was openly appalled and by the end of the film everyone was asking for their money back,.

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