Directed by Richard Stanley [Other horror films: Dust Devil (1992), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996, uncredited), The Theatre Bizarre (2011, segment ‘The Mother of Toads’), Color Out of Space (2019)]
I’ve seen this once before, but since I don’t even know how long ago that was, in many ways, this was virtually a new viewing.
Hardware is an interesting film. Partially, it’s an industrial nightmare, much like Tetsuo from a year earlier (though Tetsuo takes it to extremes Hardware doesn’t touch), and it’s at time’s artsy, but some real suspenseful action and horror sequences are thrown in also. It’s a gritty movie, and while it loses it’s enjoyment factor as it drags on, overall, it’s solid.
Set in one of the best post-apocalyptic Earth’s I’ve seen, Hardware is down and dirty, with a very mechanical, almost steam-punk, type vibe to it. The imagery and surroundings are really breath-taking, and certainly give the film a unique feel.
The acting isn’t always great, but two of the kills were on point. While it wasn’t often this movie voyaged into gory regions, when it did, it took no prisoners, and for those two scenes alone, any horror fan should give this flick a shot if they’ve not already.
As good as the deaths and atmosphere are, though, there are some glaring problems.
While the movie at first is going well, about ten minutes past the hour mark, you sort of want things to start wrapping up, but it’s not until twenty minutes later that they actually do. Part of this was, for me, because the first hour of the film is pretty enjoyable, but as it became increasingly experimental in flavor, I found myself not liking it as much the longer it went on. It just felt too long, and while the conclusion was satisfactory, it could have been 15 minutes shorter, at least, and still come out well.
When I first saw this flick, I probably didn’t like it. It’s not the type of movie a 14 or 15 year-kid would generally enjoy. And now, while I certainly find it an interesting ride, it’s still not amazing. It’s grittiness is well-done, but I didn’t enjoy Tetsuo that much, so this too was a mixed-bag. It’s a good movie with good gore, but as for a movie that I’d give repeated rewatches to? Nah, this ain’t it. Still worth at least one watch, though.