Monday, December 17, 2012

Getting Hard Over Hardware

So, its that time of the year again. In many countries, people are fighting ice and snow, and laughing at Game of Throneses oncoming winter, throwing their copies of Ice Station Zebra in the bin. While in our little continent of Australia, we are sweating our balls off, terrified to touch our steering wheels and trying our best to survive the hordes of crazy drivers, whose feeble minds have been affected by the heat.

Yep, it's Christmas alright. And what better way to escape the heat and humidity, by throwing on the air con, shutting off all the lights, and ignoring your droll life to slip into a new one by way of a cheery Christmas movie!
There are so many to choose from, Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Gremlins, Scrooged, Christmas Evil, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2: Silent Night Deadly Nightlier.

Theres one big problem with all of these films... It's fucking snowing!
What better way to mess with your head than to watch a snowy movie, then to go outside to piss in the garden, only to have the heat hit you like Robocop's spiky fist.

So you go to the shops. Dont ask me why, I'm not you. I went to the shops today just to buy a steak to cook. So, you go to the shops, figure you may aswell get a couple of Christmas presents, it's that time of year after all. You are looking at blurays, because thats just what you do! Pick up a copy of Prometheus, think, oh, Mum will like that.Then you think to yourself, well fuck everyone else, it's my money, I'm going to buy myself something. By the way, don't lie to yourself and say that you've never done that before.

You see a strange film called "Hardware". It looks like this:

You laugh and go "Looks like an Americanised version of The Terminator" Put it down and pick up Titanic 3D instead, having reminded yourself of how brilliant James Cameron is, and how you have a secret SECRET love affair with Titanic and that you watched it about eight hundred times at the cinema because the ads told you to "See It AGAIN" (!!!) You bloody sheep.

You just put down one of the most fucked up and awesome science fiction movies of the 90's you retard.

Granted, it wasnt even fucked up when it came out in 1990.
Anyone who is familiar with the director Richard Stanley and his amazing but very limited back catalogue, will know that all of the two feature films that he directed were maimed and chopped to shit by the powers that be. Dust Devil, his second feature after Hardware, was disgracefully cut not just of violence, but of key story elements and set pieces vitally important to the flow of the film. The theatrical cut gave us a mere glimpse of what could have been a really amazing and important film. Thankfully, Dust Devil is now available in a beautifully restored Final Cut DVD, along with a backup of many of Richard Stanleys short films and intriguing documentaries.
Same goes for Hardware. It's a hard film to push, seeing as when most people saw it in the 90's it was a cut up, horrendously UN-violent film.

For the uninitiated, Hardware is loosely based on the 2000AD comic strip "Shok" about a war robot loose in a ladies apartment with only one mindset, to kill.
So, in the post apocalyptic future Stacy Travis plays Jill, a hi-tech junkie artist who creates metal sculptures. Her intergalactic soldier partner Moses, played by Dylan McDermott, who brings her a steel skull that he purchased from a junkyard owner. The steel skull springs to life, and jacks itself into Jill's apartment, using the sculpture she created as its new body. It goes fucking nuts and tries to kill all life.

This is a very minimal explanation of what the film is about though.

The movie plays out like a Richard Laymon splatterpunk novel, with a splash of Frank Millers "I don't give a fuck WHAT you think" attitude, and this definately works in it's favor.
With the new bluray and the Severin special edition DVD (which i personally own) Richard Stanley has had all of the violence and the nastiness re-instated, making this version the ULTIMATE way to view the film. Chuck out all previous incarnations if you own them, and replace it with this supreme version of the film.

With the new version of the film you get the following:

Eye gouging!
Door Crushing

Even without all the extra violence, you still get:

Dylan McDermott with obligatory Metal Hand!
Stacey Travis' Eyes!
Rambaging Robots!
Jek Porkins playing a fat pervert!
Dylan McDermott blasting a shotgun uncontrollably out a window!

If the above things don't tempt you enough then you are visiting the wrong fucking blog. I Mean, Metal. Fucking. Hand.

I know right? You totally want one of these.

I don't need to review this film, you can go anywhere on the internet and find good reviews anywhere.
The biggest concern with the stigma that this film has attached to it, is it's original release response. A hollowed out film entered the world and gave people an impression that has lasted to this day.
Outrageous comparisons to Alien and Terminator are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out IMDB where the lad who wrote the featured review says "It's no Aliens, but it has a lot of interesting things happening."
Sure! Aliens is no Alien, but it sure has a lot of interesting things happening.
Drawing comparisons to completely unrelated films is a very tiresome exercise.
I could sit here all day and tell you why Dune is better than Avatar.
I mean they share a similar premise, fish out of water, becomes a badass, leads people, becomes one of the people, draws off the badguys, people love the guy, guy becomes the king.
Two big differences, one has giant sandworms, the other has dragons and where one is rich in story, the other is rich in special effects.
Alien and Hardware's only similarity is the idea of a woman being trapped. They arent even close either. Ones trapped in sapce where no-one can hear her scream, the other in her apartment where fucking everybody can hear her scream, but no-one gives a shit.

Did i mention that this film is set during Christmas time? No? This makes Hardware the one Christmas film that you can watch that is not snowing for once, and is dirty, hot and gritty!

So go back from the counter, put back Titanic 3D, I mean you have the four-disc dvd already, and you don't even have a 3D tv you drogo. Pick up the Hardware bluray, its cheaper, shorter, more violent, more sassy, a lot less classy, sexy, sleek, and it packs one hell of a fucking punch, right in the goodamn groinals.

This film needs to be on the top of your things to do list.
Take my word for it, and buy the motherfucker. You'll thank me later.

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