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Blu-ray Review: HARDWARE
PHOTOGRAPHY
HARDWARE
Blu-ray Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 94 minutes, audio commentary, interviews, making-of documentary, fetaurettes, early short films, vintage promo videos, theatrical trailer
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition
AUDIO: English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Ronin Flix/ Miramax/ Millimeter/ Palace Productions/ Wicked Films/ British Screen/ British Satellite Productions
RELEASE DATE: 6-28-2019
In the early 1990s, I discovered a sci-fi cult gem called HARDWARE. For a low budget film made in the United Kingdom (with some filming in Morocco), It was the debut of a promising filmmaker with an energetic sci-fi/ horror film. Director Richard Stanley would go on to direct DUST DEVIL only to have his directorial career stopped in its tracks with the mess over THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (which ended up with him being fired three days into shooting by New Line). Stanley has done documentaries and short films since then. He wanted to a sequel to HARDWARE only to have the fight over who owned HARDWARE get in the way. After almost 30 years since HARDWARE's release, the film finally makes its debut to DVD and Blu-ray.

Mo (Dylan McDermott) is a drifter who joined the military in a post-apocalyptic future. He comes home to see Jenny (Stacey Travis), his girlfriend, and brings with him parts he bought off a Zone Tripper (a drifter of sorts). His girlfriend is an artist living on welfare in a society that is falling apart. She starts to incorporate the droid parts that Mo brought her. However, the parts belong to a new type of military droid called the M.A.R.K. 13. The M.A.R.K. 13 puts itself back together and starts killing people in an apartment building. It is battle for survival as Mo tries to protect Jenny with the help of his druggie friend Shades and the apartment building security forces.

HARDWARE is a twisted broken down version of the future. The visual look and production design stick out in this energetic film which starts out as a science fiction film to dive into horror film territory. It is an energetic ride that takes off and doesn't let go until the very end. Sometimes it is the low budget sci-fi/ horror films that provide a jolt that bigger budget films are missing. HARDWARE has its own stories during filming and after it was made. Still HARDWARE is a cult film that deserves to be watched.

HARDWARE looks gorgeous on blu-ray as it is sourced from a new 4K scan of the original negative. The film looks more detailed and brighter compared to the murky DNR version of HARDWARE from Severin Films from 10 years ago. You can even see how crappy HARDWARE looks on DVD compared to the new blu-ray from Ronin Flix that manages to carry over all of the special features from the Severin Films release in addition to a new interview with the director.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
DISC 1-
25 minutes of deleted and extended scenes from a VHS archive that Richard Stanley has of the scenes
There is also an Audio commentary with Director Richard Stanley which is done in an interview format as Stanley answers questions and talks about the film. The commentary is a good compliment to the making-of documentary on disc Two

DISC 2-
New interview with Director Richard Stanley (about 40 minutes) where he talks about HARDWARE, why there is no merchandise or sequel, his Weinstein story, storyboards for the first movie, some scenes were cut due to lack of money, and his plans for HARDWARE 2

Interview with Iggy Pop
RICHARD STANLEY ON HARDWARE 2
NO FLESH SHALL BE SPARED is a detailed making-of documentary that is over 50 minutes long. It starts with the beginnings of Richard Stanley as a filmmaker to how HARDWARE was conceived to the difficulties faced during production and releasing the film to the fight over who owns the film due to how much money it made on its release. Also the cast and crew relate the story of their trip to Morocco (from airport security being surprised by the fake head they brought into the country to the very rainy weather that impacted shooting and prevented a dream sequence from being shot).
INICIDENTS IN AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE- an early Super 8 version of HARDWARE
RITES OF PASSAGE- early Richard Stanley Short Film
THE SEA OF PERDITION- early short film by Richard Stanley set to music from MOONRAKER
Vintage hardware promo videos and theatrical trailer

FINAL ANALYSIS: The new transfer for the blu-ray is miles ahead of the last transfer which makes this blu-ray a must buy for fans of HARDWARE. Great cover art including the original key art. All of the old extras carry over if you worry about whether you need to keep your old HARDWARE blu-ray or DVD.

This review is (c)4-11-2019 David Blackwell and cannot be repeated without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content/ news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com