Hardware (1990)

R | 94 mins | Science fiction | 14 September 1990

Director:

Dennis Morgan

Writer:

Dennis Morgan

Cinematographer:

Steve Chivers

Editor:

Derek Trigg

Production Designer:

Joseph Bennett
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HISTORY

       Principal photography began 11 Sep 1989 in London, England, the 24 Oct 1989 HR noted. The 17 Jan 1990 Var marked the film’s completion. The 26 Sep-3 Oct 1990 Time Out of London reported that most of Hardware was filmed at the Roundhouse, a concert venue and former railroad building in the Chalk Farm neighborhood of Camden Town, London, that doubled as a production office. Production designer Joseph Bennett “pillaged aircraft scrapyards” in search of a “distinctive cyberpunk” look. A week’s worth of desert footage was shot in Morocco with a nine-man crew. Overall, Hardware cost only a million British pounds (worth roughly $1.6 million) to make, and Miramax spent $4 million to open and promote the film in the U.S. Hardware grossed $3 million on its first weekend of release. When Fleetway Productions, a British comic book publisher, alerted the producers that the film shared the same premise as a 1981 comic strip called Shok!, the company came to what appeared to be “an amicable settlement” in return for a screen credit.
       The Motion Picture Association of America gave Hardware an X-rating for excessive violence, according to the 17 Aug 1990 DV. After two unsuccessful appeals, the producers cut “38 frames, one angle in a sequence showing a body being cut in half,” and received an R-rating.
       Hardware screened 13 May 1990 at the Cannes Film Festival market, prompting its first review in the 6 Jun 1990 Var. It debuted at Canada’s Toronto Film Festival on 7 Sep 1990, according to that day’s ... More Less

       Principal photography began 11 Sep 1989 in London, England, the 24 Oct 1989 HR noted. The 17 Jan 1990 Var marked the film’s completion. The 26 Sep-3 Oct 1990 Time Out of London reported that most of Hardware was filmed at the Roundhouse, a concert venue and former railroad building in the Chalk Farm neighborhood of Camden Town, London, that doubled as a production office. Production designer Joseph Bennett “pillaged aircraft scrapyards” in search of a “distinctive cyberpunk” look. A week’s worth of desert footage was shot in Morocco with a nine-man crew. Overall, Hardware cost only a million British pounds (worth roughly $1.6 million) to make, and Miramax spent $4 million to open and promote the film in the U.S. Hardware grossed $3 million on its first weekend of release. When Fleetway Productions, a British comic book publisher, alerted the producers that the film shared the same premise as a 1981 comic strip called Shok!, the company came to what appeared to be “an amicable settlement” in return for a screen credit.
       The Motion Picture Association of America gave Hardware an X-rating for excessive violence, according to the 17 Aug 1990 DV. After two unsuccessful appeals, the producers cut “38 frames, one angle in a sequence showing a body being cut in half,” and received an R-rating.
       Hardware screened 13 May 1990 at the Cannes Film Festival market, prompting its first review in the 6 Jun 1990 Var. It debuted at Canada’s Toronto Film Festival on 7 Sep 1990, according to that day’s Toronto Star.
       End credits state: “Filmed entirely on location in the 20th Century in the Roundhouse Studios, London and Morocco”; and “With special thanks to: “Simon Relph; Premila Hoon; Ceci Dempsey; Maureen Hibbert; Adrian Hodges; The Strike Force; Andy Birchall; Julia White; Immo Horn; Royal Air Maroc; Kate Daly; The Swiss Cottage Hotel; Nicky Bell; The Make Up Centre; Laura Viederman; Radio Rentals; Kerry Boyle; Stroh International; Mark Gottlieb; Apple Computer; Art Collins; Olympus Optical; Sharon Howard Reid; Mikli Diffusion SA; John Biraldi; Phillips Electronics Ltd; Katerina Mattingley; Black & Decker; Linda Brown; Polaroid U.K. Ltd; John Hughes; Theatre Projects; Marina Grosvenor; The Shadow Theatre; Caroline Read; Gwar; Aram Wasseur; Teddy; Bob Storer.”
      An opening title card reads: “‘No flesh shall be spared.’-Mark 13.” End credits begin with the following statement: “This film is dedicated to the memory of Richard Bedford.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Sun-Times
14 Sep 1990
Weekend Plus, p. 37.
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1990
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1990
p. 5, 14.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1990
Calendar, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
17 Sep 1990
Calendar, p. 2.
New York Times
14 Sep 1990
p. 14.
Time Out (London)
26 Sep-3 Oct 1990
pp. 21-22.
Toronto Star
7 Sep 1990
Section D, p. 12.
Variety
17 Jan 1990.
---
Variety
6 Jun 1990
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Millimeter and Palace in association with British Screen and British Satellite Broadcasting
Present a Wicked Films Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
2d unit dir
2d unit asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-exec prod
Co-exec prod
WRITERS
Addl scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Lighting gaffer
Focus puller
Clapper loader
2d unit lighting cam
2d unit cam asst
Addl 2d unit photog
Stills photog
Elec
Elec
Cam asst
Steadicam op
Video op
Video op
Grip equip
Grip equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Conceptual des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dir metal props
Art dept asst
Storyboard artist
Graphic des
Art dept runner
FILM EDITORS
Assembly ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
SET DECORATORS
Sculptor
Standby carpenter
Prop master
Prop buyer
Standby props
Const mgr
Const mgr
Scenic artist
Set dec
Painter
Plasterer
Rigging services supplied by
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
MUSIC
Orig mus
Mus supv, for Still Moving Music
SOUND
Boom swinger
Boom swinger
Sd eff des
Sd eff des
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
ADR ed
Dial ed
Footsteps ed
Spec sd eff eng
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec make-up eff and robotics created by
Spec eff coord
Spec robotics des
Spec robotics chief eng
Asst [tech]
Mould des
Makeup eff des
Makeup eff des
Consultant [makeup eff]
Floor SFX supv by
Floor SFX supv by, Vendetta SFX
Floor SFX supv by, Vendetta SFX
Floor SFX supv by, Vendetta SFX
Floor SFX supv by, Vendetta SFX
Floor SFX supv by, Vendetta SFX
Droid suit op
Droid suit op
2d unit SFX dir
Architectural model maker
Model supv
Droid vision
Droid vision
Computer graphics consultant
Opticals
Matte artist
Matte photog
Matte painting facilities provided by
MAKEUP
Hair dresser & Stacey Travis's makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Prod supv
Prod asst
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Extras casting
U.S. casting by
Unit pub
Unit pub
Driver
Driver
Post prod accountant
Prods secy
Prod runner
Prod runner
Floor runner
Floor runner
Floor runner
Post prod trainee
Special library footage
Special library footage
Special library footage
Catering supplied by
Legal adv
Completion bond
STAND INS
Stunt arr
Stunt double (Stacey Travis)
ANIMATION
Computer graphic anim/Programmer
Mandlebrot set programmed and anim by
Mandlebrot set programmed and anim by
Mandlebrot set programmed and anim by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Laboratory
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the original story entitled "Shok!" appearing in Fleetway Comics' 2000 AD by Steve McManus and Kevin O'Neill (1981).
SONGS
"Cold Metal," performed by Iggy Pop, composed by Iggy Pop, ©1979 James Osterberg Music, used by permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd., licenced courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
"Ace Of Spades," performed by Motorhead, composed by Ian Kilmister/Edward Clarke/Philip Taylor, published by Motor Music Ltd. (Leosong) c/o Filmtrax Music Publishing, licenced courtesy of Castle Communications Plc.
"Stigmata," performed by Ministry, composed by Alain Jourgsen/Paul Barker, published by Spurburn Music Inc., licenced courtesy of Sire Records Company & WEA Records Ltd.
+
SONGS
"Cold Metal," performed by Iggy Pop, composed by Iggy Pop, ©1979 James Osterberg Music, used by permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd., licenced courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
"Ace Of Spades," performed by Motorhead, composed by Ian Kilmister/Edward Clarke/Philip Taylor, published by Motor Music Ltd. (Leosong) c/o Filmtrax Music Publishing, licenced courtesy of Castle Communications Plc.
"Stigmata," performed by Ministry, composed by Alain Jourgsen/Paul Barker, published by Spurburn Music Inc., licenced courtesy of Sire Records Company & WEA Records Ltd.
"Stabat Mater," composed by Gioacchino Rossini, new arrangement by Simon Boswell, licenced courtesy of Atmosphere Music Ltd.
Title Song: "The Order of Death," performed by Public Image Ltd., composed by John Lydon/Keith Levene/Martin Atkins, published by EMI Songs Ltd./Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd./Complete Music Ltd., licenced courtesy of WEA Records Ltd./Virgin Records Ltd., Nippon Columbia Records Ltd.
Licencing supervision by Still Moving Music Ltd.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 September 1990
Premiere Information:
Toronto Film Festival premiere: 7 September 1990
Los Angeles opening: 14 September 1990
New York opening: week of 14 September 1990
Production Date:
11 September 1989--mid January 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Wicked Hardware, Ltd., Wicked Films and Television, Ltd., Miramax Film Corp
Copyright Date:
29 October 1990
Copyright Number:
PA499917
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Originated on Fujicolor negative
Duration(in mins):
94
Length(in feet):
8,440
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30365
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Guided by a compass, the “Nomad” wearing protective clothes and a gas mask trudges through a post-apocalyptic desert under a dusty orange sky. Seeing a robotic hand protruding from the sand, the Nomad digs it up, along with an android head, and puts them in his bag. Disc jockey “Angry Bob” broadcasts rock music and sardonic patter: “The radiation count’s way up, and the heat wave ain’t expected to let up either.” Meanwhile, Moses “Mo” Baxter and his sidekick, Shades, arrive at a recycling compound and sell their bag of scrap metal to Alvy, a dwarf. While Alvy is busy, the Nomad walks in with his bag of scrap, which Mo buys in order to get the android parts. After the Nomad leaves, Mo sells everything but the android head to Alvy. Hooking up the head for an electronic diagnosis, Alvy tells Mo it has “good visual circuits, infrared, unusual micro-gear.” Not far away, in a security apartment, Jill, creates sculptures from scrap metal and cables. She telephones “Chief,” the building’s security head, to complain that somebody has been ringing her door buzzer and hiding from the security camera. Vernon, an assistant, tells her Chief is on security rounds. A newscast announces that the “Emergency Population Control” bill will take effect at the first of the year. Mo and Shades take a water taxi to Jill’s apartment building, walk past dozens of squatters on the ground floor, and climb stairs to Jill’s apartment. Seeing their faces on the security monitor, Jill opens her door and tests them with a Geiger counter to make sure they are not radioactive. Mo gives Jill the android head as a Christmas present for ... +


Guided by a compass, the “Nomad” wearing protective clothes and a gas mask trudges through a post-apocalyptic desert under a dusty orange sky. Seeing a robotic hand protruding from the sand, the Nomad digs it up, along with an android head, and puts them in his bag. Disc jockey “Angry Bob” broadcasts rock music and sardonic patter: “The radiation count’s way up, and the heat wave ain’t expected to let up either.” Meanwhile, Moses “Mo” Baxter and his sidekick, Shades, arrive at a recycling compound and sell their bag of scrap metal to Alvy, a dwarf. While Alvy is busy, the Nomad walks in with his bag of scrap, which Mo buys in order to get the android parts. After the Nomad leaves, Mo sells everything but the android head to Alvy. Hooking up the head for an electronic diagnosis, Alvy tells Mo it has “good visual circuits, infrared, unusual micro-gear.” Not far away, in a security apartment, Jill, creates sculptures from scrap metal and cables. She telephones “Chief,” the building’s security head, to complain that somebody has been ringing her door buzzer and hiding from the security camera. Vernon, an assistant, tells her Chief is on security rounds. A newscast announces that the “Emergency Population Control” bill will take effect at the first of the year. Mo and Shades take a water taxi to Jill’s apartment building, walk past dozens of squatters on the ground floor, and climb stairs to Jill’s apartment. Seeing their faces on the security monitor, Jill opens her door and tests them with a Geiger counter to make sure they are not radioactive. Mo gives Jill the android head as a Christmas present for her artwork. Later, they make love. The head, sitting on a shelf, electronically comes alive and watches them with its infrared eyes, which register heat levels as colors. Simultaneously, neighbor Lincoln Weinberg, Jr. spies on Mo and Jill through an infrared telescope. At the recycling compound, as Alvy connects the android hand to an Internet monitor, a government website tells him it belongs to the new M.A.R.K.-13 “multi-faceted combat system” and warns him to go no further without a security clearance. In the morning, Jill awakens to a news broadcast about the Emergency Population Control bill. She picks up the android head, airbrushes a United States flag design on its crown, and puts it in the center of her latest sculpture. Mo awakens from a dream about rain. Jill tells him about the new bill that will fine people for having too many children and sterilize those whose bodies have high levels of radiation. Mo disagrees with the bill because man’s nature is to live on through his children, but Jill believes having children is “stupid” in the current dystopian world. Mo reads from the New Testament Book of Mark in which Jesus Christ speaks of a coming apocalypse, then looks at a personal photograph of a small girl. “No flesh shall be spared,” he reads. Alvy telephones Jill’s apartment and asks Mo to meet him in an hour with the M.A.R.K.-13 head because it may be worth “big money.” When Mo leaves to meet him, however, he does not take the head. As Jill sleeps, the head watches her. Lincoln awakens her with a telephone call and, using her name, suggests pornographic things he would like to do to her. Jill hangs up and falls back to sleep. The M.A.R.K.-13 head rewires the sculpture and builds a crude robotic body for itself. Meanwhile, its separated hand self-activates and kills Alvy with needle-like fingernails. When Mo arrives and finds his body, he pieces together what happened by listening to a tape that Alvy was running at the time of his death. Mo telephones Jill, but cannot get through. He telephones Shades in another apartment, but Shades is high on drugs. As the M.A.R.K.-13 hybrid attacks Jill with a buzz saw, she escapes and lights her welding torch. Hearing the buzzer, she opens the hydraulic, horizontally-closing doors, and Lincoln Weinberg enters before the android breaks into the apartment’s computer system and slams the doors shut. Lincoln claims he is a neighbor and former security man checking to see if Jill is okay. She tells him a “’droid is running crazy” in her apartment. Lincoln volunteers to investigate, but when he enters the bedroom and tries to reprogram the doors, the android kills him. Seeing the monster’s glowing infrared eyes, Jill hides in her open refrigerator to create a “cold zone” in which to hide without being seen. The android figures out where she is, but a buzzing at the door distracts it, allowing Jill to scurry out of the refrigerator. She grabs a handsaw and severs several of the robot’s makeshift cables. Using her torch, she explodes a canister of oxy-acetylene and sets the android on fire. Opening the door, she sees Mo, Shades, Chief, and Vernon. She ducks as they fire at the android behind her and blast it through a window. Jill guesses that the android is part of the government’s Emergency Population Control plan. Suddenly, the android reaches through the window and drags Jill outside, but she grabs a power line to keep herself from falling stories below. As what is left of the android tries to grab her, Jill swings feet first through the window of a Chinese family living below. The android attacks Mo, injecting him with its needle-like fingers, but Mo blasts it with a shotgun. Downstairs, Shades, Chief, and Vernon rescue Jill. She grabs Chief’s baseball bat and leads them back to her apartment, where the malfunctioning hydraulic front doors keep opening and slamming shut. Jill jumps through, but the doors catch Chief, nearly slicing him in half, and he involuntarily shoots Vernon in the head. Jill finds Mo hallucinating and dying from whatever the android injected into him. When the M.A.R.K.-13 comes after her, Jill retreats to the shower, turns on the water, and electrocutes it. For good measure, she knocks off its head with the baseball bat. On the radio, Angry Bob delivers the “good news” that Fair Isle Electronics has received the go-ahead to “mass produce M.A.R.K.-13 cyborgs.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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