Hardware

In this ultraviolent horror show, a nuclear holocaust has incinerated most of the world and left New York looking even grungier than usual. Jill, a sculptor played by Stacey Travis, has to check visitors to her apartment for radiation levels. Writer-director Richard Stanley and his production crew, most of them veterans of the music-video world (Stanley worked with Renegade Sound Wave and Pop Will Eat Itself), have a ball giving the picture a techno-junk look. A thrash-metal radio jock named Angry Bob, given voice by Iggy Pop, announces, "There is no fucking good news."

There's none about the movie either. The bite goes out of Stanley's script shortly after Jill's black-marketeer boyfriend Moses (Dylan McDermott) gives her a helmet that mutates into a killer cyborg. The ensuing savagery won the film an X rating until a few seconds of limb tearing were cut to win an R. But the movie isn't shocking, just numbing. Add Hardware to the scrapheap of films that sacrifice ideas for sensation.

From The Archives Issue 588: October 4, 1990