Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day One - Hardware, or "Student Film Distopia"

Occasionally in the 80's and 90's, before SyFy (or SciFi as it should be known) came into existence with their B-movie monsters/cyborgs of the week, an ambitious director would manage to throw together a pseudo-philosophical, post-apocalyptic parable in an attempt to strike cult film gold.

Hardware was one of those experiments.

In a loose distopian wasteland, Dylan McDermott plays a simple scavenger in love with an artist (Stacey Travis) who happens to trade for broken android parts to gift to said artist.

It's hard to believe that art has survived as a creative outlet in the wastes... especially considering just how little of humanity is left, but she's trying... with an arc welder in one hand and a government sanctioned joint in the other.

Anyways, the android parts are not only still working, but begin repairing themselves back to full functionality as a singular unit out of the various scrap it finds around her rather spacious loft apartment.

Repairing itself... so it can kill!
This, of course, happens during Mo (McDermott) and Jill's (Travis) various waffles between loving and arguing, not to mention the side characters and their invented drama.

Shades has a thoroughly uninteresting acid trip which serves only to make him useless for a good portion of the movie. An annoyingly creepy stalker for Jill is also inserted to fill out both time and body count and the two security goons do the same.

Everything about this movie screams student film. From it's spotty philosophical bits which only occasionally show up in dialog and background noise, to the horrible takes with bad timing on behalf of the actors and bad editing on behalf of the crew, I was shocked that not only did this see release in theaters (instead of straight to video or as a MotW on some indie channel), but it actually made back its budget.

Of course, considering just how low a budget it was, I guess it wasn't all that hard. It certainly wasn't a blockbuster, but still.

It's kind of sad to see McDermott here after all his years of good service in television (The Practice, American Horror Story). The same can't really be said of his filmwork and that is definitely the case with Hardware, but he was still passable with all his good smarm in Three to Tango with Neve Campbell and Matthew Perry.

Travis is also rather meh, here. Though she's a solid working television actress, she just doesn't have the chops for the lead in a film.

Anyway, this was both a nostalgia pick from way back when, as I remember catching it on video so very long ago, and a tribute to our first day post 2012. Looks like John Cusack is still safe along with the rest of us. Unless this is all a dying man's dream induced by a nerve toxin administered by the BAAL Mark 13.


Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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