145 user 132 critic

Hardware (1990)

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The head of a cyborg reactivates, rebuilds itself, and goes on a violent rampage in a space marine's girlfriend's apartment.



(story "SHOK!"), (story "SHOK!") | 2 more credits »
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Nomad
... Angry Bob
... Moses Baxter
... Shades
... Alvy
... Jill
Paul McKenzie ... Vernon
... Taxi Driver
... Lincoln Wineberg Jr.
... Newscaster
Chris McHallem ... Premier Boelgaxof
Barbara Yu Ling ... Chinese Mother
Oscar James ... Chief
Arnold Lee ... Chinese Family
Susie Savage ... Chinese Family (as Susie Ng)


In the future, a nuclear war has transformed the Earth into a radioactive wasteland where the sea has dried up leaving it as a post-apocalyptic desert. In the desert, A desert scavenger named Nomad discovers a robotic head, arriving in New York City, A space marine named Moses Baxter buys the robotic head from Nomad as a Christmas present for his girlfriend Jill Grakowski, who decides to use it for one of her sculptures. But all hell starts breaking loose, when the robotic head is activated and begins to rebuilt itself. When Alvy, a junkyard dealer discover the robotic head is a Mark 13, a military cyborg of a project that was abandoned. Moses learns Jill's life is in danger, as the Mark 13 cyborg goes on a violent rampage in Jill's apartment as Jill has become the the prime target for extermination. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You Can't Stop Progress See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Severin Films




Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M.A.R.K. 13  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,381,285, 16 September 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stacey Travis did most of her own stunts. See more »


After Jill attacks it with the buzz-saw, the Mark 13 steps back: if you look closely, you can see the legs of the man underneath the droid suit. The same thing can be seen towards the end as Jill and the robot are entering the bathroom. See more »


Alvy: Smells like apple pie...
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Featured in No Flesh Shall Be Spared (2009) See more »


Cold Metal
Written by Iggy Pop
Performed by Iggy Pop
©1979 James Osterberg Music
Used by permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Licenced courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautifully filmed sci-fi masterpiece
28 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Those judging Hardware using the same criteria for judging major Hollywood sci-fi films are missing the point entirely.

Hardware is much more an art film than it is science fiction; it merely happens to have a sci-fi theme.

Given, the plot is a little cheesy. Given, the situation fairly unbelievable. And given, there are a few holes in the story.

Almost no film has all of these elements, but Hardware has something even more important. The way the story is told is nothing short of genius. Perhaps not in the way the happenings actually unfold, but in how they are presented. Hardware is an astounding achievement in lighting, cinematography, and audio engineering. As a professional video editor myself, I can assure you that this movie benefits from an A+ editing job.

I completely agree that there are only 2 types of people: those who love Hardware, and those who simply do not get it.

From the first frame of video, this movie is a constant barrage on the eyes, ears, and mind. If nothing else, you must admire the bleak vision of a post-nuclear holocaust America presented in Hardware. Images ranging from billowing smoke stacks and butchers in apartment lobbies to toddlers physically tied to their dead parents, Stanley paints a haunting vision of the future that will not be forgotten after you press stop.

Hardware is not what you would expect to come out of Hollywood. It is what you would expect a pure artist to create. Perhaps it is better suited to fans of independent film than just sci-fi fans. Films like Terminator and Aliens might be regarded as much better sci-fi work, but I assure you that they can't touch the riskiness and edginess of Hardware in how they are presented. That is why you hear casual moviegoers complaining about this movie. For pure fans of the art behind film making, sci-fi just doesn't get any better than Hardware.

It should be noted that the excellent score does much to augment the visuals in this film. It's criminal that nobody has seen it necessary to print Hardware on DVD as I would love to experience it in Dolby 5.1.

As a final note, Hardware may not be a film everyone will enjoy. Even if you don't like it, you will become a more enlightened viewer if you can at least identify why this is such a courageous film and how it differs from the Hollywood fodder you are probably used to.

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