HARDWARE, a.k.a. Mark 13

You can take the boy out of the music videos, but you can't take the music videos out of the boy.

This is a very red film. Red sun shines redly in a red sky over red sand, across which trudges the first of a plethora of musicians doing their little bit of acting. The film is set in a polluted, post-apocalyptic (surprise, surprise surprise) hellhole populated by scum, with the voice of Angry Bob, "the man with the industrial dick" echoing over the radios and inciting people to kill, kill, KILL! Appropriately, he is voiced by Iggy Pop. The desert-wandering gent is Carl McCoy of Fields of the Nephlim, who gets one teensy-weensy line; the rest of his dialogue is delivered by his bugging eyeballs. Amidst the flotsam and jetsam in the canal floats Lemmy from Motorhead, armed to the teeth and reminiscing about when all one needed for a night out was a knife or a piece of wood.

But enough cameos, the core cast is helmed by the ever-so-serious Dylan McDermott, hard as hard cheese and dirty as a turd in a puddle. The plot's premise is: He brings his girlfriend a defunct robot for Christmas, for her to turn into "art" (by melting it and hitting it with stuff Einsturzande Neubauten (who appear on her telly) would be proud). The heroine, Stacey Travis, bonks young Dylan, robot hand and all (okay, grey rubber glove, but they're trying) then gets up to attack the robot parts with a blowtorch while Ministry's "Stigmata" plays. And Dylan sleeps on. (Most satisfied post-coital slumber ever caught on film) The only other main character still awake is William Hootkins, a fat sweaty pervert who is obsessed with the lass.A pointless note: William has not had much luck with robots. A special effects chap on this film later became a director and cast Free Willy in the role of the businessman "John Carpenter" (in-joke), in "Death Machine", another film with a big, evil automaton. Which kills William. He should have learnt by now to avoid big fucking tinmen with teeth.Anyhoo, the general gist is, (when everyone's back is turned) the robot reassembles itself in a rather neat Iron-man way. Very sentient beasty it is, too; it's stray hand goes after a fat midget like an evil Thing, whilst the rest of the robot tears up the apartment wackiness ensues.

So yes, it's the old indestructible robot in the apartment schtick, all knives and drills and sharp pointy teeth. The bits of the bot look neato, (Especially it's bonce) but as a whole it looks kind of goofy, especially in the only non-red room in the house (a yellow bathroom). And once, I swear the robot wanders past the camera looking like it stepped out of a Ren and Stimpy cartoon, with it's head and shoulders trailing behind its surging pelvis.

Sort of a happy-helmet nightmare. But we must forgive the monster's pudgy-legged shortcomings, if only for the film's gooooood music (The theme is "Order of Death" by PIL. Gloomiest and most appropriate score EVER) it also has sex, violence (the robot kills with extreme prejudice and spiky stuff) pop culture aplenty, drugs, and opera. Yes, opera. The meandering attempts to destroy the robot ends with a truly peculiar 2001 drug-trip with eeeevil robot going into major flailing stumpy-armed goofy mode, lights, bugs, blood, baseball bats and really unsubtle groinal-drill imagery. And it ends with the cute little hint that mankind is truly doomed to sharp pointy death in the immediate future.

Huzzah. Watch this film. Often.