Hardware [1990]

It's Christmas in the tech noir slum of the post-apocalyptic future, and scrap-metal sculptor Stacey Travis gets a present she'll never forget. Scavenger boyfriend Dylan McDermott returns from the wastelands with the insectoid robot head of a killing machine. In no time it whirs to life and builds itself a gizmo-laden body out of handy appliances to continue its single-minded destruction of the human race, one warm body at a time. Director Richard Stanley, something of a scavenger himself, plunders everything from The Terminator, Blade Runner, and The Road Warriorto Short Circuit (the spidery construct resembles a demonic Number 5) for his violent flesh-vs.-metal survival thriller. Shot in sun-blasted orange and sweltering red, it's a triumph of style, set design, and grunge aesthetics over story, driven by a pounding techno score by Simon Boswell and punctuated by splattering gore. --Sean Axmaker

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