Doc Of The Dead
Release Date: OUT NOW!
1990 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Richard Stanley Cast: Stacey Travis, Dylan McDermott, John Lynch, William Hootkins, Iggy Pop
The plot of
this cult robo- thriller is nothing to write home about. In a post- apocalyptic landscape, a scavenger finds the broken remains of a robot. He sells them to a junk dealer and the knackered droid ends up in the hands of artist Jill. It’s not long, however, before it repairs itself and rampages through her flat.
It’s a classic B- movie synopsis, with more than a dash of The Terminator in its DNA. Female protagonist? Deadly droid? Not much of a budget? All check.
What is remarkable is how good the film looks. Reportedly made for $ 1.5 million, it’s incredibly stylish. Everything is suffused in a chemical orange. Steel works line the horizon. The technology is chunky and basic, and you can practically feel the layers of dust. Crucially, the droid itself is a menace of whirring drills and probing wires.
The decision to set the film largely in one apartment, while surely down to economics, only aids the claustrophobic atmosphere. Cameos by Iggy Pop and Lemmy ( as a taxi driver listening to Motörhead!) and a pulsing soundtrack add to the industrial punk vibe.
It’s not quite the lost classic that its most ardent fans would have you believe – it’s predictable, and some of the acting is iffy – but there’s a lot to love in Hardware’s barren future.
Disappointingly, given that this is a 25th Anniversary Edition, just two art cards by 2000 AD artist Clint Langley. Will Salmon Writer Steve McManus and artist Kevin O’Neill later won a case which found that the film drew on their 2000 AD story “Shok!”
Release Date: 23 February
2014 | E | DVD
illustrated with copious clips, this zombie documentary ticks all the boxes, not only providing an overview of the development of the genre but exploring the undead’s broader cultural ascendancy – zombie- themed ads, flash mobs, porn spoofs and so on. Matters such as the “slow vs fast” debate are also tackled.
The rollcall of interviewees is impressive, encompassing the likes of George Romero, Simon Pegg and Robert Kirkman – although only the reliably contrarian Alex Cox has anything particularly original to say. Hardcore Z- heads are unlikely to learn much, but there’s enough fun material in- between the talking heads – footage of a zombie wedding; dramatic sequences which poke fun at the genre’s absurdities – to ensure even know- it- alls are entertained.
None. Ian Berriman
“Alas, poor Yorick… he was a killer robot.”