MARK 13 - Hardware

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German title MARK 13 - Hardware
Original title hardware
Country of production United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length 90 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Richard Stanley
script Richard Stanley
production JoAnne Sellar ,
Paul Trijbits
music Simon Boswell
camera Steven Chivers
cut Derek Trigg

MARK 13 - Hardware , also MARK 13 (original title: Hardware ) is a post-apocalyptic British science fiction film directed by Richard Stanley from 1990. The film is based on motifs from the story SHOK! Walter's Robo-Tale by Steve MacManus and Kevin O'Neill from the British comic series 2000 AD .

Richard Stanley, who wrote the script with the help of Michael Fallon and Michael Apostolina , could not fall back on his dream cast, Bill Paxton and Jeffrey Combs , for his $ 1.5 million budgeted dark vision of life after a nuclear war . Instead, Dylan McDermott and John Lynch were recruited to star in Moses "Mo" Baxter and Shades, respectively. In the film, which is bathed in “hostile” red tones, musicians also play supporting roles. In addition to the nomad ( Zone Tripper ) Carl McCoy , the front man of the Goth rock band Fields of the Nephilim , Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead , Paul McKenzie and Iggy Pop play , the latter only as the English voice of the anarchist radio host "Angry" Bob.

The end-time scenario was first performed in the United States on September 14, 1990 . The German premiere was on November 8, 1990.


In the distant future, the earth will be devastated, irradiated and overheated by unrest and a nuclear war that will destroy entire regions. In this largely destroyed urban landscape, the remains of civilization have retreated to larger metropolises. Life after the nuclear disaster is difficult, food is scarce. Due to the "overpopulation", the government is enacting emergency laws, according to which every highly contaminated citizen is encouraged to be sterilized and fewer children are to be born overall. Penalties are to be waived for those who have too many children and their grocery coupons will also be removed. Furthermore, new so-called " biomechanical , independent artificial life forms " are being developed by the military for population control in the event that the laws and compulsory sterilization do not achieve the hoped-for effect. One of these self-reconstructing, almost indestructible high-tech combat drones is the MARK 13 prototype. Its batteries are charged from any energy source, including sunlight. He has six main and three auxiliary limbs. It is equipped with infrared sensors, close combat weapons (gripping arms, circular saw, sickle blade and drill) and also has poison injectors. The marvel of technology has only one known weak point, a susceptibility in the insulation of the microelectronics against moisture and wetness, since it is used in the irradiated desert landscapes.

On Christmas Eve, ex-soldier and cyborg Moses “Mo” Baxter returns to earth after a long absence from profitable scrap collecting. At his diminutive scrap wholesaler Alvy, he and his companion Shades made the acquaintance of a nomadic eccentric (Zone Tripper) who found the metallic head and body of an ominous "combat drone" that had run across a minefield in the so-called death zone, a misanthropic wasteland was destroyed. The head is part of the humanoid robot MARK 13 developed by the military. Due to financial difficulties, the unsuspecting stranger sells his find by chance to Baxter, who gives it to his friend Jill, an artist, as a gift. That same night Jill welds a sculpture out of it, without realizing the possible consequences. The disassembled droid soon comes to life again; Following its programming, it sits down independently and develops a life of its own.

Meanwhile, Alvy, the scrap dealer, enters the serial number of the combat drone parts he finds into his computer and finally identifies the series in the secret data of the arms company Fairisle Electronics . Before the Android starts its deadly program, Baxter receives a call from his scrap dealer the next morning, urging him to come with the parts of the android, but refusing to talk about the combat drone on the videophone in case it should be bugged. When Baxter arrives at Alvy, he has already been killed by another part of the battle droid that was still in his possession. In Alvy's junk shop, Baxter was shocked to find out from the data already called up on the computer about the secret military project MARK 13 - a dangerous weapon, of which he fatally gave a fragment to his girlfriend as a present, as well as its weak point. He and his comrade Shades immediately set off to Jill's well-secured apartment to warn them; but it is already threatened by the android in the meantime. Her perverted neighbor Lincoln, who has been voyeuristically following her for some time, rushes to her aid. Lincoln becomes the robot's first victim. Before that, he managed to mechanically barricade the frightened woman's apartment.

While Jill has to fend off the violent attacks of the fighting robot in the apartment, which, following its senses, registers and fights the people present, Baxter tries to get to his girlfriend with Shades and the armed security service, which succeeds after a short time. A long, tough, and bloody fight ensues. Jill suddenly realizes that MARK 13 is supposed to decimate the population in order to cope with the "overpopulation" (lack of food). In the midst of the fighting, Moses and Jill blame each other and accuse each other, and an argument ensues. Moses is poisoned in a fight with the poison injectors of the android, he tries desperately with a cut in his arm to let the poisoned blood escape, but it is too late. Shortly before his death, Mo falls into the euphoric, hallucinative state of intoxication and tells Jill about the weak point of the android and dies. His friend Jill takes up the fight against the monster with grief but with the courage of desperation. With the active support of Shades, she manages to drag the combat drone into the shower, where the machine can be finally destroyed with the help of water due to the faulty insulation.

At the end of the film, the “angry Bob” announces a rather pessimistic future prospect in a radio report , namely that 800 jobs at Fairisle Electronics are available to start the serial production of MARK 13.


The name of the combat drone MARK 13 is an allusion to Mark 13 ( English Mark 13 ) of the New Testament of the Bible , from which Mo reads aloud in the film.

The film's apocalyptic atmosphere is also enhanced by the music by Public Image Ltd. , Ministry , Motörhead and Iggy Pop . In addition, there is a music video by the band Gwar , which is shown on television while Jill welds on her sculpture.

Sales versions

A 30-second shortened version of MARK 13 - Hardware was released on VHS. In 2009 the film was put on the list of media harmful to minors by the BPjM .

On February 12, 2003 an uncut (FSK 18) Red Edition DVD was released by Laser Paradise, which contains two minutes of additional cut scenes and bonus material.

In 2009, MARK 13 - Hardware was released as a special edition on DVD and Blu-ray by Severin Films , but not with a German soundtrack. The Special Edition contains bonus material such as interviews with director Richard Stanley, the actors and the film crew, outtakes, deleted and extended scenes. Also included are short films by Richard Stanley such as Incidents in an expanding Universe (1985, contains many elements that were adopted in MARK 13 - Hardware), Rites of Passage (1983) and The Sea of ​​Perdition (2006).

On February 29, 2016 Koch Media / NSM Records released the Limited Collectors Edition, limited to 2500 pieces, in which a soundtrack CD, the comic SHOK - Walter's Robo-Tale (in the modified spelling SHOK - Walter's Robo-Story), booklet , Extras DVD and the film on DVD and Blu-ray is included.

The film was unindexed in September 2017. A re-examination by the FSK is still pending.


Fantastic postage

  • 1991: Award for "Best Director" to Richard Stanley
  • 1991: Nomination in the “Best Film” category.

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

  • 1991: Silver Raven for Richard Stanley

Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival

  • 1991: Winner in the category "Best Special Effects"


"The setting and ambience as clichés and the battle finale, which begins in the middle of the film, reveal the lack of imagination of the tension-free science fiction film."

"As terrifying as alien , as disturbing as 1984. "

- Us Magazine

"The best science fiction horror film of the year."

- Fangoria Magazine


In 2007 Richard Stanley wrote a new script - at the time there was already a 15 year old one, the content of which was discarded - for a successor to MARK 13 - Hardware , with the name Hardware II: Ground Zero . Richard Stanley's official MySpace homepage shows a picture of a film poster that reads: Hardware II: Ground Zero , coming soon. A release date and whether the film will be shot at all is not known. It is also unclear who has the rights.

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. IMDb
  3. IMDb (German)
  4. a b M.ARK 13 - Hardware in the Lexicon of International FilmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used
  5. News: MARK 13 - Hardware will be available on in February , accessed on November 6, 2019
  6. Indexing September 2017 on
  7. or
  10. ^