Later That Same Day…

There’s no chance of sounding like anything other than an old man when discussing Hardware Wars. It’s a gem of tenacity, fandom, and will, with restrictive creativity ensuring entertainment value. These days, with those new-fangled internet tubes, any kid can upload a Photoshopped monstrosity; they don’t even have to think about their fake Chewbacca knock-off. The computer does it for them.

That Hardware Wars was physically edited, stitched together by hand, elevates Hardware Wars to kooky cinematic folk art

I’m old.

In 1978, when Hardware Wars first debuted, writer/director/star Ernie Fosselius wasn’t part of a corporately-fueled, Comic Con-infused, pop culture renaissance. Instead, he was a 30-something geek locked in his garage photographing home appliances for a joke as a means to celebrate his passion for Star Wars. The ingenuity applied is the talent, not inherently the end product, although that too is filled with enjoyable gags.

There’s something inherently different with Hardware Wars compared to the infinite number of fandom parodies. That Hardware Wars was physically edited, stitched together by hand (and the enormous planning this took before even being printed to film) elevates Hardware Wars to kooky cinematic folk art. And, it’s genuinely funny, whether in a groan-worthy way from the pun-y character names or the dopey action that utterly commits to the joke, even if Ham Solo is clearly using an electrical drill to shoot a droid (which appears as some form of humidifier). It’s not funny unless committed, and Hardware Wars is pushing for every gag.

Video

Considering Hardware Wars’ origins, it’s not surprising the disc opens with a note on the print and its condition. Even from a dusty, withering, multi-generational 16mm source, this isn’t terrible. The damage and dirt exist and always will. That’s not much of a concern, severity considered.

Problems all stem from age, whether it’s crushing blacks from the lack of light on set or the blown our highlights as Fluke works in the garage. Color bleeds significantly. In the trash compactor, red lights flood the screen with no real control over the palette.

Grain rushes onto the screen en masse as expected. It’s a lot. Still, in comparison to the previous remaster (also included), the digitization goes infinitely more smoothly. Better gradients defeat banding and artifacts. With expectations in check, Hardware Wars looks great, albeit on a reasonable curve.

Audio

Surprisingly available in PCM stereo and mono, the two channel mix does show its ability. The dubbed voices jump between channels, sound effects travel slightly, and overall separation is notable. There’s not much to be said for the fidelity as age takes hold, but it’s all audible.

Extras

Writer/director Ernie Fosselius is all over this disc, both via his work and in interviews. Four of Fosselius’ other works are here, including multiple versions of Hardware Wars and sequels. He also provides a commentary. A vintage 1978 interview with Fosselius and awards reel top this disc off.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Hardware Wars
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Hardware Wars is garage kit-built in every way and a lasting tribute to Star Wars‘ immediate grasp on fandom.

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User Review
4 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 35 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:


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