May 6, 2024

HARDWARE WARS: One of the First Star Wars Parodies

1978 / 13 min
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😼

This might be the most comprehensive Blu-ray dedicated to a 15 minute movie since Flicker Alley’s A Trip to the Moon. If only it included just a tad bit more.

For those unaware, Hardware Wars made its rounds on the festival circuit in the late ‘70s-early ‘80s. As the first notable Star Wars parody, this short film developed a considerable cult following over the years. Presented as an extended trailer, most of the humor stems from the use of household appliances in place of spaceships, weapons and robots, with deliberately cheap production values and special effects (decades before everyone started doing it on YouTube).

Whether or not any of it is actually funny is obviously subjective, so I won’t go there. What I will say, however, is that this Blu-ray serves two useful purposes. First, it offers both the original and remastered versions of the film. The original is preceded by a disclaimer stating that due to “the poor handling of the camera during the editing process,” the damage done to the original print has been preserved. If nothing else, you get the movie exactly as it looked in 1978…in all its 16mm glory.

Still better than The Phantom Menace.
Second, the disc pretty much collects Ernie Fosselius’ entire filmography as a director, with Porklips Now and Plan 9.1 from Outer Space included as bonus features. Porklips is arguably Fosselius’ funniest film and a more clever parody of its subject (Apocalypse Now) than Hardware Wars

Being the stuff of (semi) legend, one might think a little more substantial supplemental material would be fitting. The included batch of goofy bonus features is fine, but certainly a little more behind-the-scenes history would’ve made it indispensable. Still, this Blu-ray contains a ton of other stuff fans should enjoy and is nicely packaged, including a slipcover resembling artwork from the old clamshell VHS box, when it was released by Warner Brothers as Hardware Wars and Other Film Farces



“DIRECTOR’S CUT” - Shorter, equally irreverent and includes a few outtakes. Cameo by a kitty!

“FOREIGN” VERSION - It’s a joke, of course.


HARDWARE WARS PREQUEL - This is actually a parody of Antiques Roadshow…and pretty funny.

PORKLIPS NOW - Ernie Fosselius’ lesser-known - but much funnier - parody of Apocalypse Now.

PLAN 9.1 FROM OUTER SPACE - Another parody…with puppets.

1978 CREATURE FEATURES INTERVIEW - Off-the-wall interview by director Enrne Fosselius.


AUDIO COMMENTARY - An amusing commentary by Ernie Fosselius.


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