Hardware 2: Ground Zero
A screenplay by Richard Stanley
This screenplay is an undated draft of Hardware 2: Ground Zero, the unproduced sequel to Hardware.
The Mark-13's are in mass production. The US government is employing them to patrol the US-Mexican border and deal with illegal aliens. Shades returns to Earth after a series of space flight assignments. Feeling alone in the world, he decides to seek out Jill, who's now living in a hippie colony in Splendora, Texas. The colony consists of 'destructuralists', who beseech the human race to abandon all technology and re-unite with nature. As Shades and his newly-found companion, battle-scarred vet Lyle Maddox arrive to Splendora, they find Jill earnestly believing in the cause, but even she is oblivious to what ultimately lies beneath the peaceful colony. Something big enough to attract a phalanx of Mark-13 droids as well as a Mexican guerilla leader, who thinks he's channelling the spirit of Emilio Zapata...
If Ground Zero should be described with one word, the word would be 'epic'. After the first hour of people shuffling in and out and getting into Splendora, all bets are suddenly off. Stanley shifts gears dramatically at the mid-point of his 120-page script, gradually raising the adrenaline levels ten miles high. The last 20 pages might be over the top, if it weren't without the previous 40. Ground Zero goes out in a bang instead of a whimper, and along the way has grown into such proportions that there is only one suitable way out.
The script is a definite page-turner, but it's also violent, challenging, and ultimately, perhaps even too crazy for its own good. At the same time however, it could've been Richard Stanley's magnum opus, his coming to age as a filmmaker. Amidst the chaos, Stanley even takes the time to build upon and expand the lore established in his previous films, which is also something that might cause some head-scratching and confusion. Yet it's also very logical and even nostalgic to see a familiar face on the roadside.
And the storm thereafter...
NOTE: This is a new draft of Ground Zero, replacing the previous near 15-yeard old version.
||25th Jan, 07|