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Hardware Wars

By Tom Keogh

San Francisco filmmaker Ernie Fosselius made the most successful short film of all time in the 1978 Hardware Wars, an inspired, mock-trailer for a nonexistent, cheapo rip-off of Star Wars. It worked like this: instead of Chewbacca, Fosselius offers the Cookie Monster. Instead of Darth Vader's breathy, slightly echoed voice emerging somehow behind that black-mask helmet, we get a villain whose every ranting utterance is so muffled even this film's Princess Leia equivalent beseeches him, "What? I don't understand you." And so on. Part of the joke is that George Lucas's revolutionary special effects are supplanted by common kitchen gizmos--mixers, toasters--that serve as spaceships and weapons sources. The updated special edition contains 20 computer-generated "special defects" that don't--the distributor boasts--at all match Fosselius's earlier version. Um... right on?

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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Not RatedNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Ernie Fosselius

Stars: Frank Robertson, Scott Mathews, Jeff Hale

Released: December 12, 1977

Availability: DVD VHS

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