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DHS- Death Machine (1994) movie poster

Death Machine is a 1994 British science fiction film written and directed by VFX animator-turned-director Stephen Norrington.


Death Machine is set in the near future of 2003. The film opens in a demolished roadside diner, everyone inside has been slaughtered by a malfunctioning secret project codenamed Hardman. It was manufactured by Chaank, a megacorporation that produces military hardware. Public outcry ensues and Cale is introduced as the company's investigating Chief Executive.

Ridley, head of the board of directors, tries to cover things up. Cale demands immediate and full public disclosure. She also wants Dante, who developed Project Hardman, fired. No one seems to care about the situation, besides Dante himself, who takes an eerie interest in Cale. He confronts her on a few occasions with knowledge about her finances, childhood and other personal information.

At the same time a trio of stoner pacifist eco-warriors are planning to infiltrate the company's headquarters in order to destroy its digitally stored assets and put Chaank out of business.

Meanwhile, Cale wants to know what Dante is secretely working on in Vault 10. He never submits progress reports and is far from cooperative. Ridley, who is scared of Dante, refuses to help. He tells Cale that her recently deceased predecessor took interest in Dante's work and soon had a deadly accident at the corporate headquarters. During the conversation she lifts his access card so she can investigate on her own.

Somehow, Dante finds out that Cale has his card and confronts Ridley about it. He later kills Ridley with a mysterious invention.

Carpenter calls Cale after finding Ridley's mutilated body which had an implanted life-sign transmitter. She investigates and finds out that whatever killed him came from the infamous vault 10. Taking matters in her own hands, she terminates Dante's employment and seals the vault. Dante is about to shoot her when the eco-warriors show up and take everyone hostage.

The eco-warriors demand access to the building's secure area in order to destroy the company's digital bonds, but Cale refuses to cooperate. Raimi, the leader of the gang, goes to their alternate plan to cut through the bulkhead leading to the containment area. Dante, sensing his chance, "helps" them by suggesting they cut through one of the vaults surrounding the containment instead, suggesting they start at vault 10.

Once the vault is open, Dante jumps in and activates his invention, called The Warbeast (or Frontline Morale Destroyer), which promptly kills one of the eco-warriors. Raimi flees, meeting up with Yutani and the subdued Cale and Carpenter. Dante broadcasts his demands over the monitor system, demanding that his employment be reinstated, and that Cale will be "interfacing with him on a regular basis".

Raimi and Yutani cancel the operation and attempt to get out of the building, along with Carpenter and Cale. Carpernter is killed along the way, when their lift is broken into by the Warbeast. Lateron Raimi, Yutani and Cale get into the top floor of the building, which holds classified items, which even Cale is unaware of. Among the classified items include advanced weaponry and cryogenics. Raimi puts on some of the gear and then is able to slow down the Warbeast. Yutani is killed in the final moments of the escape. When Raimi and Cale are out of the building, a police officer arrives and is killed by the Warbeast, who has jumped from the building. This leads to another chase in which Cale uses some explosives to partially damage the Warbeast; the explosion however also knocks out Raimi. The machine takes Cale back to Dante. Whilst they are having a conversation, Raimi appears and subdues Dante. The two escape, while Dante is locked inside the containment area with the Warbeast and an explosive.


  • Brad Dourif as Jack Dante
  • Ely Pouget as Hayden Cale
  • William Hootkins as John Carpenter
  • John Sharian as Raimi
  • Martin McDougall as Yutani
  • Andreas Wisniewski as Weyland
  • Richard Brake as Scott Ridley
  • Rachel Weisz as Junior Executive

Background information and notes[]

  • Many of the characters names are references to films, characters, and directors. Weyland-Yutani and Ridley Scott are references to the Alien franchise.
  • Brad Dourif would later appear in a villainous role in the third Alien sequel, Alien: Resurrection.