The Lawnmower Man (1992, Unrated Directors Cut)

One of the great things about nerd blogging is the chance to revisit films you haven’t thought about for a while, and to see if a film had aged so badly that there was a legitimate reason you hadn’t thought about it for a while. I decided it was about time we took a look at a classic in that avenue of thought : The Lawnmower Man.

Right from the start this film has aged worse than any film in the history of……… film. The exposition text at the beginning may as well have read : “We foresee the printing press turning the populace into mindless book-reading zombies…” etc etc

The music is steeped in Psycho which is eerie and atmospheric but instantly forgettable.

The lighting is comical not by definition but more by critique. All sorts of Batman Forever but with blue being the theme of this movie : the more intense blue, the more intense the scene.

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Special Fx : The virtual reality sequences are hideous, vomit-inducing jumbles of early 90’s computer graphics. This works for certain scenes but overall its just disorientating. I remember playing this game on the SNES – the graphics were about the same but some of the sequences were just as challenging on the brain.

The film does however have its charm : Golden era Pierce Brosnan, plays a cool scientist who swears, drinks, smokes, broods, monologues, has stubble, long hair, pierced ears (he has pierced Brosnan ears) and a leather jacket.  He is essentially a private detective except he wears shorts to meetings with his boss. His character alone makes the film fascinating to watch.

All the characters are essentially comic book parodies with Angelos wife being of particular note. Her character is written to be about as supportive as a wet paper zimmerframe.

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The Lawnmower Man was originally called CYBERGOD with the plot starting life from a blended Stephen King short story. King wrote it in 1975 but with a drastically different plot. Seeing the result King wanted nothing to do with the film and successfully sued the filmmakers.

A sequel was released in 1996 which originally saw the legendary Grant Morrison writing but they never actually used his script. 

I’ve talked at length about representation and stereotyping in film and television, but the films Irish comical drunk Uncle Terry would have Kondabolou wetting his pants in outrage.

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Is this the worlds first VR sex scene in a major motion picture?

This edit is real trek to get through. It features 40 minutes of a monkey subplot (featuring a monkey is running around with a Weapon X headset on. He’s got a gun and a key card and its beautifully absurd) and some extra scenes with Angelos wife. The scenes introduced are both graphic and glorious.

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Genre-wise the film seems to run its course and then shift (thankfully and specifically) into revenge-horror. The film blossoms at this point but takes a long time to get there.

This film went head to head with Waynes World! It’s a comic book movie with severe horror leanings. I’d love to see a remake but only if it was lovingly recreated to be awful.

Worth a watch. If only to see how far we’ve come.



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