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The Lawnmower Man (1992)

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I know this has 47% on Rotten Tomatoes & made money at the box office, but I can't believe this film(?) hasn't been listed yet. I saw this when I was in high school and even then, I thought it was pure poo. Stephen King tried to get his name removed from this one. It has Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Fahey in it.

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Stephen King tried to get his name removed from this one.

 

To be fair, the reason he got his name removed has nothing to do with the quality of the film. "The Lawnmower Man" is the title of one of his short stories, but it's about a man hiring a lawnmower service, only to find that the man running it is a satyr who eats the grass mowed while naked; the man is then killed as a sacrifice to Pan when he tries to call the cops. Shockingly, this story doesn't appear to have been written during his alcohol-and-drug addiction days.

 

Needless to say, the movie is so completely different that King didn't want to be associated with it, even if the premise at least is a million times more interesting and plausible as a feature film than his story. As such, he sued to get his name off, and won.

 

But yeah, I saw the movie (to give you an idea of how long ago it was, I watched it on the Sci-Fi channel and not SyFy), and it's pretty bad. Not sure if it would fit the podcast, but yeah.

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To be fair, the reason he got his name removed has nothing to do with the quality of the film..

 

That's true indeed. I am ashamed to say that I saw this one in the theater. Part of the problem with it is that Fahey's character is so dopey in the beginning that it's impossible to take him seriously as a bad guy later on. The director of this movie also directed Virtuosity, which has an even lower RT rating, but I have never seen that one. Virtualy reality, huh? Whatever happened to THAT?

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Virtuosity is a great bad movie. Stars Denzel Washington and a young Russell Crowe where Crowe is a killer computer program. It's definitely worth a watch.

 

As for this movie, King was pissed because he was initially led to believe that this was going to be based on his previously mentioned short story, which the provided summary is basically it as the story is only a couple pages long. Yet when the only thing in common between the story and movie is that there is a lawnmower that runs on its own and the line about a dead character having a nice lawn, King was upset. He asked for his name to be taken off after this but the production company still sent out publicity material titling it "Stephen King's Lawnmower Man" as a way to get a higher box office, he sued and won.

 

Even more crazy is the sequel to this movie where the only person from the original cast to come back was the kid who was friends with Fahey's character. They had the guy who played Max Headroom play Fahey's role and the whole movie involved people leaving reality to live in virtual reality.

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... leaving reality to live in virtual reality.

 

So it was about Second Life? :D

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There needs to be more people talking about this movie. It's a movie that borders between good-bad and just bad.

 

The virtual reality scenes, while kind of cutting-edge at the time but not really, are just laughably bad by today's standards.

 

And I felt that Jeff Fahey gave an awesome performance. He was a very convincing mentally disabled man turned genius omnipotent maniac.

 

I also agree that the controversy around using a Stephen King novel and his namesake for marketing, and then totally mutilating the story sans one scene, makes this movie even more interesting.

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Have to bump this one up. HDTGM has not done nearly enough movies from the 90's about the Internet :)

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For some reason, this movie felt like the epitome of 90's cinema, maybe it was all the footage of mowed lawns.

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This movie is a special kind of crazy that is definitely worth talking about

 

p91XcHU.gif

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This movie is a special kind of crazy that is definitely worth talking about

 

p91XcHU.gif

 

I am going to be so disappointed if I get a VR headset and it isn't like this.

 

Isn't it funny how every 10 years virtual reality is going to start happening. And yet it just sucks.

 

I still kinda like this movie.

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I love this movie. I first fell in love with Jeff Fahey because of Jobe. I can't not watch when its on tv. It fantastic, but there are crazy plot holes and the effects were weird. Its the strength of the performances that sold it for me.

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I feel like if they can talk about "Hackers" there's no rreason they can't talk about this one. It's like a cyberpunk version of "Flowers for Algernon" but without any sort of message.

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This movie has a prime example of what Matt Gourley on the James Bonding podcast calls "Pierce Brosnan Hurt Acting". The scene where he's saying "You're trying to get into my head, Jobe!", you keep thinking "no, that's your hand, Pierce. It's not mind-power, you're just pressing your hand into your head really hard."

 

Also, the treatment of chimpanzees in this movie really demands some scrutiny by June.

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Oh man, saw this for the first time couple months ago. Won't be rewatching it hahaha, once was enough for one lifetime. I expect a lot of "I can't even" from June (if she's on this episode)

 

Did jeff fahey give anyone else uncontrollable Drop Dead Fred flashbacks? (DDF came out a year before, had to check that.)

brosnan-fahey-couch.jpg

 

9ab6cdb4fe96ebc1fc1ac96895cfe82d.jpg

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Jeez, I got drunk last night and bought Lawnmower Man 2 on Amazon (it's only $4). Has anyone else seen this? It is crazy terrible, in that special way that bad-good movies sometimes are. Like nearly every single decision made here is laughable and awful, though some of the actors seem over the top enough that it must be intentional. I'm surprised I haven't heard this film mentioned in the usual "so bad it's good" discussions.

 

Here is a great example of the air tight writing and acting of Lawnmower Man 2:

 

 

*eta also this is a thing that happens in this incredible sci-fi film:

 

giphy.gif

 

Yes that is a dog putting a cd-rom into a computer.

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Hah! That.is.TERRIBLE. Internets, "cyberspace" and computer generated graphics in the 90's... they're just so embarrassing to look back on.

 

Looking up the imdb page for LM2 took me down a rabbit hole of bad movies. Molly Shannon plays a homeless person in this? Someone should write a thesis on the inappropriate use of homeless people as comic relief characters in film. That ain't right.

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Wow, so many archetypes thrown at you in the first 20 minutes (including the cheesy portrayal of VR)

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