The Reality Institute

Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man and Lawnmower Man 2 by Wikipedia

The Lawnmower Man (film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
The Lawnmower Man

Starring Jeff Fahey and Pierce Brosnan
Release date(s) Flag of the United States March 6, 1992
Budget $10,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $32,101,000 (USA)

The Lawnmower Man is a 1992 film which uses elements from the writings of Stephen King, most notably the short story of the same name.

The film’s original script, written by director Brett Leonard and producer Gimel Everett, was titled Cyber God and had nothing to do with King’s story. New Line Cinema held the film rights to King’s short story, and decided to combine Cyber God with some very minor elements of King’s story. The resulting film, originally titled Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man, differed so much from the source material that King sued the filmmakers to remove his name from the title. After two court rulings in King’s favor, New Line still did not comply and initially released the home video version as Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man. A third ruling granted the author $10,000 per day in compensation and all profits derived from sales until his name was removed.[1] On King’s official web-page, it is not listed among the films based on his work. The film was released in Japan under the title Virtual Wars.

An earlier short film also titled The Lawnmower Man, and a more faithful adaptation of the short story, was directed by Jim Gonis in 1987.[2]

[edit] Short story

Main article: The Lawnmower Man

In Stephen King’s short story, Harold Parkette hires “Pastoral Greenery and Outdoor Services Inc.” to cut his lawn. The serviceman who turns up to do the job turns out to have a machine that mows the lawn by itself while he crawls, naked, behind the mower, eating the grass. The serviceman himself is actually a satyr who works for the Greek god Pan. When Parkette tries to call the police, the mower and its owner turn on him.

[edit] 1992 film

Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) works for Virtual Space Industries. His part in “Project 5” involves increasing the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and virtual reality. One of the experiment’s chimps escapes using the warfare technology he was being trained to use. Angelo is revealed as generally a pacifist, who would much rather explore the intelligence-enhancing potential of his research without having to apply it for military purposes.

Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey), the “lawnmower man” of the title, suffers from a form of mental retardation; he lives in the garden shed owned by the local vicar, Father Francis McKeen. McKeen’s brother, Terry, is a local landscape gardener and employs Jobe to help him with odd jobs. When Father McKeen finds insects around the church altar, he blames Jobe and beats him with a leather strap for forgetting his chores.

While Dr. Angelo records audio notes about needing a human subject, Jobe is mowing his lawn. It turns out that Peter, the young son of Angelo’s neighbors, is friends with Jobe. Angelo invites them to play some virtual reality games and persuades Jobe to participate in his experiments, telling him it will make him smarter. Jobe agrees and begins a program of accelerated learning, using nootropic drugs, virtual reality input and cortex stimulation. Dr. Angelo makes it a special point to redesign all the intelligence-boosting treatments without the “aggression factors” used in the chimpanzee experiments.

Jobe soon becomes smarter, and Dr. Angelo starts taking Jobe to his lab at work to use the technology there. Jobe begins having sex with a young rich widow, Marnie, during his daytime job; he learns Latin in an hour-and-a-half at the lab at night. Jobe starts to have telepathic and hallucinatory experiences, but continues with the experiment at the lab, until an accident makes Angelo call a halt. The project director, employed by a mysterious agency known as The Shop, keeps a secret watch on the progress of the experiment, and soon swaps Angelo’s new medications for the old Project 5 “aggression factors”.

Jobe Smith (right) and Marnie Burke (left) having sex in virtual reality.

Jobe acquires telekinetic powers and takes Marnie to the lab to have virtual reality sex with her; but something goes wrong in the system and Marnie starts to panic. The experience is so traumatic that she is permanently brain damaged. Jobe’s powers and abilities continue to grow, although the treatments seem to be affecting his mental stability, and soon he takes revenge on those who abused him when he was “dumb”; Father McKeen is engulfed in flames, a young man named Jake is tortured by a “lawnmower man” continually mowing his brain, and Jobe directs a real lawnmower to run down Peter’s abusive father. Jobe makes the investigating police officers attribute it all to “bizarre accidents”.

Jobe believes his final stage of evolution will be to become “pure energy” in the VSI computer mainframe. He plans to enter the VSI computer and from there reach into all the systems of the world, and he promises his “birth” will be signaled by every telephone on the planet ringing simultaneously. The Shop sends a team to capture Jobe, but they are ineffective against Jobe’s abilities. Jobe returns to VSI, where he creates millions of virtual insects to attack the guards, and drives straight in. He confronts the director of the project and tortures him before using the lab equipment to enter the mainframe computer. With the network connections disabled, Jobe is trapped in the mainframe and looks for an escape route. Angelo primes bombs to destroy the building and joins Jobe in virtual reality to talk with him. Jobe easily overpowers Angelo and proceeds to crucify him, then continues to search for a network connection. Peter runs into the building; Jobe still cares for him, and allows Angelo to go free in order to rescue him. Jobe finally escapes through a maintenance line as the building is destroyed in multiple explosions.

Back at home with Peter, Angelo and Peter’s mother (who has implicitly become a romantic interest) are about to leave when their telephone rings, followed by the noise of a second, and then hundreds, all around the globe.

The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
Starring Patrick Bergin and Matt Frewer
Release date(s) January 12, 1996 (USA)
Gross revenue $2,409,225 (USA)
IMDb profile

The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace is a 1996 film, and the sequel to the The Lawnmower Man, which was based on a short story by Stephen King. Retitled Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe’s War for the video release, the film stars Matt Frewer as Jobe.

[edit] Plot

The founder of virtual reality, Dr. Benjamin Trace, has lost a legal battle to secure a patent on the most powerful worldwide communications chip ever invented. Touted as the one operating system to control all others, in the wrong hands the “Chiron Chip” has the potential to dominate a society dependent on computers.

When corporate tycoon and virtual reality entrepreneur Jonathan Walker takes over development of the Chiron Chip, he turns to computer genius Jobe to complete construction of the omnipotent semiconductor. But as Jobe moves closer to finishing the task, he develops his own nefarious agenda — to seize control of Walker’s network, and ultimately reign over the world’s computers. Only one man can stop him before he carries out his diabolical scheme. Trace joins forces with a teenage computer hacker and Walker’s chief scientist to foil the ruthless madman while dodging his dangerous and deadly wrath. In the end Jobe is defeated for good, regains his sanity, and helps stop his psychotic boss.

[edit] Criticism

The Lawnmower Man 2 was poorly received by critics, with an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. [1] The plot and characters were generally panned, [2][3] while the visual effects received mixed reviews. [4][5]

Jobe Smith (right) and Marnie Burke (left) having sex in virtual reality.

Comments are closed.