Director – Brett Leonard (The Dead Pit, Man-Thing)
Starring – Jeff Fahey (Legends of Tomorrow, Grimm), Pierce Brosnan (Hammer’s House of Horrors, Mrs. Doubtfire), and Jenny Wright (I, Madman, Near Dark)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
About 6 years ago or so I was getting an order together on amazon.com when I came across the DVD for the 1994 schi-fi horror film Brainscan starring Edward Furlong before he started looking all weird. It was super cheap so I tossed it in the cart. Since then I’ve bought a few box sets that included the film resulting in me having more copies of it than I should but I honestly like it.
Not long after getting my first copy of the film I was talking with a friend and he told me to check out The Lawnmower Man starring Pierce Brosnan. I laughed at his suggestion. I had never heard of the film before but the thought of Brosnan in a horror film made me laugh. Shows how much I actually fucking know. Sometime back Scream Factory released this sci-fi thriller on blu and was kind enough to send a copy my way. I’m glad they did because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows scientist Dr. Angelo (Brosnan) who is working on a virtual reality with primates for the military when one of his test subjects escape and makes its way to simple minded gardener Jobe (Fahey). Jobe believes he is a comicbook hero and tries to protect him but fails as the security working for Dr. Angelo’s employer guns him down. Dr. Angelo thinks he has lost all his research with the death of his monkey but finds an unlikely specimen in Jobe who in some aspects has not matured mentally out of child hood. What starts as a simple experiment with Jobe quickly gets out of hand when he believes he has become a god.**Spoiler Alert**
I knew The Lawnmower Man was going to be cheesy sci-fi fun but I did not expect liking it as much as I did. The movie is cheesy and very dated but it offers up a very enjoyable watch.
The acting in this is fantastic. I grew up during the Brosnan era of Bond so I know what he is capable of in front of the camera. He’s an amazing actor and it’s cool seeing him in films before he took on the role of 007. With that being said, the real star of the film is Fahey. He absolutely shatters all expectations with his role as Jobe. The character is very demanding and delivers a performance of a lifetime. The supporting cast is great as well but no one can touch these two in the film.
The story for this one Is pretty cheesy when you consider it in today’s context. A man who is mentally stunted is put through a virtual reality training where he gains special powers that most humans do not. It sounds stupid when you say it out loud but it works very well as a movie. The story is very character driven and very effective in that regard. The viewer can really get into the characters which only adds to the story’s appeal.
Finally, the film is full of visual effects but these do fall short. The film was released in 1992 so the effects are very dated and do not stand up well over time. There is no gore or blood but a but tone of visuals. Overall, The Lawnmower Man is a must for any sci-fi fan. Fans of Brainscan really need to check this one out!
Behind the Scenes Footage
Edited Animated Sequences
Cybergod – Creating the Lawnmower Man Interview