The Lawnmower Man Collection – review

Before we became increasingly tethered to our phones and other smart devices, The Lawnmower Man gave a theoretical glimpse into what a world might look like if man and cyberspace merged. While the film is often lambasted, The Lawnmower Man Collection available now on Blu-ray from 101 Films, invites viewers to re-evaluate the unique science-fiction/horror hybrid. With the sequel, The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace also included in the very illustrative set, there’s an opportunity to satisfy a curiosity perhaps if you’re a completist.

No longer wishing his name to be associated with the film, Stephen King’s short story of the same name from 1975 bears little resemblance to what ultimately made it from page to screen. However, Brett Leonard’s Imaginative thriller contains several common tropes and motifs found in King’s work such as the correlation between intelligence and telekinesis. Like in many of the horror author’s stories a major character suffers from a mental handicap, in this case, Jobe (Jeff Fahey), who becomes the experiment of a scientist, Dr Angelo (Pierce Brosnan). By combining experimental psychoactive drugs and virtual reality, Jobe becomes a genius beyond imagination with unforeseen consequences.

The Lawnmower Man is often a hot mess combining high concepts with a hyper-active narrative and poorly aged digital effects. Creatively, the general premise isn’t bound by actual science nor especially concerned with what the audience may or may not accept. Writer and director, Brett Leonard plays with the idea of the human mind integrated with a digital landscape as a means of pondering over man’s future with technology. Brosnan effectively sells the idea through his impassioned performance as Dr Angelo, whereas Fahey is frequently sympathetic as our titular lead due to his initial innocent nature. The kindhearted handyman’s gradual transformation to a malevolent demi-god shifts the film into the horror genre, giving it a unique style. The Lawnmower Man is never boring and while I admit that it’s an acquired taste, the film is one hell of a trip, and please opt for the director’s cut for a better-developed narrative.

I’m all but certain The Lawnmower Man 2 was a money laundering scheme because its $15 million budget doesn’t show up on the screen. It’s a sequel that makes little sense in context with how the original concluded. Jobe is rebooted back into both reality and cyberspace with plans to bring mankind under his domain of digital dominance. However, this time Matt Frewer takes on the role and channels Jim Carrey’s “The Mask” and Riddler in a lazy and frankly annoying performance. It’s a shame as I’ve always liked Frewer since first seeing him in Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and considering he portrayed “the first computer-generated TV presenter” Max Headroom, I thought he would’ve translated part of the iconic character into this role. Overall, this sequel is watchable, but a head-scratcher that feels very far removed from its predecessor, which feels grounded by contrast.


DISC 1: The Lawnmower Man Theatrical Cut

  • Cybergod: Creating The Lawnmower Man
  • Audio commentary with writer/Director Brett Leonard and writer producer Gimel Everett
  • Deleted scenes
  • Original electronic press kit with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Edited animated sequences
  • Theatrical trailer
  • TV spot

DISC 2: The Lawnmower Man Director’s Cut 

  • Audio commentary with writer/Director Brett Leonard and writer/producer Gimel Everett
  • Conceptual art and design sketches
  • Behind-the-scenes and production stills
  • Storyboard comparison

Running 50-minutes, Ballyhoo’s documentary “Cybergod” is by far the main attraction among this release’s special features. Produced in 2017, the supplement includes interviews with director Brett Leonard, leading man Jeff Fahey as well as others who worked on the film behind the scenes. Like most Ballyhoo documentaries, Cybergod is broken up into separate segments that cover the film’s life from its conception to the audience’s initial reception. Among additional supplements, The Lawnmower Man’s press kit is an interesting, short, time capsule and features an archival interview with Pierce Brosnan who’s understandably missing from the Cybergod documentary. The commentaries with Brett Leonard which are included on both cuts of The Lawnmower Man are the same, but with additional scenes spliced in for the director’s cut. – by Hannah Lynch


Presented in 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 respectively, The Lawnmower Man features excellent contrast and colour saturation, which reveals an amazing amount of detail for Blu-ray. You can practically count the whiskers on Pierce Brosnan’s five o’clock shadow. Night scenes offer excellent clarity while the several digital sequences are very bright and vivid, much like the video games they’re replicating. Unfortunately, the 1080p image of The Lawnmower Man 2 is unremarkable in just about every way with mostly bland colouring and little to no texture. Both films come with dual audio tracks, 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with the surround option offering a very immersive experience with The Lawnmower Man, whereas with the sequel, the effect is dampened.

The Lawnmower Man Collection will set you back $50 AUD – which is still good value even if you’re after just the first title, and generally speaking the array of cover designs for both movies, packaging, and content, it’s a rather illustrious set for genre fans and geeks alike.

(1992-1996, director: Brett Leonard & Farhad Mann)



direct blu-ray screen captures


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