You need to watch Pierce Brosnan’s weirdest sci-fi thriller before it leaves HBO Max next week

Pierce Brosnan haunted by a chimpanzee. If there’s anything about that sentence that’s flawed, you probably won’t be prepared for the uproar surrounding this cyberpunk sci-fi thriller. Released in 1992, this hit is not only ahead of its time, but deserves a re-watch from a more generous audience – especially since it leaves HBO Max on May 31.

What movie are we talking about? None other than Lawnmower.

If you were expecting any kind of realism in this Stephen King adaptation, you will be disappointed. Motivation of the characters in Lawnmower entirely made up of many clichés. But this does not mean that the selections are random. The characters here are all one way: Someone who is either frustrated, evil, or uncomplicated. But you can see something of Stephen King-esque here, insofar as the entire film is predicated on purposeful hype.

King was so frustrated with the film’s connection to his short story that he sued to make sure his name wasn’t on any marketing materials. However, he did commend the film’s director, Brett Leonard), and some of the lines in the film were taken directly from the short story. If anything, the spirit of the film fits the short story in a similar way Blade Runner consistent with the novel it adapted, while also proving unfaithful.

Most fundamentally, Lawnmower is a story about the Frankenstein monster of cyberpunk combined with Of the mouse and the man. Jobe (Jeff Fahey) is a kind-hearted gardener who is often taken advantage of because of his disability. Play as Dr. Angelo (Pierce Brosnan), who, because his chimp has escaped, needs a human test subject for his virtual reality experiments.

What happens next may be more favorable than that of David Cronenberg Fly, though most serious horror fans would probably find that comparison offensive. However, what Lawnmower related to Fly is a particular style of gradual surrealism. Brosnan and Fahey each sell us a sort of enhanced natural world, one where their characters don’t behave like normal people at all.

This sounds like a bad thing. But the surreal nature of the real-world performance in Lawnmower is essential because when things start to move towards a topsy-turvey virtual reality kaleidoscope, the movie will earn that transition. And it’s having a terrible effect because of that background. Pay Lawnmower another winged compliment, imagine Heath Ledger in Doctor Parnassus’ Imagination Institute, swap the magic for cyberpunk, and then shoot the whole thing like a low-budget horror movie in the ’90s.

Because this is technically a small budget independent film, Lawnmower was a moderate box office success in 1992. Combined with a brief moment in which New Line Cinema marketed it as “from the mind of Stephen King”, this probably contributes to the fact that even Casual fans of science fiction and horror are also vaguely aware of it.

Pierce Brosnan and Jeff Fahey in Lawnmower.New line cinema

Pierce Brosnan before James Bond in the lead role didn’t affect the movie either, and it’s interesting to imagine what Brosnan’s career might have been like if he hadn’t become 007 just three years later in Yellow eyes. Is there an alternate universe out there where Pierce Brosnan plays the tortured mad scientists in many hit sci-fi movies? In Lawnmower, you almost feel like Brosnan has turned into a sadder version of Sam Neill, an angry scientist who hates establishment. In fact, you could argue that Dr. Brosnan’s Angelo is a mashup of both Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.

Lawnmower Primarily remembered as a failed sci-fi horror film that has also now become the virtual reality trend. But the focus on those aesthetics is a disadvantage for the film. While the cyberpunk-run-amok plot is pretty much the same as the whole movie, the theme and plot aren’t too far removed from the science fiction and pulp horror of the 1930s and 1940s. The vibe is simple yet functional. movement of Man cutting grass The basic suburban setting still works, and the efforts it makes to make VR horror a reality are also successful.

I argue that at least half of the Black mirror owe something to Lawn mower. This movie has been interpreted at the speed of a gas powered lawn mower, so Matrix and Black mirror can put cyberpunk into overdrive.

Lawnmower Currently streaming on HBO Max. Check out the full oral history of the film on Inverse right here. You need to watch Pierce Brosnan’s weirdest sci-fi thriller before it leaves HBO Max next week

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