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->''"I am God here!"''
-->-- '''Jobe Smith'''

''The Lawnmower Man'' is a 1992 ScienceFiction film starring Creator/PierceBrosnan and Creator/JeffFahey. It was directed by Brett Leonard who wrote the screenplay together with Gimel Everett. The film's title is taken from the Creator/StephenKing short story of the same name, but aside from a single scene that is (more or less) the same, [[InNameOnly the two works share absolutely no similarities]].

Brosnan plays [[ReluctantMadScientist Dr. Lawrence Angelo]], who works for Virtual Space Industries developing a intellect-enhancing program known as Project 5, which increases the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and [[CyberSpace virtual reality]]. But when one of the chimps goes on a rampage through the lab with a gun, Angelo decides to quit the experiment and start a new life elsewhere. He soon meets Jobe Smith (played by Fahey), a mentally handicapped [[TitleDrop lawnmower man]], whose guardian is [[AbusiveParents an abusive priest]] named Father [=McKeen=]. Jobe is also friends with Peter, Angelo's neighbors' young son. Angelo decides he would like to continue his studies of intelligence enhancement, but without needing to apply it for military purposes. He realizes that he needs a human subject, and that Jobe would be the perfect candidate.

Angelo convinces Jobe to be the subject of his experiments, telling him it will make him smarter. The experiments are successful and Jobe's intelligence starts to grow as a result, and he even begins to exhibit powers of telepathy and telekinesis, being able manipulate objects with his mind, as well as hear the thoughts of others. With his newfound intelligence and powers, Jobe soon decides that it was about time he punished those who have wronged him throughout his life...

Basically, think ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'' crossed with ''{{Film/Tron}}'' and a latter act taking cues from ''Anime/ElfenLied'', and you're somewhere on the right track.

The CGI, while quite impressive at the time the film was made, [[SpecialEffectFailure hasn't really aged well]]. Especially Jobe's DigitalAvatar, which sometimes enters the UncannyValley.

The film performed modestly at the box office, making over $32 million (against its $10 million budget). It became successful on home video when a sequel was greenlit called ''Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace'' in 1996. Almost none of the main actors reprise their roles (with the exception of Austin O'Brien, who plays Peter) and it was poorly received by critics and audiences, even landing a spot on the Website/IMDb Bottom 100 list.

!!This film contains examples of the following tropes:

* AbusiveParents: Peter's father. [=Father McKeen=] could fit this trope as well.
* AdaptationAmalgamation: A rather weird example, which was "adapted" from a short story by Stephen King using it as an InNameOnly stunt for an original screenplay. King sued filmmakers to remove his name from the credits, and, especially, film's marketing. It is weird because a) King actually liked the film and it has a lot of his common themes in it; b) film actually featured a scene adapted straight from a short story and a dialogue between two policemen taken line-to-line from it.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Jobe at a certain point plans to do this, becoming PureEnergy by entering the mainframe during a VR trip. [[spoiler:And he succeeds. Though unlike most examples of the trope, his physical body withers instead of disappearing. (one of the many things the sequel ignores)]]
* AssholeVictim: [[JerkAss Jake]], Father [=McKeen=], and ''especially'' [[AbusiveParents Harold Parkette]] qualify.
* AntiVillain: Jobe in the theatrical cut of the first film, as he appears to genuinely believe that by uploading himself into the internet he'll be helping mankind enter a new era, and only kills people who've directly wronged him or his friends. Much less so in the DirectorsCut of the film, where he crosses the line into being outright evil when he [[spoiler:takes control of Dr. Angelo's wife and forces her to attack The Shop's agents, resulting in her being messily shot to death]]. And completely averted in the second film, where he's just a CardCarryingVillain.
* AssholeVictim: All of Jobe's victims fall under this trope, which is why nobody really feels bad [[PayEvilUntoEvil when Jobe kills them]]. [[spoiler: The sole exception being Marnie, though her MindRape isn't caused by Jobe but by VSI's director reverting the VR system to the original aggressive programming. It is implied that this is why that particular trip goes bad.]]
* TheBadGuyWins[=/=]DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Phones ringing at the end means Jobe wins...]] Or not, seeing how the second film retconned it.
* ContinuitySnarl: One of the many gripes reviewers had with the sequel is regarding how many inconsistencies they have in following the original (for starters, Jobe apparently didn't enter cyberspace leaving a decaying body behind).
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: A variation in the first film, as the head of The Shop fills this role, but is technically a government employee. Jonathan Walker in the second film is an outright example.
* CyberSpace: The second film depicts the Internet as having evolved into some sort of world-wide virtual reality network.
* CyberPunk: The first film has some vaguely Cyber-Punkish elements, though is really more of a techno-thriller. The second film is more an outright example, to the extent where it often feels like ''Film/BladeRunner'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic''.
* DigitalAvatar: People who use virtual reality in both films have these, with the users in the first films getting more stylized ones, and those in the second just looking like their real-life counterparts.
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: The Lawnmower Man's desired outcome. First the telephone network, then the world!
* DumbIsGood: ...and smart is bad.
** Maybe, although you could interpret the film in a way where [[spoiler: Dr. Angelo is guilty of scientific hubris and exploiting an abused mentally handicapped man while Jobe's intentions are more or less benevolent, arguably even after Dr. Angelo's boss meddles with the experiments and he goes on a killing spree of abusive jerks.]] Whether such ambiguities are intentional, however...
* EverythingIsOnline: When Jobe escapes into cyberspace he gains control over every phone in the world.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Jobe has a deep menacing voice after he transfers himself into cyberspace. When he discovers that Peter, the boy he befriended, is inside the booby-trapped installation looking for him and Angelo, Jobe's voice briefly returns to normal as he releases Angelo so the latter can save Peter.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: For once, this happens ''literally'' in the second film; Jobe is left with amnesia as the result of being caught in the explosions at the end of the first film, meaning that while he may still be super-intelligent, he no longer knows how to use any of the other powers he had.
* FreakOut: Jobe after [[spoiler: Terry, one of the few people who was ever nice to him,]] is accidentally killed by guards targeting him.
* AGodAmI: The original title of the movie was Cyber God, before it was combined with the Creator/StephenKing short story, ''[[Literature/NightShift The Lawnmower Man]]''.
* GoryDiscretionShot: We don't see the moment when Jobe messily kills [[spoiler:Peter's father]] with a telekinetically-controlled lawnmower. Averted later on however, as we get a fairly graphic shot of Jobe forcing the sniper who unwittingly killed [[spoiler:Terry]] to shoot himself through the head.
* HolographicTerminal: When in cyberspace.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Angelo convinces Jobe to go through with the initial experiment by arguing that the experiment could make Jobe smart enough that people could no longer take advantage of him, like Angelo is doing.
* HugeHolographicHead: Jobe is able to project himself as this at a certain point. [[GoldColoredSuperiority A yellow-tinted head]], no less.
* InNameOnly: This film and Stephen King's original short story are both called ''The Lawnmower Man'', and that's about it. You might think the identical titles are just a coincidence, but apparently not -- several promotional posters referred to the film as ''Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man'', at least until the author sued to distance himself from the film. The court explicitly forbade New Line Cinema from using Stephen King's name in conjunction with the film and required them to pay him 2.5 million dollars in damages. Not content with the ruling, New Line attempted to stealth market the film under the name "Stephen King's ''The Lawnmower Man''" in several major cities. New Line Cinemas was found to be in contempt of court and had to pay King $10,000 per day until they removed his name from all associated products. King did like the film, mind you. It just wasn't his story, which led to the suit.
** The film does have a short scene where [[spoiler: Peter's abusive father is butchered by a telekinetically steered lawnmower]] that's modeled after the short story, but, apart from both the movie and the short story having to do with lawnmowers, that's about it.
** Interestingly, the movie references ''[[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction The Shop]]'', [[Literature/FireStarter which comes straight out of another King novel]] and more or less has the same GovernmentConspiracy role.
** The sequel somehow manages to do this twice, having next to no continuity with either the short story ''or'' the first film.
* KissMeImVirtual: Jobe and Marnie's sex scene, which unfortunately turns into MindRape.
* ManOnFire: [[spoiler:Father [=McKeen=]'s fate, thanks to Jobe's pyrokinesis.]]
* MindRape: Besides the Jobe and [[spoiler:Marnie]] virtual sex scene that leaves her catatonic when it turns into rape due to Jobe's loss of control over his powers, there is also the scene when Jobe, who's now both more in control of his growing powers and becoming more villainous, psychically unleashes a "Lawnmower Man" inside the head of a bully, purposely rendering him catatonic as well.
* MsFanservice: Jobe's neighbor and later affair Marnie, played by ''Film/NearDark'' 's Jenny Wright.
* PapaWolf: Jobe doesn't take too kindly to seeing Peter being harmed, especially by his father, Harold. This is why Harold's death is the most gruesome of the bunch.
* PsychicPowers: Jobe starts off by gaining {{telepathy}}, then telekinesis, followed by pyrokinesis, and finally the ability to cause people to disintegrate on the molecular level.
* PunchPunchPunchUhOh: In the sequel, Dr. Benjamin Trace tries to knock out a security guard by repeatedly punching him in the face, except that he doesn't go down that easily.
* StartOfDarkness: His inadvertently destroying [[spoiler:Marnie]]'s mind is implied to be what starts Jobe's descent into outright villainy.
** It is probably triggered earlier, during the first session Jobe has after the VR system is reverted to its original programming.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Dr. Benjamin Trace from the sequel is a clear stand-in for Dr. Angelo.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Jobe says this pretty much word-for-word in the first film's climax, after Angelo calls him a "freak."
* TimeBomb: Dr. Angelo had fifteen minutes to escape from the building before it blew up. Plenty of time, but then he went to [[WhatAnIdiot talk to God Mode Jobe...]]
* TitleDrop: Several characters in the first film, especially the bullies at the gas station, call Jobe the "Lawnmower Man." Jobe himself later drops the title when he {{Mind Rape}}s one of said bullies, and tells him that "the Lawnmower Man's in your head now." It's dropped earlier in the director's cut as Jobe is telling Roscoe 1138 about himself, saying it's a nickname he got because he fixes machines and mows lawns better than anyone.
* TronLines: The VR suits used for the cyclotron at VSI by Angelo and Jobe have these.
* VideoPhone: Video phone booths appear in the futuristic Los Angeles setting of the sequel.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Could be argued this is what happened to Jobe.
** It actually starts happening after the VR system is reverted back to the original Project 5 aggressive programming.
* YourMindMakesItReal: Averted for the most part in the first film, where whatever happens to you in the virtual world can't affect you in reality unless something goes ''severely'' wrong. Played straight in the second, where dying for any reason in virtual reality can kill you in real-life.