The Lawnmower Man

"The Lawnmower Man" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the May 1975 issue of Cavalier and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.

"The Lawnmower Man"
AuthorStephen King
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Horror, Science fiction short story
Published inCavalier
Publication typePeriodical
Media typePrint (Magazine, Paperback)
Publication date1975

Plot summary

One summer, Harold Parkette is in need of a new lawn mowing service. The summer before, a neighbor's cat was accidentally killed when another neighbor's dog chased it under the mower. Harold has been putting off hiring new help for the summer, but when he sees an ad for a mowing service, he calls. A van reading "Pastoral Greenery" soon pulls up to Parkette's home. The man working for the service, a hairy, pot-bellied fellow, is shown the overgrown back lawn and is hired. Harold is enjoying a rest as he reads the paper, wondering about the lawnmower man mentioning Circe, when he hears the lawnmower outside. Startled, he races to the back porch and sees the lawnmower running by itself and the naked lawnmower man following it on all fours and eating the grass. The lawnmower seemingly deliberately chases and kills a mole and Harold faints.

When Harold revives, the lawnmower man explains that this new method, introduced by his boss, grants substantial benefits, and that he makes sacrificial victims of customers who cannot appreciate the process. Parkette, though unnerved, allows the lawnmower man to return to work. As soon as the man is out of sight, Harold desperately calls the police, but is interrupted by the lawnmower man, who reveals his boss's name: Pan. The lawnmower briefly chases Harold through his living room before brutally slaughtering him.

When the police arrive, they conclude that Parkette was murdered and dismembered by a schizophrenic sex maniac. As they leave, the scent of freshly cut grass hangs strongly in the air.

Adaptations

  • The story was adapted in graphic form in Bizarre Adventures #29 (December 1981). The adaptation features the original text of the short story, accompanied by art by Walt Simonson.[1] Publisher IDW rereleased the story in a portfolio edition shot from the original art in 2014.[2][3]
  • A twelve-minute Dollar Baby short film, The Lawnmower Man: A Suburban Nightmare, was released in 1987. It was written by future screenwriter and New Line Cinema production executive Michael De Luca (In the Mouth of Madness) and directed by James Gonis. The film was shot in 1985 while Gonis was a junior at New York University. Originally budgeted at $800, the final film ultimately cost nearly $5,000. It has screened at several film festivals: New York University; at Horrorfest 1989, a screening of King films at the Stanley Hotel (the hotel that inspired King's novel The Shining); a New York film festival of Greek-American filmmakers in 1991; and at the 1st Annual Dollar Baby festival in Orono, Maine in 2004.
  • A feature film, The Lawnmower Man, starring Jeff Fahey and Pierce Brosnan, was released in 1992 by New Line Cinema. This film used an original screenplay entitled "CyberGod", borrowing only the title of the short story. The film concerns a scientist, Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Brosnan), who subjects mentally challenged Jobe Smith (Fahey) to virtual reality experiments. Jobe's mental abilities improve to superhuman levels as the process continues, but he lacks the emotional maturity and character to use his powers humanely. When Angelo's employers interfere with the process, Jobe becomes a homicidal megalomaniac. King won a lawsuit to have his name removed from the credits, and then won further damages when his name was included in the home video release.[4] A video game adaptation, loosely based on the film, was released for the Super NES, Genesis, Sega CD, PC CD-ROM and Game Boy. A sequel film, The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, was released in 1996.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bizarre Adventures #29 - The Lawnmower Man (Issue)". Comic Vine. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "IDW Announces John Buscema Silver Surfer, Walt Simonson Manhunter Artist's Editions, Stephen King & Simonson Lawnmower Man Portfolio - Bleeding Cool News And Rumors". Bleedingcool.com. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^ IDW Publishing [@IDWPublishing] (12 September 2014). "Walter Simonson's Lawnmower Man: Artist's Edition Portfolio is available!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Stephen King wins lawsuit". Ew.com. Retrieved 3 October 2018.

External links

19th Saturn Awards

The 19th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 1992, were held on June 8, 1993.

Alex Funke

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Austin O'Brien

Austin Taylor O'Brien (born May 11, 1981) is an American actor and photographer. He may be best known for playing the co-lead Danny Madigan in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-movie Last Action Hero, followed by his turn into romance as Nick Zsigmond in My Girl 2, a part in both The Lawnmower Man and its sequel. and as Josh Greene in the CBS drama Promised Land. Before all this, he originally gained fame from a Circuit City commercial as a kid who, after finding out he'd saved money, says, "Cool" to the store's employee.

O'Brien was born in Eugene, Oregon, to Valerie and Dan O'Brien. His elder sister is actress Amanda O'Brien and his younger brother is actor Trever O'Brien.

Brett Leonard

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Cyberwar (video game)

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Dollar Baby

The Dollar Baby (or Dollar Deal) is an arrangement where best-selling author Stephen King grants permission to students and aspiring filmmakers or theatre producers to adapt one of his short stories for $1. The term is used to refer to the film or play itself, or the maker (for example, "The Sun Dog" was made as a Dollar Baby, or writer/director Frank Darabont was a Dollar Baby). The production budgets range from a few hundred dollars to over $60,000 (Umney's Last Case) and the film formats range from home video to professional 35 mm film. A book about the Dollar Baby films was released in July 2015 by Dollar Baby filmmaker Shawn S. Lealos. It tells the story of 19 of the Dollar Baby filmmakers as they talk about making their movies and their careers following their Dollar Babies.

Gimel Everett

Gimel Everett was an American producer specializing in the science-fiction and horror genres.

Her films The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity (1995) feature groundbreaking computer animation and visual effects.

The Lawnmower Man is considered the first, seminal film to feature "Virtual Reality" as a cautionary tale becoming the number one commercially successful independent film of 1992, budgeted at just under $6 million and eventually earning over $150 million worldwide.

Virtuosity became the first major film to feature nanotechnology set in a cyberpunk based future casting Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington together a full 12 years before they would again co-star and many Oscar nominations later in a 2007 project (American Gangster).

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Jürgen Bräuninger studied at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart with Ulrich Süsse and Erhard Karkoschka and at San Jose State University, California, with Allen Strange and Dan Wyman. He has contributed to films such as The Lawnmower Man and The Dead Pit. His work has been performed by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, the SÜDPOOL Ensemble, and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester as well as many other talented and recognized individual artists. He has been commissioned by Süddeutscher Rundfunk Stuttgart and Südwestrundfunk. Bräuninger works have been realized at Gerald LaPierre Electro-Acoustic Music Studio and Studio für elektronische Musik. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Music, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa, where he lectures mainly in composition and music technology.

Lawnmower Dog

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A remastered and expanded edition of the album titled More Music for the Jilted Generation was released in 2008.

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Sinfonia of London

The Sinfonia of London is the name of two distinct session orchestras based in London, England. The original ensemble of this name was founded in 1955 by Gordon Walker, an eminent flautist of his time, specifically for the recording of film music. The orchestra came into being when there was a split in the future direction of the London Symphony Orchestra, many LSO players leaving to join the Sinfonia of London in order to undertake the more lucrative film soundtrack work. The orchestra appeared in the musical credits of many British and American films of the 1950s and '60s, including the 1958 soundtrack for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo with Bernard Herrmann's score conducted by Muir Mathieson for Mercury Records and, in 1961, the soundtrack of the horror film Gorgo.

Among the original ensemble's most celebrated commercial classical recordings are the first recording made by Colin Davis, comprising Mozart's Symphonies 29 and 39 and issued by World Record Club (TZ 130) along with its 1963 recordings with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the Serenade for Strings of Edward Elgar and the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis of Ralph Vaughan Williams for EMI Classics. Hans Swarowsky conducted the ensemble in a World Record Club LP (WRC T 11) of Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Egmont Overture. The original orchestra ceased to perform during the 1960s.In 1982 the title Sinfonia of London was bought by Peter Willison and Howard Blake from the Walker family for the purpose of having a named orchestra for the first recording of The Snowman. In February 1998, Bruce Broughton was named the orchestra's second musical director after Blake. Under Peter Willison's management, the orchestra went on to record many soundtracks for major Hollywood films, including Batman, The Mummy Returns, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lost in Space, The Lawnmower Man, Stargate, Tombstone, RoboCop and Young Sherlock Holmes.

The Lawnmower Man (film)

The Lawnmower Man is a 1992 science-fiction action-horror film directed by Brett Leonard and written by Leonard and Gimel Everett. The film is supposedly an adaptation of the Stephen King short story of the same name, but aside from a single scene, the two are completely different. The film stars Jeff Fahey as Jobe Smith, a simple-minded gardener, and Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Lawrence Angelo, the scientist who decides to experiment on him.

The film was originally titled Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man, but King successfully sued the producers for attaching his name to the film and stated in court documents that the film "bore no meaningful resemblance" to his story. An earlier short film, also titled The Lawnmower Man, is a more faithful adaptation of the short story. It was directed by Jim Gonis in 1987.A sequel, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, was released in 1996, with Austin O'Brien as the only returning actor from the original film.

The Lawnmower Man (video game)

The Lawnmower Man is a video game based on the 1992 film of the same name. The game was published in Japan by Coconuts Japan under the title Virtual Wars (バーチャル ウォーズ, Bācharu Uōzu).

The Mangler 2

The Mangler 2 (also known as The Mangler 2: Graduation Day) is a 2002 film and a direct-to-video sequel to the 1995 theatrical release The Mangler, which was based on a short story of the same name by Stephen King. It stars Lance Henriksen and Chelse Swain. While the original was about a demon-possessed industrial laundry-machine, this film places the demon in a private school's computer network, where it manifests as a destructive computer virus with some of the same abilities as a ouija board.

The film was critically panned for, among other things, its similarity to another King adaptation, The Lawnmower Man (whose producers King sued to remove his name from the marketing, given its threadbare connection to his original story), and lack of relevance to its predecessor.

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