The Lawnmower Man Director’s Cut – 32 minutes out of 140 minutes.

random thought barf, which I just attempted to post on netflix: (2,008 characters it seems…):

This is one of those rare movies that is completely transformed by it’s director’s cut.
the theatrical cut is a sloppy mess, but the director’s cut is genius held back by low budget filmmaking.

watching the 30 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD really doesn’t work. You need to watch them integrated (only possible in the ancient VHS release?). Almost every scene in the movie has had beginning and ending bits chopped off to avoid references to the excised opening scenes.

spoilers:

in the director’s cut, the chimp isn’t randomly shot while escaping the lab (which makes it seems like a pointless distraction). No, he actually succeeds in escaping and turns up at Job’s shack. Job is traumatized when cops and coporate stooges turn up and surround his shack, eager to shoot the chimp he has befriended. He meets pierce brosnan’s character for the first time amidst this mess, and they both refere back to it throughout the film as Dr. Angelo turns Job into his next test subject. Job’s final line “a backdoor ha ha ha!” carries much more weight when you realize he was referring to the failings of his cheap shack/former-life (in the excised scene, he keeps crying over the fact the he doesn’t have a backdoor to help the chimp escape).

blah blah. there is also a more interesting bit of business where Dr. angelo outsmarts and physically attacks some corporate muscle, which makes him seem a more interesting and dynamic hero.
and there is more background on the people Job chooses to torment once he gains his powers (and more murders? It’s been a while, but I can’t recall if Job’s telepathic attack on the gas station bully, or his pyrokinetic attack on the priest are in the theatrical).

in the end the theatrical cut feels like an excuse for random imagery, slapped together by idiots. The director’s cut feels like a layered mixture of Flowers for Algernon and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

I hesitate to rate it 5 out of 5 stars, only because I’m unable to make the distinction between these two wildly different cuts.


EDIT:
I think the theatrical cut only kept the telekinetic killing of Peter’s father with the lawnmower. there’s a loss of symmetry when you only show him using one of his powers to murder? instead of a holy trinity of powers? (ugh. i go too far in say in that).

anywho. thought it would be interesting to note that the film was originally called “cyber god” and stephen king’s short story was sutured clumsily into it thanks to the insidious geniusidiots at New Line Cinema. (More Info)

… I also have this strong memory that there is a scene where Dr.Angelo and Job are driving, and Job says something like “what happened to the chimp isn’t going to happen to me. heh. right?” but in the theatrical it was chopped and poorly dubbed with something bizarrely wrong for the scene. hmm.

wish i could find my old VHS. sighhhhhhh.

(wish they’d release the director’s cut on bluray. nudge nudge.)

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3 Comments to “The Lawnmower Man Director’s Cut – 32 minutes out of 140 minutes.”

  1. Great Review. I’ll never forget how disappointed I was when I first got this DVD home and discovered that they had cut out all of the scenes that I found important… In particular a scene where Job is looking at comic books with peter in the restaurant and is saying how he doesn’t want the bad guys to show up to his place, just then Jake sneaks up behind him and screams “OHHH THEIR BAD, THEIR BAD!!!!!” scaring the s#it out of Job and making me LMFAO! I hate the new cut version of this film and only tolerate it because I don’t have a VCR anymore.

    There are just too many scenes that I liked not in it anymore and I was always wondering why in the hell they chopped this film… I thought it was because Animal Rights activists protested against the way the chimp was shot…(You never know)…Also you’re right about the car scene; where Job asks Angelo “Are you going to do to me what you did to the chimp?’ and DR Angelo answers “Well… it’s going to be different Job… it’s going to be different.” Also all those scenes where Job is playing the games at the shop. AARRRRRRRRGH!!!!! If I had my choice I would have enjoyed watching the people who slice and diced this movie shot and killed from a hot tin roof!!!!

    Anyways good review and trust me… this chopped movie is only 3 stars out of 5. 5 is what I would have given the uncut version. P.S. FU@K THE SEQUAL

    Pagansadog

  2. I stumbled upon this years later but…… I first watched the Director’s Cut on Laserdisc. When I finally got the dvd version, it was the most horrible film I’d ever seen. I just started to search this movie out again because the Director’s Edition is so well balanced and explains Job’s life in far greater detail.

    There are unfortunately too many people controlling the videos some incredible actors, actress’s and directors have strewn together for our entertainment. It doesn’t stop there as we all know too – music, news and ….. Tangent!!

    Thanks for your review, I concur and will continue my searches.

  3. This was my favorite movie as a teenager in the early/mid 90s. I had at one time owned 4 copies of the directors cut on VHS because I watched my copy so much I feared it was getting worn out or would soon. Around 1996 I had found them in a bargain bin at a media store for $1 each, which is when I bought the other three. I think I gave one tape to my brother, not sure what happened to the other one. I still have the original VHS I owned and one of those $1 copies still wrapped and brand new.

    Three nights ago I watched this with my 12 year old son (my original copy) which despite my fears of it wearing out, still holds up well. He enjoyed the movie but thought it escalated quickly.

    I also own the DVD, but like all of you I was disappointed it was not the director’s cut and have only watched that disc one time as a result. If I can I’ll find a way to copy this to digital for my own viewing. Which sadly will only be a 4:3 ratio, but then again, that is the way I’ve experienced this movie most of my life so I should just consider that the official aspect ratio since we’ll probably never get a proper widescreen director’s cut release in digital form.

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