Monstervision's 100% Weird Presents

Lawnmower Man 2

You probably think gardening implements and computers shouldn't mix, but that perverse cross-pollination is more or less what sets the stage for Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. The original Lawnmower Man was vaguely inspired by the Stephen King story of the same name (King initiated a lawsuit to have his name removed) but here even that trivial King contribution is reduced to homeopathic proportions; in other words, it ain't there.

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace opens where the first film stopped, but what did you expect from a sequel? Jobe, the mentally deficient gardener turned evil super-genius, is back, despite greatly exaggerated reports of his death. This time there's a power struggle over a dark and gritty L.A. while a gaggle of scruffy youngsters hope to save the day. Throw in a little virtual reality to keep the snazz ratings high and you've got all the ingredients for a real head-popper.

Director Farhad Mann seems to specialize in sequels -- apart from "Lawnmower Man 2" he's also done "Return to Two Moon Junction." Mann directed episodes of the TV show "Max Headroom," which is where he connected with Matt Frewer (playing Jobe), Mr. Max Headroom his own bad self. The rest of the cast includes alumni from General Hospital, Gettysburg and an amazing list of films you've never heard of. But we digress. "Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace" is beyond description, which makes it officially 100% Weird. It's enough to make a person wanna install Astroturf.

Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1995)
100% Wierd on September 16, 1998 and Sunday, May 14, 2000. Rating: TV-14-V
"Lawnmower Man" is available on video and on DVD

Note: On a previous showing in 1998, TNT followed "Lawnmower Man 2" with A Return to Salem's Lot starring Michael Morriarty of It's Alive:

An eccentric millionaire offers a $10,000 reward to anyone who dares to spend one night in a haunted mansion that was once the site of multiple murders. The greedy participants are soon subjected to skeletal apparitions, blood dripping from the ceiling, a severed head, and a vat of acid in the cellar. Produced and directed by William Castle, the king of gimmick horror films, House on Haunted Hill is the infamous one released in 'Emergo' - a process where a giant plastic skeleton would float over the audience at appropriate moments. Unfortunately, TNT won't be able to duplicate that effect on television but you won't miss it with all the other creepy things occuring at the Frank Lloyd Wright-styled mansion. Vincent Price makes a sophisticated but menacing host and he is joined by Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshall, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook, Jr.

House on Haunted Hill (1958)
Thursday, September 17 at 4:30 am
Rating: TV-PG-V.
An unofficial sequel to Salem's Lot, Stephen King's epic vampire tale, A Return to Salem's Lot is one of Larry Cohen's more bizarre B-movie efforts. You all know crazy Larry from such schlock masterpieces as It's Alive and Q: The Winged Serpent and once again he has cast one of his favorite actors, Michael Moriarty, in the lead. Moriarty plays an anthropologist who relocates to a small New England town with his bratty son (Ricky Addison Reed). Once there, he is asked by the locals to write the town history and soon discovers that almost everyone in the town is a vampire. These aren't your usual garden variety vampires either. They're flag-waving conservatives who are opposed to alcohol and cigarettes and welfare and only drink blood on special occasions. One of the highlights of the film is the late director Samuel Fuller who plays a former Nazi hunter turned vampire killer. The supporting cast includes Andrew Duggan as the head of the bloodsuckers with June Havoc, Evelyn Keyes, and Ronee Blakely as active coven members.

A Return to Salem's Lot (1988)
Friday, September 18 at 11:00 am
Rating: TV-14-LV.
Made when the teenage slasher films were at their height, this slapstick parody features a maniac who displays his victims with paper clips, plastic trash bags, and an eggplant. The cast includes Kristen Riter, Matthew Goldsby, and Richard Brando and the film is written and directed by Mickey Rose who co-wrote two of Woody Allen's first films, WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY? and TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. Yes, that's producer/director Michael Ritchie hiding behind the pseudonym Allen Smithee.

The Student Bodies (1981)
Friday, September 18 at 12:00 am
Rating: TV-14-DV.
* Technically, this is really early Saturday morning.
Two Arkansas firemen decide to investigate a rumor about a buried treasure in an abandoned slum dwelling. What they didn't bother to find out was that the building is used as the headquarters for a notorious gang of drug dealers. The situation turns deadly when they become inadvertent bystanders to a gangster-style execution and the gang leader decides to silence the witnesses. Bill Paxton and William Sadler are the unlucky treasure hunters and Ice T and Ice Cube are their would-be killers in this cat and mouse thriller from director Walter Hill. The music score is by Ry Cooder.

Trespass (1992)
Monday, September 21 at 12:00 am
Rating: TV-14-LV.
* Technically, this is really early Tuesday morning.
One of the most notorious outlaw gangs of the 19th century is the subject of The Long Riders, a stylish western directed by Walter Hill and featuring a unique casting gimmick - the historical outlaw brothers are played by actor brothers: James and Stacy Keach are Jesse and Frank James, The Carradines are the Younger brothers, The Quaids are the Miller boys, Christopher and Nicholas Guest are Charlie and Bob Ford. In the role of the tempestuous Belle Starr, Pamela Reed almost steals the film from her co-stars. Cinematography by Ric Waite. Music by Ry Cooder.

The Long Riders (1980)
Thursday, September 24 at 11:30 pm
Rating: TV-14-V.

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