|Copyright 1989 Finegan International Motion Pictures.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 24 February 2007
- Roy - Washed-out golf pro, but quite lucid for an alcoholic.
- Kelly - This is what an adult cabbage patch doll would look like.
- Deke - I kept waiting for him to show off his scars to Kelly and Roy. "This one was from a Toro self-propelled." Shredded by the lurking menace.
- Mr. and Mrs. Osgood - Owners of the golf course. He is a putz and she is a big time harlot.
- Police Chief Kimmel - As a character, useless, but he does have a few funny lines.
- Mr. Simpkins - "Hi, my job is to die in an obviously ghastly and gruesome fashion off-screen! Well, best be off to my date with destiny! Have a great day!"
- Squire, some Teenagers, and a random Caddy - Fodder.
- Jason - Deke's son, who wears a hockey mask.
- The Killer Lawnmower - The title makes sense now, doesn't it?
|One of these days, I am going to wake up and realize that a noticeable portion of my life has been wasted watching awful movies. Why I have not already done so is a mystery, even more so after viewing a terrible film centered around a sport that holds zero interest for me. My understanding that I devote a lot of time to crap movies, but do not worry about it, appears to be my Shakespearean flaw. A possible explanation is that the basic idea in many of these movies is good; it is in the execution of those ideas that everything goes wrong. A "Jaws" parody movie, based on the idea of a killer lawnmower terrorizing a golf course, is genius. Unfortunately, between the writers and director, everything went wrong.
The other possibility is I am a nincompoop, but the idea of a killer lawnmower preying on golfers is still cool.
A group of teens are hanging out at the local golf course, doing what teens often do in horror movies: pondering life's great mysteries and playing hanky-panky. Don is lured away from the fire by his horny girlfriend, Jane, who has the body of a sixteen-year-old boy (ick). Alone, in the middle of a field of tall grass, both the young lovers scream when something rushes out of the darkness at them. Cue the opening sequence, which consists of a POV shot from slightly above ground level as the mower plows through grass and light brush. Effective and surprising, because the camera is not bouncing all over the place; whoever created the mount for the "mower cam" must have applied some effort to stabilizing the unit.
The day begins like any other at the Tall Grass Country Club. Mr. Osgood flails his way through nine holes before retiring to the clubhouse with Kelly close behind. He wants to speak with his resident pro golfer, while Mrs. Osgood spends her time at the clubhouse shopping for sausage (they do not normally sell that in the pro shop). Kelly's morning is ruined by the arrival of Roy, whom the Osgoods hired as the head professional for the club, breaking a promise to Kelly. Though she is infuriated, the woman is also relieved that Roy is summoned when the groundskeepers discover the teenagers' mutilated bodies in the sand trap. The effect is meant to evoke images from "Jaws." In reality, because these (and later) victims are partially buried, I was reminded more of "Grizzly." Strange, a "Jaws" clone reminding me, not of the original, but of another "Jaws" clone.
Throughout the movie, you will see a lot of ideas pulled from Spielberg's shark tale. I do not plan on pointing each out, because many people have seen "Jaws." If you have not, you should. "Jaws" created a template, for creatures both natural and imagined, of how to make a monster movie. Sadly, most writers and directors copy the formula too closely, rather than paying attention to the overall method. None of this applies to "Blades," because it is a preposterous film about a killer lawnmower.
You might expect that the discovery of two dismembered bodies would cause a stir and shut down the country club. Not only have you yet to see "Jaws," you have also avoided just about every other low budget slasher ever made. Who are you? The Pope? (If you are the Pope, please email me. I want to ask your opinion on another film.) Anyway, if the country club is closed down, the supply of victims will disappear. Want to know what is worse than watching a lawnmower chase people on a golf course? That is correct, not having any people for it to chase. So, with the reasoning behind not closing the golf course firmly established (yeah, Roy has his doubts too), we next see Mr. Simpkins enter the rough and disappear into a flurry of shaking bushes, screaming.
Despite the climbing body count, the Chief of Police still insists that the murders are the work of a lone maniac and that he cannot escape the police forever. The strange thing is that none of the golfers start carrying weapons. If, hypothetically (more like acid trip hallucination), I played golf and, though a deranged killer was on the loose at the fairway, just had to get in a game - you can bet your house I would have a Kimber .45 tucked into my hideous plaid pants. Come to think of it, shooting them sounds like the best use for golf balls yet. It even beats throwing them at people I dislike, because I can always use batteries for that and probably should not be shooting batteries anyway. Bad for the environment, you know.
It bears mentioning that a lot of useless character interaction goes on between Kelly and Roy during the first hour. Most of this boils down to one essential plot point: Kelly dislikes Roy.
The gory death of a caddy, dragged screaming into tall reeds in front of a crowd on the beach...er...teeing ground, is what finally convinces the Osgoods that something must be done. A maniac hunt is organized, which turns loose a veritable army of wacky hunters on the golf course. Amusing as watching a gaggle of insane hunters destroying a golf course could have been, I am afraid that the movie fails to deliver - probably due to budget restraints. What they do catch is Deke, along with a rotary mower.
Everyone rejoices, because they are certain that the bald ex-greenkeeper must be the killer. Deke plants a seed of doubt in Roy's mind when he points out that the others were killed by a lawnmower with a cutting swathe three times the size of the push mower he was holding. Of course, he also claims that the murders were committed by a lawnmower that does not have a human operator, a rogue machine out for blood. Convinced that the jailed man is innocent, Roy sneaks into the shed where the small lawnmower is stored and cuts open the collection bag. Only grass clippings fall out; it could not have been the murder weapon! With Kelly's help, the worried golfer goes out looking for the Bonner Party (not my joke), but finds an empty and badly sliced-up golf cart.
Refusing to be convinced that the latest disappearance was caused by anything more than a drunken round of golf that went wrong, Osgood pushes forward with plans for the Tall Grass Country Club Invitational Tournament. At the end of a thrilling eighteen holes (I am in GOLF HELL!), the lawnmower rushes out to chew apart the winner while everyone else runs away screaming. Roy and Kelly seek out Deke and ask him to help them stop the terrifying eater of men. The old groundskeeper used to work for Tall Grass; he relates the story behind the lawnmower to the others.
Deke's van is quite cool as the primary platform for the trio's journey across the desolate golf course. Up top, there is a reinforced platform with chain railings, along with numerous bales of hay and balloons. A bale of hay, with floating balloon attached, is dropped off at every hole. When the hunters spot their quarry, the feral lawnmower has already consumed several of the bales and sports festive balloons that trail behind it. Shotgun and carbine fire has no effect on the metal beast, leaving some doubt as to which side will survive the encounter (if you still have not watched "Jaws," despite my advice).
Sound volume is a serious problem for this movie; one minute you are trying to make out what people are saying, while the next scene's screaming or lawnmower sounds send you scrambling for the remote to turn the darn thing down. Something the film does right is the attack scenes. The lawnmower is an old gasoline model, with rotary cutting blades like a classic cylinder mower. It looks mean. It also looks like something you would not want to knock you down and commence to slicing your extremities to ribbons, which is how the evil thing operates. A partially disabled victim is then pulled screaming into the high grass to be completely mangled. The gore is surprising, especially when Deke is killed.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Chances are, if a woman is a floozy, you probably would not want her anyway.
- Morgues maintain a stock of small body bags for the really messy cases.
- Camouflaging a golf cart is no easy task.
- War is hell - on your lawn.
- Caddies are trained by the Secret Service.
- Regular lawnmower maintenance is good for the engine, bad for the temperment.
- Golf balls were originally designed as detonators for plastic explosives.
- 7 mins - Somebody save me from golf sex innuendo.
- 20 mins - "Hole in one?" Oh no, now I am doing it!
- 32 mins - I do not know how many more collared short-sleeved shirts I can take.
- 39 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A TREE!
- 59 mins - I...am...watching...golf. Arrggghhh!
- 63 mins - The striped ones are the worst of all.
- 68 mins - Proof positive that the Jolly Green Giant does have a girlfriend.
- 88 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A BALLOON!
- Police Chief: "Now, we all knew and loved Malcolm Simpkins. God knows, I hated to see the little guy go, too. Particularly in such a gory, ghastly, and gruesome death."
- Mr. Osgood: "With the swift and successful completion of the maniac hunt, it will be business as usual here at Tall Grass Country Club."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Police Chief: "Obviously, this was the work of a sick mind. These types aren't difficult to find. You can't be dragging torn bodies around the countryside and not be seen."
||Kelly: "Roy, how many maniacs do you think are out there, running around killing people with lawnmowers?" |
Roy: "It just doesn't make sense. The tracks in the wheat field are three times the width of that mower brought in today."
||Mr. Osgood: "I can't believe you two took that raving lunatic seriously. What do you think this is, killer lawnmower week?"
||Kelly: "What do we do now?" |
Deke: "We go back and check our bait."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Witness the terror that strikes the golf course as the mower charges out of nowhere to chew apart the winner of the tournament. I like how Roy stares with interest at the bloody scene, rather than trying to climb a tree.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
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