The Lawnmower Man

The Lawnmower Man was on cable tonight, and it being a Monday night with nothing good on, I decided to watch it. It wasn’t as good as I remember it (which wasn’t all that good to begin with), but that’s not my question. As I often do when watching a movie, I hopped out to the IMDB to check out some credits. I see this on the IMDB’s entry:

Any idea what the lawsuit was about? Was it just that the movie was bad and bore almost no resemblance to King’s short story?

Well, if you go to the trivia page for The Lawnmower Man, you see this:

The only thing that King’s story and the movie had in common was the title. The story was actually about a lawnmower man who eats the grass clippings (and any small animals which get in the way.) I don’t blame King one bit for demanding his name be removed.

BTW, I thought the movie was gawd-awful.

Aside: I thought the Lawnmower Man was one of the Bachman books, that Stephen King published under that name. Anyway, the short story was quite creepy, and any description really doesn’t do it justice (a green man who eats grass and wreaks havoc…:rolleyes:, but it really was creepy). The movie really had absolutely nothing to do with that. I think there was a lawnmower pictured at one point. I am in no way surprised that King sued.

I KNEW Lawnmower Man wasn’t a true Stefan King movie script/story… there wasn’t an indian burial ground causing all the hub-bub.

Gee, a Stephen King story turned into a movie that had nothing to do with the story? Why am I not shocked?

Next you’ll be telling me that “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”, a what, 6 page Phillip K. Dick short story wasn’t accurately reflected in Arnie’s “Total Recall”, or that “Rollerball Murder” was a more concise, at about 10 pages, story than Norman Jewison’s “Rollerball”, at about 21/2 hours, and that both of them were superior to last year’s straight to video “re-imagining”.

My all time favourite, though, is “John Carpenter’s Vampires”, supposedly based on John Steakley’s novel “Vampire$”. As near as I can tell, they kept the word “vampires” in the title, and the names of two of the characters, one of whom was actually a composite of at least three of the other important characters. If they’d dropped the names, they would not have had to buy the rights, because there were not anywhere near enough similarities in story, character, etc. to base a lawsuit on.

Now, I’m glad Mr. Steakley got some bucks out of it, but why did they bother to buy the rights in the first place?

Somebody should, though, if they can do it right. It’s one of very few examples of any media that takes seriously the question of why vampires are scary and what we might do about them should we have to.

The lawsuit (Haha, I remembered topic!) was about this bizarre mutant horrible movie thing with some names in common to the story but nothing else being given the words “Stephen King” in its title.

If Lovecraft weren’t dead, he’d have himself a full team of lawyers.

mmm… Jenny Wright…

sorry. That’s all I remember from the movie: Jenny Wright in spandex, chained into the sim machine…

Hmm. I seem to remember it as one of the short stories in Night Shift.

The Lawnmower Man was in Stephen King’s first collection of short stories called Night Shift. It also had the precursor for Salem’s Lot, named Juresalem’s Lot. My favorite short story of his is in there - I Know What You Need. It reminds me of a few creepy boyfriends I had.

I didn’t remember King’s name being associated with the movie when I first saw it, but I guess that was after the lawsuit.

I’ll have to dig up Night Shift; it’s been a long time since I read it.

Wow, I just pulled out my old, battered copy of Night Shift and looked through the Contents. A GREAT collection of stories, and many of them have been made into movies.

Jerusalem’s Lot - Related to Salem’s Lot , the book and movie

Graveyard Shift

Night Surf - A “Dollar Baby” set in The Stand 's universe.

The Mangler

The Boogeyman

Battleground - I think this was used as an episode of some “Twilight Zone”-ish series, but it escapes me.

Trucks - became the theatrical movie Maximum Overdrive and a made-for-TV movie

Sometimes They Come Back

Strawberry Spring - Another of King’s “Dollar Babies”

The Ledge. - Featured in the movie Cat’s Eye

Quitter’s Inc. - Also eatured in Cat’s Eye

Children of the Corn

The Woman in the Room - A short film by Frank Darabont

That’s a pretty amazing list, coming from one book, even if you only consider the theatrical releases.

As information, the four novels King published as Richard Bachman were The Long Walk, Rage, Roadwork and The Running Man. I believe he was planning on publishing Misery as Bachman, but he was discovered before that happened. As noted earlier, The Lawnmower Man was a short story.

And you missed a few.

The Mangler

which spawned the sequel

The Mangler 2.
And then there was “Sometimes they come back” followed by “Sometimes they come back… again” which was followed by “Sometimes they come back… for more”.

And I don’t even want to discuss how they got a movie and 6 sequels to Children of the Corn.

notcynical, zeldarae, and Sauron you are correct, it wasn’t one of the Bachman books, but part of that compilation of short stories. It’s been a while since I read any of them.
Actually, it’s been a while since I read any Stephen King.

Back on the Lawnmower Man movie, did anyone see the sequel? Was it a) as bad as the first, b) worse than the first, c) just plain funny bad?

Actually, I got The Mangler, but chose to omit sequels, since they weren’t actually based on stories in the book.

Don’t forget Thinner. (That’s the one that inadvertantly let the cat out of the bag that Bachman = King).

You are quite correct, divemaster. I left that one out. Thanks!

What the hell is a “dollar baby”?

Poe probably would have too for those 60’s Vincent Price movies.

I’d say b. A giant, bold, underlined, flashing capital B.