Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)

Farhad Mann had some major success in TV. Perhaps most importantly in our study of ancient future film, he was the director of the U.S. pilot for Max Headroom (as well as the pilot for Forever Knight). He’s done tons of commercials and now makes TV movies, but at one point, he wrote and directed a sequel to a movie that people hated. And the few people who liked The Lawnmower Man hated this one.

The founder of virtual reality, Dr. Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin, who once menaced Julia Roberts in Sleeping With the Enemy), lost his legal battle to patent the Chiron Chip, which could be the tool that makes mankind slaves to computers. Of course, once entrepreneur Jonathan Walker (Kevin Conway, the barker from The Funhouse) finds a barely alive Jobe Smith (now played by Matt Frewer, speaking of Max Headroom) and hooks him up to the virtual reality grid, well, that’s exactly what happens.

I kind of loved this movie, because I kept yelling out lines in the voice of Sark from Tron, stuff like “The Master Control Program has chosen you to serve your system on the Game Grid.” and “Bring on the Logic Probe!” and “Welcome to the video game grid!”

If you can watch this incredibly dated VR movie with that attitude, you just may enjoy it.

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