A scientist performs experiments involving intelligence enhancing drugs and virtual reality on a simple-minded gardener. He puts the gardener on an extensive schedule of learning, and quickly he becomes brilliant. But at this point the gardener has a few ideas of his own on how the research should continue, and the scientist begins losing control of his experiments. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The eight minutes of computer generated special effects took seven people and eight months to complete on a budget of $500,000. See more »
After he transitions into The Shop's computer mainframe, Job is unable to defuse the bombs that Angelo has placed throughout the facility because, as Angelo himself notes, he's trapped there until he can inhabit the entire planet, as he plans. But Job is able to unlock The Shop's doors to allow Angelo and Peter to escape. See more »
A modern sci-fi/horror adaptation from the mind of Stephen King
The first half of this science fiction horror tale (based on a short story from Stephen King's Night Shift Collection) is thought provoking and gripping, but the latter half decides to dive deep into an eccentric and confusing mix of special effects and pseudo-scientific mayhem. Dr. Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) is a brilliant but obsessed computer science specialist that is engaged in secret government experiments to create super-intelligent soldiers out of chimpanzees by using virtual reality simulations to stimulate the brain. When the experiment goes haywire, and a rogue chimp gets away, Angelo believes his destiny is to better mankind by using a human subject for his projects for the purpose of curing brain diseases and not warfare. His subject is Jobe, (played perfectly by Jeff Fahey) the half-wit lawnmower man that lives in the shed of a church next door. As Dr. Angelo's experiments progress, Jobe becomes an intelligent super-human genius whose powers eventually spiral out of control.
This film is triumphant on many various levels. Films dealing with a gradual transformation/disintegration of a central character are very intriguing to watch, and this is very much "Cronenbergian" in its portrayal of Jobe and how he develops into a telekinetic mad genius from a complete idiot and ultimately becomes a tragically vengeful and emotionless entity. The themes dealing with the unlocking of the human primordial intellect and controlling its power by wisdom and not impatient force work wonderfully. The performances are superb as well as the animation sequences, and director Brett Leonard (Virtuosity) is good at integrating them into a live action film. There are many sinister government character types that add suspense to the plot, and Jenny Wright is great as the sexy seductress neighbor who has her way with Jobe. The only time this fails is when Jobe gets revenge on the government goons and the characters that antagonized him by merging his powers with the world of virtual reality resulting in some far out murder sequences that just don't seem to make any sense. Jobe eventually infuses himself with the computer mainframe, and the climax becomes a bit too bizarre, even for sci-fi computer geek fans. Nonetheless, this is a well-made, above-average assault on the senses. If you can find the VHS unrated director's cut, it is much better than the DVD release which is cut by almost twenty minutes, losing most of its character development and style. This is highly recommended for fans of mind-bending sci-fi/horror.
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