A brief look at how lawn mowers are portrayed in popular culture
Mowing the lawn, mowing the lawn… We couldn’t resist the Judas Priest reference. Sorry, folks. Image by Lassedesignen (via Shutterstock).
The most obvious candidate for this is The Lawnmower Man. Released in 1992, it brought virtual reality to a wider audience. Starring Pierce Brosnan, the male lead switches from being Mister Average to a Mister Genius. The CGI graphics were fine in their day, but hideously dated for 2017. It is based on the 1975 Stephen King novel.
In Computer Games:
Two computer games with lawn mowers spring to our mind, though they are more than 30 years old! The first one is Hover Bovver, where you need to mow your way through several gardens. Obstacles include flower beds, angry men, and rabid dogs. Released in 1983 on the Commodore 64, it was one of several games published on Jeff Minter’s Llamasoft label.
If you had a ZX Spectrum computer, you may have heard of Advanced Lawnmower Simulator. All you need to do is press ‘M’ to mow the lawn, from the bottom of the screen to the top of the overgrown lawn.
In Popular Music
Sadly, Qualcast Your Fate To The Wind nor Flymo Him So Well didn’t make the cut, nor the Radio One playlist (the songs don’t exist). A song by Billy Crockett, entitled 41 Lawnmowers is nearer the mark, which is a reflection on the American way of life. Offering a tenuous link is Joni Mitchell’s 1975 album The Hissing of Summer Lawns.
Lawn mowers have often appeared on programmes akin to Top Gear, in a competitive sense (i.e. lawnmower racing). Sky One’s Vroom Vroom (yes, a counterfeit version of Top Gear) is another example, though with presenters trying their hand at racing ride-on lawnmowers. In early 2015, there was a 12-Hour Lawnmower Ice Grand Prix in Finland. What a shame it wasn’t known as Wec Le Mowers.