When the Mowin’ Gets Tough (The Tough Get Mowin’) – Blades (1989)

Troma Entertainment, the company that would unleash numerous classics throughout the years the Toxic Avenger to name but one would release the excellent Blades about a killer lawnmower in 1989. If a killer lawnmower does not grab a person’s attention, then there is probably nothing that will.

As one might expect, coming from Troma and all, there is a lot of cheese and a lot of camp involved that is mixed right in with the horror and while not high art, the movie does it right and provides oodles of entertainment. The setting of this film is a golf course, where one might expect to find lawnmowers, and it is here that bodies start to turn up dismembered and bloody and make for the most grisly of visions. Nobody knows what is causing it but they decide to pin it on a former employee, one who knows the actual truth of the matter and when that does not stop the killings, it is up to Roy and Kelly as portrayed by Robert North and Victoria Scott respectively, to stop the demon mower before anyone else gets hurt.

Directed by Thomas R. Rondinella, many call this a parody of Jaws though maybe he was just looking to pay homage to Spielberg’s classic. Whatever the case, one can see bits throughout the film that mirror what happens in that classic shark picture, from the point of view shots as the lawnmower stalks its victims to Roy cutting open the mower bag with the grass clippings and so forth. For those that can pick up on all of them, they do provide a bit of a chuckle when noticed though there is more humour to be found such as the posse that goes out to catch the killer, looking almost as if it were lifted from a cheapie Gene Autry western from years past. There is nothing that will make one bust a gut, it is hard to say if there are any Troma movies that really make one laugh out loud, but it is funny to watch North’s character Roy get himself into some sticky situations, not to mention some of the faces he makes throughout when confronted with the ridiculous. The rest of the cast is in fine form though the material is ultimately ludicrous and could have used a better script yet they make do and one cannot say they did not try.

There is a fair amount of blood and gore throughout, the lawnmower making short work of anyone who gets caught in its way and that too provides a bit of mirth as one watches it go here and there as if it had a mind of its own, something so unassuming being so deadly. If there was one thing that Blades did not do, it was not providing a sequel which almost surely would have been just as fun and making one wonder if it would ape Jaws 2 or go in a different direction. When all is said and done, one has to remember that lawnmowers are not toys and are deadly serious. Always be cautious.

3 out of 5

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