Weird Science (film)

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Weird Science
Movie poster for Weird Science (1985).jpg
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
Directed byJohn Hughes
Produced byJoel Silver
Written byJohn Hughes
Based onWeird Science 
by EC Comics
StarringAnthony Michael Hall
Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Kelly LeBrock
Bill Paxton
Robert Downey, Jr.
Music byIra Newborn
Jimmy Iovine
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Editing byChris Lebenzon
Mark Warner
StudioSilver Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • August 2, 1985 (1985-08-02)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$38,934,048
 
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Weird Science
Movie poster for Weird Science (1985).jpg
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
Directed byJohn Hughes
Produced byJoel Silver
Written byJohn Hughes
Based onWeird Science 
by EC Comics
StarringAnthony Michael Hall
Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Kelly LeBrock
Bill Paxton
Robert Downey, Jr.
Music byIra Newborn
Jimmy Iovine
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Editing byChris Lebenzon
Mark Warner
StudioSilver Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • August 2, 1985 (1985-08-02)
Running time94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$38,934,048

Weird Science is a 1985 American teen sci-fi comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly LeBrock. The film's producer, Joel Silver, acquired film rights to the pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name, from which the plot is developed as an expansion and modernization of the basic premise in Al Feldstein's story "Made of the Future" in the fifth issue.[citation needed] The title song was written and performed by American New Wave band Oingo Boingo.

As of 2013, a remake of Weird Science is currently in development at Universal Studios, with Joel Silver returning as producer and Michael Bacall also returning as screenwriter.[1]

Plot[edit]

The film takes place in the fictitious Chicago suburb of Shermer, Illinois. Two high school nerds, Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), are pantsed by school bullies Ian (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler).

Later on, at Wyatt's house, the boys have the house to themselves for the weekend. Inspired by the 1931 version of Frankenstein, which the boys watch on TV, they decide to create a "perfect" woman on their home computer (a Memotech MTX512). When their computer reaches its computing capacity, the boys decide to hack into a government mainframe for more processing power and data storage capacity. As a finishing touch they connect a Barbie doll to Wyatt's computer through a series of wires and electrodes. At the exact moment they hit "enter" to execute the computer program, a lightning bolt strikes the house leading to a series of fringe science occurrences. When the smoke clears a beautiful woman (Kelly LeBrock) emerges from Wyatt's bathroom. Her first words are "So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?"

In addition to being totally devoted to them, the woman has superhuman abilities, such as memory manipulation, molecular manipulation, and reality warping. The boys are too intimidated to take advantage of the obvious opportunities presented, as is shown when they keep their jeans on while showering with her. Realizing the boys need to lower their inhibitions, she transforms their outfits and then takes them out in a pink 1959 Cadillac convertible that she conjured up. The boys name her Lisa. Lisa takes them to a blues club. The trio end up ingratiating themselves to the staff and some of the regulars, in part with the help of alcohol.

As they head home, Lisa asks Wyatt about his older brother, Chet (Bill Paxton), who extorts blackmail money from him in exchange for withholding information from their parents, as shown when he brings a drunk Gary home past Wyatt's curfew. After putting Gary to bed, Wyatt shares a series of increasingly passionate kisses with Lisa. At a shopping mall, Gary and Wyatt, finally feeling secure after their time with Lisa, are humiliated once again by Ian and Max, who dump an Icee onto them in front of the whole mall, upsetting their own girlfriends, Deb (Suzanne Snyder) and Hilly (Judie Aronson). Ian and Max then spot Lisa on the escalator and abandon the girls to run after her. When they catch up with her, she invites them to a party at Wyatt's. Gary then pulls up in a black Porsche 928 and he, Wyatt, and Lisa leave together, to Ian and Max's chagrin.

The milquetoast Wyatt begs Lisa to cancel a planned party, but she refuses, pointing out that it will lead to the popularity that he and Gary want. She then picks up Gary at his house, but when Gary's parents, Al (Britt Leach) and Lucy (Barbara Lang), object to Gary going out with a woman Lisa's age, Lisa manipulates their memories so that Lucy forgets the incident and Al forgets he has a son. Back at the house the party begins. Gary and Wyatt, too intimidated to socialize at first, lock themselves in the bathroom. Deb and Hilly meet Gary and Wyatt in the bathroom and are surprised to discover that they, not Lisa, are the party hosts. Max and Ian encounter Lisa and make a pass at her. She refuses, explaining that she "belongs" to Gary and Wyatt.

Ian and Max then scheme to offer Gary and Wyatt permission to date their own girlfriends in exchange for dating Lisa, leading Gary and Wyatt to explain how they created her and an attempt to recreate the process in Wyatt's bedroom with the computer follows. They forget, however, to connect the computer to the Barbie doll, instead leaving it clamped to a Time magazine on whose cover is a Pershing medium-range ballistic missile. As soon as the machine starts up, the kitchen turns blue, a picture of Wyatt's parents starts dancing, the chimney proceeds to suck up all the furniture in the living room and launch it into a lake out back, and the "Weird Science" song starts playing. The missile, like Lisa, becomes real and ends up emerging in the middle of Wyatt's bedroom from underground. When Gary and Wyatt are dejected by this, Lisa decides to provoke a confrontation in order to spur them to stand up for themselves. She conjures a group of mutant bikers to disrupt the party. At first the bikers intimidate and humiliate Gary and Wyatt, but after they accost Deb and Hilly, Gary and Wyatt stand up to the mutants, mainly because they realize they are Lisa's creation. Everyone present, including Deb and Hilly, are impressed by the boys. After the mutant bikers apologize and leave the house, the boys and girls end up pairing off, Gary with Deb and Wyatt with Hilly.

Early the next morning, Chet returns from spending the night out and is angry at the state of the house. Lisa tells Gary and Wyatt to take Deb and Hilly home. Gary and Wyatt take the girls home, each guy sharing a kiss with his new girlfriend. Lisa confronts Chet, telling him that he will no longer threaten or extort money from Wyatt. Lisa then transforms Chet into a squat, grotesque creature, humbling him enough to apologize to Wyatt. Gary and Wyatt talk to Lisa, who understands that the boys now have girlfriends, which is all that she wanted for them. After saying goodbye, Lisa disappears in a puff of smoke and the damage to the house and Chet's transformation is reversed just in time for the return of Wyatt's parents from Cincinnati, Ohio.

In the epilogue, a group of high school students hear their new gym teacher's whistle. When their teacher turns out to be Lisa, the entire class of boys faint and Lisa winks to the viewer.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film received a mixed response from critics. Based on 27 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 56% of critics gave Weird Science a positive review, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The consensus states: "Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances".[2] The film was successful at the box office with a gross of $23,834,048 in North America and $15,100,000 in other territories, totaling $38,934,048 worldwide.[3]

TV series[edit]

A television show based on the film ran from 1994 to 1998 over 88 episodes. Following the same basic plot as the film, the series starred Vanessa Angel as Lisa, Michael Manasseri as Wyatt, John Mallory Asher as Gary, and Lee Tergesen as Chet.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's theme song, "Weird Science," was performed by Oingo Boingo and written by the band's frontman Danny Elfman.[4]

  1. "Weird Science" – Oingo Boingo
  2. "Turn It On" – Kim Wilde
  3. "Deep in the Jungle" – Wall of Voodoo
  4. "Tubular Bells" – Mike Oldfield
  5. "Tesla Girls" – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  6. "Private Joy" – Cheyne
  7. "Wanted Man" – Ratt
  8. "Don't Worry Baby" – Los Lobos
  9. "Forever" – Taxxi
  10. "Method to My Madness" – The Lords of the New Church
  11. "Eighties" – Killing Joke
  12. "Why Don't Pretty Girls Look at Me" – Wild Man from Wonga
  13. "Nervous and Shakey" – The Del Fuegos
  14. "The Circle" – Max Carl
  15. "Tenderness" – General Public
  16. "Do Not Disturb (Knock Knock)" – The Broken Homes
  17. "Oh, Pretty Woman" – Van Halen

Remake[edit]

As of 2013, Universal Studios is planning to make a Weird Science remake with original Weird Science producer Joel Silver returning to produce the film and with screenwriter Michael Bacall writing the film. This film will attempt to distinguish itself from the original Weird Science film by being redone as an edgier comedy in line with 21 Jump Street and The Hangover, which were R-rated; the studio says the rating for this Weird Science remake is not certain at this stage of the movie's development.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]