Weird Science (film)
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
|Directed by||John Hughes|
|Produced by||Joel Silver|
|Written by||John Hughes|
|Based on||Weird Science
by EC Comics
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Chris Lebenzon
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$38.9 million|
Weird Science is a 1985 American teen comic science fiction film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly Le Brock. 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. The title song was written and performed by American new wave band Oingo Boingo.
Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are publicly humiliated by Ian (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Max (Robert Rusler) for swooning over the girlfriends of Ian and Max. Dejected and disappointed at their direction in life and wanting more, Gary convinces the uptight Wyatt that they need a boost of popularity in order to get their crushes, Hilly (Judie Aronson) and Deb (Suzanne Snyder), away from Ian and Max. Alone for the weekend with Wyatt's parents gone, Gary is inspired by the 1931 classic Frankenstein to create a virtual girl using Wyatt's computer; infusing her with everything they can conceive to make the perfect dream woman. After hooking electrodes to a doll and hacking into a government computer system for more power, a power surge creates Lisa (Kelly Le Brock), a beautiful and intelligent woman with seemingly endless powers. Promptly, she conjures up a Cadillac convertible to take the boys out to a bar, using her powers to manipulate people into believing Gary and Wyatt are of age. The boys come up with the name Lisa based upon a failed romantic experience of Gary's.
They return home drunk and happen upon Chet (Bill Paxton), Wyatt's mean older brother, who extorts money from him to buy his silence. Lisa agrees to keep herself hidden from him, but realizes that Gary and Wyatt, while extremely sweet are very uptight and need to unwind. After a humiliating experience at the mall where Max and Ian pour an ICEE beverage on Gary and Wyatt in front of a crowd of people, Lisa tells them about a party at Wyatt's house, of which Wyatt had no prior knowledge, before driving off in a Porsche 928 she conjured for Gary. Despite Wyatt's protests, Lisa insists that the party happen anyway in order to loosen the boys up. She goes to meet Gary's parents, Al and Lucy, who, to Gary's embarrassment, are shocked and dismayed at the things she says and her frank manner. After she pulls a gun on them (later revealed to Gary to be a water pistol), she alters their memories so that Lucy forgets about the conflict, and Al forgets that they've had a son altogether. Back at the Donnelly house, the party has spun out of control while Gary and Wyatt take refuge in the bathroom where they resolve to have a good time, despite having embarrassed themselves in front of Deb and Hilly. Meanwhile, Wyatt's grandparents arrive and confront Lisa about the party, but she freezes them and hides them in a cupboard. Upstairs in Wyatt's bedroom, Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to recreate the events that created Lisa, but Lisa chides them over their misuse of the magic to impress their tormentors. She also mentions that they forgot to connect the doll; thus, with the bare but live electrodes lying on top of a magazine page showing a Pershing II medium-range ballistic missile, a real missile appears through the house. Lisa resolves that the boys need a challenge to boost their confidence and has a gang of mutant bikers invade the party, causing chaos and sending the boys running.
The bikers take Deb and Hilly hostage, and Wyatt and Gary decide they need to save them. They confront the bikers with a new boost of confidence (and Lisa's water pistol) to force them to back down. After they leave peacefully, Gary accidentally fires the gun, which is now real, and their bravery makes Deb and Hilly fall in love with them. The next morning, Chet uncovers the disarray in which the house is — the missile protruding through the kitchen and floor joists and carpet of the bedroom, the kitchen being turned entirely blue, and his catatonic grandparents in the cupboard — before confronting Wyatt and Gary. Lisa tells the boys to escort the girls home while she talks to Chet alone. Gary narrowly escapes being pulled over by the police in a conjured Ferrari, while Wyatt proclaims his love for Hilly before being sprayed by her parent's lawn sprinklers, and both girls reciprocate their feelings to the boys. Returning home, they discover Chet, now transformed into a giant, talking turd,who apologizes to Wyatt for his behavior. Lisa assures them that Chet will return to normal, and realizing that her work is done and that they don't need her anymore, she kisses both Gary and Wyatt before dematerializing and vanishing. As she is leaving all of the disarray is magically transformed back to normal, the missile disappears, the home is restored to its original fastidious state and Chet returns to normal just as Wyatt's parents return home, unaware anything odd has happened at all.
Sometime later at their high school, a gym class of sweaty, pimply adolescent boys waiting for gym-class to begin is met by a beautifully fit coach in spandex. It is revealed to be Lisa who tells the class to "Drop and give me twenty", causing all the boys in the class to faint and collapse. She turns to the camera and smiles knowingly.
- Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace
- Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly
- Kelly Le Brock as Lisa
- Bill Paxton as Chet Donnelly
- Robert Downey Jr. as Ian (Credited as Robert Downey)
- Robert Rusler as Max
- Suzanne Snyder as Deb
- Judie Aronson as Hilly
- Vernon Wells as Lord General
- Britt Leach and Barbara Lang as Al and Lucy Wallace, Gary's parents
- Ivor Barry and Ann Coyle as Henry and Carmen Donnelly, Wyatt and Chet's grandparents
- Doug MacHugh and Pamela Gordon as Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly, Wyatt and Chet's parents
- Michael Berryman as Mutant Biker
- John Kapelos as Dino
- D'Mitch Davis as Bartender
- Jill Whitlow as Susan, the perfume salesgirl
- Wally Ward as Art
- Renee Props as a member of The Weenies
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". The film is now regarded as a cult classic. 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.
- "Weird Science" – Oingo Boingo
- "Turn It On" – Kim Wilde
- "Deep in the Jungle" – Wall of Voodoo
- "Tubular Bells" – Mike Oldfield
- "Tesla Girls" – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
- "Private Joy" – Cheyne
- "Wanted Man" – Ratt
- "Don't Worry Baby" – Los Lobos
- "Forever" – Taxxi
- "Method to My Madness" – The Lords of the New Church
- "Eighties" – Killing Joke
- "Why Don't Pretty Girls Look at Me" – Wild Men of Wonga
- "Nervous and Shakey" – The Del Fuegos
- "The Circle" – Max Carl
- "Tenderness" – General Public
- "Do Not Disturb (Knock Knock)" – The Broken Homes
- "Oh, Pretty Woman" – Van Halen
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.
As of 2013[update], 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.
- "Weird Science (1985)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- "Late Night TV, The Force & Cult Films — Oliver Grand".
- rossmcguinness20 (9 May 2015). "Weird Science is 30: 15 weirdly great things about the '80s classic - Metro News". Metro.
- "Weird Science (1985)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "'Weird Science' Remake — John Hughes Classic Getting Redo - Deadline". Deadline.
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