Weird Science (film)
|Directed by||John Hughes|
|Produced by||Joel Silver|
|Written by||John Hughes|
by EC Comics
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|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 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. The title song was written and performed by American new wave band Oingo Boingo.
Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly are humiliated by Ian and Max for swooning over their girlfriends Deb and Hilly. 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 away from Ian and Max. Alone for the weekend with Wyatt's parents gone, Gary is inspired by the 1935 classic Bride of 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, a beautiful and intelligent woman with seemingly endless powers. Promptly, she conjures up a Cadillac to take the boys to a bar, using her powers to manipulate people into believing Gary and Wyatt are of age.
They return home drunk and happen upon Chet, 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 on Gary and Wyatt in front of a crowd, Lisa tells the bullies 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 happens 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; however, Al forgets that they had a son altogether. 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. 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 resting on 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.
When the bikers take Deb and Hilly hostage, Wyatt and Gary confront the bikers with a new boost of confidence, and their bravery makes Deb and Hilly fall in love with them. The bikers leave, and the next morning, Chet uncovers the disarray in which the house is — including the missile and his catatonic grandparents — 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 to the house, the boys 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 do not need her anymore, she kisses both Gary and Wyatt before dematerializing. As she leaves, the disarray is magically transformed back to normal, including Chet and the house. Wyatt's parents return home, unaware anything odd has happened at all.
Sometime later at their high school, Lisa becomes the gym class coach for a group of adolescent boys.
- Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace
- Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly
- Kelly LeBrock 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 28 reviews at the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 54% of critics gave Weird Science a positive review, with an average rating of 5.5/10. 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 for 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 was planning a Weird Science remake with original producer Joel Silver returning to produce the film and with screenwriter Michael Bacall writing the film. This film would 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 stated the rating for this Weird Science remake was not certain at that stage of the movie's development.
- "Weird Science (1985)". Rotten Tomatoes. 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. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "'Weird Science' Remake—John Hughes Classic Getting Redo". Deadline Hollywood.
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