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Weird Science

USA 1985
produced by
Joel Silver for Universal
directed by John Hughes
starring Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey jr, Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Britt Leach, Barbara Lang, Michael Berryman, Ivor Barry, Ann Coyle, Suzy J. Kellems, John Kapelos, Fred D. Scott, Vince Townsend jr, Chino 'Fats' Williams, Jill Whitlow, Theodocia Goodrich, Wallace Langham, Johnny Timko, Mikul Robins, Darren Harris, Renee Props, Michael Cramer, Todd Hoffman, D'Mitch Davis, Mary Steelsmith, Robin Frohman, Alison Carole Lowe, Kym Malin, Jennifer Balgobin, Jeff Jensen, Prince Hughes, Rick LeFevour, Rock A. Walker, Joe Gieb, Kevin Thompson, Doug MacHugh, Pamela Gordon
screenplay by John Hughes, based on the story Made of the Future by Al Feldstein, published in EC Comics' Weird Science, music by Ira Newborn, title song by Oingo Boingo, special visual effects by R/Greenberg Associates

review by
Mike Haberfelner

15 year old Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are pretty much the nerds of their school, and thus the constant victim of bullies Ian (Robert Downey jr) and Max (Robert Rusler). However, they'd love to be part of the in-crowd, would love to be the life of every party and have really hot girlfriends. And since Wyatt has one of these new-fangled computers, they - after watching the classic Bride of Frankenstein - decide to create themselves the perfect woman, which by a series of freak accidents (paired with a total neglect of all computer science) actually works out fine, and the boys are left with beautiful Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), who is of course totally devoted to them and has magical powers to fulfill all their wishes, but she also has a mind of her own, and her top priority is to give the boys the self confidence they lack. So she lets herself be seen with them to give them attention, then behind their back she organizes a huge party at Wyatt's house when his parents are gone for the weekend. Of course, the party gets out of hand, Gary and Wyatt really don't feel up to what's going on, Ian and Max get the hots for Lisa, our heroes fall in love with Ian and Max's girlfriends Deb (Suzanne Snyder) and Hilly (Judie Aronson). Then the boys want to create a second Lisa for Ian and Max, but create a rocket instead (because that's how computers work, obviously) ... and ultimately Lisa realizes it's hopeless if she doesn't step in to help the boys to get what they've hoped for (Deb and Hilly), so she has a gang of mutant bikers (Vernon Wells, Michael Berryman, Jennifer Balgobin, Jeff Jensen) attack the party and puts it in the boys' hands to save the day ...

Bill Paxton turns in a rather hilarious performance as Wyatt's brother.

 

Now I have to admit up front I'm not John Hughes' biggest fan, and haven't been in the 1980s when he released his (in lack of a better word) iconic teen comedies, and I actually was among his peer audience ... but this one is fun, at least retrospectively speaking. Sure, the "science fiction" of the film is as far fetched as can be and has really to do more with the world of magicians and genies than anything known about IT - but it's fun to see how Hughes plays with the tropes of the genre he has used time and again on the canvas of a genre a bit alien to him. And frankly, not all does work out great, but in its best moments, Weird Science is lots of fun, and even in its worst a pleasant trip down nostalgia lane, with early performances by Robert Downey jr and Bill Paxton being an extra sales point from today's point of view.

So no masterpiece perhaps - but lots of fun!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD