Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science (1985) Directed by John Hughes

John Hughes’ awful raunchy screwball comedy is a teenager’s androcentric wet dream made into a movie, literally. Put a bunch of Brat Pack actors in front of the cameras, give them horny witless dialogue, dress them up as a gaudy new wave band enmeshed in the irrationality of a pop culture charade and congratulations, you’ve got one of the most disastrous movies John Hughes has ever made.

Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith are exceptional in the roles of two teenage high-school outcasts who fantasize about having a girlfriend, so they draw inspiration from Frankenstein’s lunacy to create the ideal woman for their shallow male standards. The utopia of the perfect bride is brought to life with the inexplicable technological phenomenology of a primitive computer. This must be the most implausible adolescent rendition of Frankenstein’s mythology. Sexual fantasy comes to life in the curvaceous shape of Kelly LeBrock; as offensive as this wacky idea is for a movie in the post Porky’s era, I refuse to believe that’s the crux of its problems, it’s just one of many, but not the most grotesque. The latter I think is the movie’s inability to add sense to its nonsense. Everything is ridiculous in Weird Science, but John Hughes gives us nothing, absolutely nothing to believe in that ridiculousness. Incredible to think that in 1985 John Hughes would release the best of his craft –The Breakfast Club– and the worst of it –Weird Science-, an awkward dichotomy in his successful career. The fruitless quest to turn this harebrained sexist gag into an educational message about the value of confidence and self-esteem only achieves tastelessness, and not a very funny one at that.

Even with its humorous referential moments where you realize, “Oh look that’s a young Robert Downey Jr. playing the uppity poster boy” “Is that the guy from Mad Max 2?” “Awesome! That’s psycho Michael Berryman on a motorcycle!” “Hey Bill Paxton plays the douchebag in the movie how cool!”, the movie goes nowhere. It may work from the perspective of a cheesy ’80s pop commercial, but as a movie it fails at colossal proportions – not precisely because of its political incorrectness, but because of its uncharismatic and aimless illogical universe.


Matteo Bedon

Written by

Editor and Official Film Critic at

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