For one reason or another, the Blu-ray edition of John Hughes’ 1985 comedy ‘Weird Science’ never got sufficient coverage here at High-Def Digest. My intent isn’t to provide a full review of the disc, but rather to offer random (and often silly) observations in the hopes of sparking readers’ comments and memories (the good, the bad, and the ugly) about the movie.
Theatrical Release Date: August 2, 1985
Blu-ray Release Date: October 13, 2013
Directed by: John Hughes
Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, the Ex-Mrs. Steven Seagal, Pvt. Hudson, Iron Man, and that kid with the high-pitched voice no one remembers.
Budget: $7.5 million ($17 million in 2017 dollars)
Box Office Gross Worldwide: $39 million ($88.6 million in 2017 dollars)
The Plot in a Sentence
A pair of nerdy and horny high school students use their home computer to create a real-life supermodel.
Best Reason to Watch
Seeing a young Bill Paxton having the time of his life playing Chet Donnelly, the older and very obnoxious brother of one of the two teenage leads.
Worst Reason to Watch
Unlike most of Hughes’ other movies, the characters in this one have very little depth. Much of the film is just an excuse for sight gags and lots of 1980s special effects.
Best Song Used
You’ll be humming Oingo Boingo’s title song “Weird Science” long after your viewing is over.
Worst Song Used
Why use Bill Conti’s ‘Rocky’ theme in the last moments? Just because the ‘Rocky’ movies were super popular in the mid-’80s? That attempt at humor doesn’t work.
Best Song Not Used
Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” came out in 1982 and would have been a perfect fit. Did Hughes ever ask to use the song in the movie? Who knows? It would have been a perfect fit.
This was John Hughes’ third movie in a row where he used Anthony Michael Hall as a main character. The prior two, of course, were ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’.
Anthony Michael Hall turned down the chance to reprise his role as Rusty Griswold in ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’ to do this movie. Good move? Mistake? It’s probably a wash.
The Power of the Pen
A noted fast writer, John Hughes wrote the script for ‘Weird Science’ in just two days. Maybe he should have taken an extra day or two?
Computer creation Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) chewing out Gary’s mother and father for being poor parents to their son.
Seeing Anthony Michael Hall spend about ten minutes of the movie doing a borderline racist (at least by 2017 standards) African-American impersonation after getting drunk in a bar.
Tony Stark Sighting
Yes, the future Iron Man is part of the cast. Robert Downey, Jr. (the credits omit the “Jr.”) plays a classmate of Gary and Wyatt, and is a total ass to both of them.
‘Road Warrior’ Connection
John Hughes cast ‘The Road Warrior’ star Vernon Wells to play one of the bikers seen during the movie’s big party scene. Wells is dressed almost identically to his depiction of Wez from the ‘Mad Max’ film. Here, his character’s name is Lord General.
Best Line in ‘Weird Science’
“Stop hitting people with your Rex Harrison hat!”
Worst Line(s) in ‘Weird Science’
All the lines Anthony Michael Hall spouts during his drunk scenes (see above).
Thing That Made Me Go “Hmmmm…”
There’s a scene in a mall where our heroes get an ICEE dumped on their heads from above by their high school enemies. The amount of liquid in the cup in no way matches the gallon of ICEE that lands on Gary and Wyatt. Weird science, indeed.
Best Thing About the Blu-ray
A 16 ½-minute retrospective (shot in 2008 and ported over from the DVD release) featuring Anthony Michael Hall and others (including film critic Owen Gleiberman and screenwriter Diablo Cody) discussing their memories of the film.
“She’s Alive… Again!”
Universal Studios has been mulling over the idea of a reboot of the movie for a few years now. Will it ever happen? Will they be smart enough to hire Margot Robbie? Here’s hoping.
Worth Picking Up?
Borderline, but yes. ‘Weird Science’ is definitely one of the lesser movies in the John Hughes canon, but the Bill Paxton performance and ’80s nostalgia still make this one worth a look.