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‘Weird Science’ gets lost in the shuffle

‘Weird Science’ is an overlooked classic.

John Hughes had his finger on the pulse of 1980’s teen culture. This led to a series of movies that are still fondly remembered today. Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club are some of the classics that will be named immediately by fans. And with good reason; these movies are some of the most definitive of the decade.. 

Unfortunately, when you have a library as prolific as Hughes’s, even the best movies tend to slip through the cracks. Arrow Video is releasing a great example. Weird Science hit theaters in 1985 and was another commercial success for the director. Yet, it is rarely mentioned when people talk about their favorite movies from Hughes.

Here’s the thing: Weird Science is just as good-if not better!-than other films directed by Hughes. (I like Ferris Bueller as much as the next person. That being said, the premise starts to wear thin and pretty much everything involving Cameron starts to wear thin.) It has the same goofball charm of Sixteen Candles. It can be just as wacky as Ferris Bueller. It lacks the heavy moments of The Breakfast Club, but it does not need them either. This is a focused and tight movie that is all about silly fun.

It certainly is not lacking and memorable scenes. Kelly Lebrock’s entrance is one of the most memorable of the 80s. Ignoring the fact that she was the “it’s “girl, this scene is just shot beautifully. After a door expands outward like a balloon, it violently explodes. There is a ridiculous amount of smoke and the doorway is filled with bright pink lighting. The audience’s first introduction to Lisa sets the tone for the movie.

Lisa is different from other 80’s bombshells. Though she is first seen in a skimpy top and panties, she is as powerful as she is sexy. Ask someone to pick their favorite Lisa moment from Weird Science and it will be the shower scene or when she threatens Gary’s father with a gun. She is not just there for her sex appeal. (That is obviously then main reason through.)

Weird Science also includes one of Anthony Michael Hall’s best performances. Gary is the supposedly suave ladies’ man whose idea it was to create Lisa. His deadpan delivery is great and his outbursts are laugh out loud funny. His finest moment is the first bar Lisa takes him. As a drunk Gary talks to his new friends, he is barely intelligible. The conversation is hilarious and culminates with Gary falling through a table and proclaiming. “The party’s over.” Anyone who has seen Weird Science has Gary’s voice stuck in their head.

Remember that scene in The Breakfast Club Emilio Estevez breaks an entire window with the power of his scream? Of course you do; it’s ridiculous. Weird Science is a silly movie about two horny teenagers who create the perfect women. In other words, it has creative license to do anything. This leads to less questions that make the movie more entertaining. Whether it is post apocalyptic bikers, insane house parties, or high speed chases involving the police, it all works. Hughes uses every trope in Weird Science leading to hilarious moments.

Weird Science is one of director John Hughes’s best movies. It is incredibly funny and filled with unforgettable moments. Released in a decade filled with great teen comedies, it is also a, “Oh, I remember that one” film. 

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