Theatrical release poster
by Tom Jung
|Directed by||John Hughes|
|Produced by||Joel Silver|
|Written by||John Hughes|
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$38.9 million|
Weird Science is a 1985 American teen science fiction comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly LeBrock. The title is taken from a pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name, the rights to which were acquired by the film's producer Joel Silver. 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 senior jocks Ian and Max for swooning over their cheerleader girlfriends Deb and Hilly. Rejected 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 1931 classic Frankenstein to create a virtual woman 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 unlimited magical powers. Promptly, she conjures up a Cadillac to take the boys to a dive bar in Chicago, 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 she realizes that Gary and Wyatt, while extremely sweet, are very uptight and need to unwind. After another humiliating experience at the mall when 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 happen 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. In Wyatt's bedroom, Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to recreate the events that created Lisa, but it fails. Lisa chides them over their misuse of the magic to impress their tormentors. She also explains 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, crashing through the house. Meanwhile, Wyatt's grandparents arrive and confront Lisa about the party, but she freezes them and hides them in a cupboard. Lisa realizes 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 decide to confront the bikers, causing Deb and Hilly to fall in love with them. The bikers leave, and the next morning, Chet discovers the house in disarray, including a localized snowstorm in his room, and the missile. Lisa tells the boys to escort the girls home while she talks to Chet alone. Gary and Wyatt proclaim their feelings, and both girls reciprocate their feelings to the boys. Returning to the house, the boys discover Chet, now transformed into a talking mutant blob. He apologizes to Wyatt for his behavior. Upstairs, Lisa assures them that Chet will soon return to normal, and, realizing that her purpose is complete, hugs both Gary and Wyatt before de-materializing. As she leaves, the house is magically cleaned and everything transformed back to normal, including Chet. Wyatt's parents return home, completely unaware that anything odd has happened.
Later at Gary and Wyatt's high school, Lisa turns up as the new gym teacher, thus continuing her mission to look out for the two boys.
Roger Ebert called LeBrock "wonderful" in her role and thought that as a result the film was "funnier, and a little deeper, than the predictable story it might have been."Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that "Mr. Hughes shows that he can share the kind of dumb joke that only a 14-year old boy could love. There are enough moviegoing 14-year old boys to make a hit out of Weird Science, of course, but for the rest of the population, its pandering is strenuous enough to be cause for alarm." Variety wrote, "Weird Science is not nearly as weird as it should have been and, in fact, is a rather conventional kids-in-heat film, and a chaste one at that. Director-writer John Hughes squanders the opportunity to comment on the power struggle between the sexes for a few easy laughs." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "What a disappointment Weird Science is! A wonderful writer-director has taken a cute idea about two teenage Dr. Frankensteins creating a perfect woman by computer and turned it into a vulgar, mindless, special-effects-cluttered wasteland." Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times described LeBrock as "triumphant" and the "film's greatest asset", but thought the film's appeal was limited to audiences of 15-year-old boys and "maybe the 16-year olds, if they aren't yet too fussy." Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote, "Unbelievably, John Hughes, the maker of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club , writes and directs this snickering, sordid, special effects fantasy, with Kelly LeBrock in a demeaning role as love slave to a pair of 15-year olds."
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 57% based on 35 reviews, and an average rating of 5.66/10. 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." $15.1 million in other territories, totaling $38,934,048 worldwide.The film is now regarded as a cult classic. The film grossed $23,834,048 in North America and
The film's theme song, "Weird Science," was performed by Oingo Boingo and written by the band's frontman Danny Elfman. The soundtrack album was released on MCA Records:
A television series based on the film ran for 88 episodes, from 1994 to 1998. 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, and Michael Bacall writing the film. The film was set to attempt to distinguish itself from the original Weird Science by being 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. However, as of mid-2019, nothing of the remake had materialized. In 2017, Ilan Mitchell-Smith talked about a sequel to Weird Science starring Channing Tatum.
Daniel Robert Elfman is an American composer, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He first became well known as the singer-songwriter for the new wave band Oingo Boingo in the early 1980s, and has since garnered international recognition for composing over 100 feature film scores, as well as compositions for television, stage productions, and the concert hall.
Oingo Boingo was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. The band emerged from a surrealist musical theatre troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, that Elfman had led and written material for in the years previous.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Tim Burton in his full-length film directing debut and starring Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman with supporting roles provided by E. G. Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, and Judd Omen. Reubens also co-wrote the script with Phil Hartman and Michael Varhol. Described as a "parody" or "farce version" of the 1948 Italian classic Bicycle Thieves, it is the tale of Pee-wee Herman's nationwide search for his stolen bicycle.
Forbidden Zone is an American absurdist musical fantasy comedy film produced and directed by Richard Elfman, and co-written by Elfman and Matthew Bright. Shot in 1977 and 1978, the film was premiered in 1980 and distributed in 1982. Originally shot on black-and-white film, Forbidden Zone is based upon the stage performances of the Los Angeles theater troupe The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, of which Elfman, Bright and many of the cast and crew were a part, and revolves around an alternate universe accessed through a door in the house of the Hercules family.
Ilan Mitchell-Smith is an American academic and former actor best known as a co-star of the film Weird Science (1985).
Kelly LeBrock is an American actress and model. Her acting debut was in The Woman in Red (1984), co-starring Gene Wilder. She also starred in the films Weird Science (1985), directed by John Hughes, and Hard to Kill (1990), with Steven Seagal.
Bachelor Party is a 1984 American sex comedy film directed by Neal Israel, written by Israel and Pat Proft, and starring Tom Hanks, Adrian Zmed, William Tepper, and Tawny Kitaen. The film revolves around a bachelor party that a group of men throw for their friend Rick Gassko (Hanks) on the eve of his wedding and whether he can remain faithful to his fiancée Debbie (Kitaen).
Urgh! A Music War is a 1982 British film featuring performances by punk rock, new wave, and post-punk acts, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the film are Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), Magazine, The Go-Go's, Toyah Willcox, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, X, XTC, Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo, Pere Ubu, Steel Pulse, Surf Punks, 999, The Alley Cats, UB40, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Police. These were many of the most popular groups on the New Wave scene; in keeping with the spirit of the scene, the film also features several less famous acts, and one completely obscure group, Invisible Sex, in what appears to be their only public performance.
Dead Man's Party is the fifth album by American new wave band Oingo Boingo, released in 1985. The album cover art is an homage to the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos.
Nothing to Fear is the second studio album by American new wave band Oingo Boingo, released in 1982 on A&M Records.
Vanessa Madeline Angel is an English actress and former model. She played the role of Lisa on the television series Weird Science. She is also known for her role as Claudia in the film Kingpin. She gained worldwide recognition by playing Megan on the hit show Baywatch in 1991.
Weird Science is an American television sitcom, based on John Hughes' 1985 film of the same name, that aired on the USA Network from March 5, 1994 to April 11, 1997. Six previously unaired, "lost" episodes aired on Syfy from July 11–25, 1998.
Vernon George Wells is an Australian character actor. He began appearing on Australian television shows in the mid-1970s, such as Homicide and Matlock Police and All the Rivers Run. He is best known to international audiences for his role of Wez in the 1981 science fiction action film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Bennett in the military action film Commando.
Weird Science is the name of:
Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon is a 1989 American made-for-television comedy film and a sequel to Parent Trap III (1989) and the fourth and final installment in the original The Parent Trap series. It originally aired two parts as a presentation of The Magical World of Disney on November 19 and 26, 1989.
"Weird Science" is a song by Oingo Boingo. Written by frontman Danny Elfman, it is the theme song to the Weird Science film and television series. It was released on the film's soundtrack, as well as Oingo Boingo's 1985 album, Dead Man's Party, as a longer mix. The song reached #45 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #21 on the US Dance Club Charts, and #81 in Canada.
Ivor Barry was a Welsh film and television actor.
Don't You Forget About Me is a 2009 Canadian documentary film about screenwriter, director, and producer John Hughes. Directed by Matt Austin, the film was named after the 1985 song of the same name by Simple Minds, which in turn was the theme song for Hughes' film The Breakfast Club. The film specifically focused on Hughes' fade from prominence in the early 1990s.
"Little Girls" is a song by American new wave group Oingo Boingo and the opening track of their debut album Only a Lad.
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