Lion of the Blogosphere

Weird Science (1985)

BEFORE WATCHING THE MOVIE


(Oingo Boingo music video featuring some scenes from the movie interspersed with a lot of weird stuff that isn’t from the movie. And in another 80s movie, Rodney Dangerfield goes Back to School and throws a party where Oingo Boingo plays Dead Man’s Party, but that has nothing to do with Weird Science.)

I haven’t watched Weird Science since the 1980s. It’s a well known movie with a catchy theme song that’s still played on 80s music stations, but it’s assumed to be the stinker among John Hughes’ much better high school movies, which include the three Molly Ringwald movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Some Kind of Wonderful. Is there anything here worth watching?

AFTER WATCHING THE MOVIE

Wow, this movie truly lives up to its name. It’s weird. A combination of fantasy and farce. Girls with 80s hair. “Mutant bikers” who appear to have come out of a Mad Max movie. 24-year-old Kelly LeBrock as a sort of magical genie of the 1980s looking totally uncomfortable and lacking any on-screen chemistry with her 16-year-old co-stars Anthony Michael Hall and some kid from New York City who was never seen again in any other movie, yet at the same time she appears to enjoy herself immensely. (The age difference here is the opposite of The Breakfast Club where 16-year-old Molly Ringwald was paired up with 24-year-old Judd Nelson. No one batted an eye about that pair-up.)

And oh yes, the word “faggot” is thrown around a few times, and there’s an incongruous scene at a bar where most of the patrons are older black men; today the scene is considered to be “racist,” but no one in the 1980s realized the scene was racist. (Regarding the scene’s incongruity, every scene in this movie is incongruous.)

Do I recommend a re-watch? Yes, I do. I’m still not sure if this movie is genius or if it sucks.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 22, 2019 at 9:02 PM

Posted in Movies

40 Responses

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  1. Didn’t this feature a breakthrough appearance for Bill Paxton? Only a year or so later he was chewing the scenery in one of the best gonzo performances of all time in Aliens.

    Yes, the mid-80s look stranger and stranger as that shore keeps receding.

    Library Science

    November 22, 2019 at 10:07 PM

    • Yes, Chet! He alone makes this worth the price of admission.

      And the scene in the black bar is great.

      Fakeemail

      November 23, 2019 at 1:34 PM

      • Chet had the best line:

        Lisa: It’s a Pershing missile.
        Chet: I didn’t think it was a whale’s dick, honey.

        njguy73

        November 23, 2019 at 9:26 PM

  2. “the word “faggot” is thrown around a few times”

    I was very young in the 80s, but I recall heteros being called “faggot” more than faggots ever were.

    destructure

    November 22, 2019 at 11:52 PM

    • When the Beastie Boys were still active I read an article featuring Yauch. The writer said Yauch told him “don’t be a faggot.” The writer got offended and Yauch said he meant “don’t be lame,” and that his use of “faggot” had nothing to do with homosexuality.

      Library Science

      November 23, 2019 at 9:33 AM

      • The Beasties wanted to title their debut album “Don’t Be a Faggot” but were denied.

        njguy73

        November 23, 2019 at 9:25 PM

      • They are doing a 3rd Bill & Ted movie. None of this, I assume:

        gothamette

        November 24, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    • Absolutely. The handful of guys I went to high school with who were known to be gay were benignly ignored but you would lay on ‘faggot’ when your aim was to crush the ego of a heterosexual male.

      Jokah Macpherson

      November 23, 2019 at 12:22 PM

      • Yeah. The joke in my comment was in referring to homos that way. Because I’ve never heard one called that. I’ve only ever heard it used to insult boys who weren’t.

        destructure

        November 24, 2019 at 4:33 AM

  3. if you want to have loads of fun watching a film, lion, watch richard and danny elfmans (oingo boingo) live action tribute to max fleischer cartoons “The Forbidden Zone”. starring herve villechez as the king of the sixth dimension

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDj6CEAFI5E here is an indescribably silly scene that ends with danny elfman singing the hi de ho song as the devil

    dana

    November 23, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    • I had to listen to Bach for fifteen minutes while looking at Sargent paintings to stop feeling intensely uncomfortable from that clip, thanks.

      I wonder how “i love little girls” would fly these days.

      bobbybobbob

      November 24, 2019 at 11:16 PM

  4. The strange-looking, bald actor who plays a biker during the party scene used to live in the same town that I lived in.

    His name is M*chael B*rryman, and he used to date the mom of a guy that I worked with. We hung out a couple of times, and he told me some Hollywood stories.

    I have met many dozens of Hollywood people over the course of my life, but M. Berryman was most likely the nicest out of all of them…

    Lothar of the Hill People

    November 23, 2019 at 10:16 AM

  5. The better nerd science movie of the 80s is the neglected Real Genius starring Val Kilmer. It is also a more “realistic” look at the life of super nerds at Caltech than the execrable Big Bang Theory.

    ivar

    November 23, 2019 at 11:09 AM

  6. Danny Elfman is one of those guys who looks like he’d be gay but actually has a pretty solid history of girlfriends/wives/children.

    Jokah Macpherson

    November 23, 2019 at 12:20 PM

  7. The 90’s TV series was also not too bad if I recall. Vanessa Angel, who played the Kelly Lebrock role, was extremely hot; I was surprised her career never took off more.

    Jokah Macpherson

    November 23, 2019 at 12:29 PM

    • Vanessa Angel – Weird Science

      MEH 0910

      November 24, 2019 at 12:50 AM

    • I actually liked that show. I don’t know how it would hold up on a re-watch, but at the time it seemed pretty clever.

      Also agree about Vanessa Angel. She seemed like a potential star but nothing ever happened with her.

      I think this whole Weird Science property should be up for a remake.

      Mike Street Station

      November 24, 2019 at 8:41 AM

      • Who becomes a star (Clooney), who doesn’t (John Glover), who stays a star (Pitt, Reeves), who has a brief flash of Hollywood success before flaming out (Rourke, Cage), is an interesting if futile subject to contemplate.

        gothamette

        November 25, 2019 at 9:36 AM

  8. Or how about the scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High where Spicoli exclaims “those guys are fags!”. Couldn’t do that today.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    November 23, 2019 at 12:42 PM

  9. I never saw this movie imagining at the time it was riding on the coattails of the earlier sex bomb as mentor movie starring the incomparable Sylvia Kristal, Private Lessons (1981). Here’s a great scene where she accuses the shy lad of looking up her skirt.

    Curle

    November 23, 2019 at 8:25 PM

  10. WEIRD SCIENCE Reunion Panel – Awesome Con 2019

    MEH 0910

    November 24, 2019 at 12:37 AM

  11. RBG is back in hospital. And you all know what that means…. dead pool! Dibs on December. Yeah, I’m actually going to let someone else have the last week in November. All I want for chanaka is a new supreme court justice.

    destructure

    November 24, 2019 at 5:47 AM

    • A hospital visit is a worrisome thing for a woman of her age. But it’s really mean-spirited to cheer this on.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 24, 2019 at 10:42 AM

      • The heart wants what it wants.

        destructure

        November 24, 2019 at 8:54 PM

      • Is it OK one they’re dead? I sometimes feel a bit happy that John McCain is burning in hell.

        bobbybobbob

        November 25, 2019 at 3:04 AM

      • It makes sense to wait and see, but why is it mean spirited? She is very bad for the country even if an outstanding and nice person her own right. It’s nothing personal. What do you think would happen to her in a revolution?

        Yakov

        November 25, 2019 at 6:57 AM

      • Look, I watched an interview with her and I liked her. Jose Antonio had a communist girlfriend while the Falangists and the Communists were shooting each other on the streets. There is nothing personal, she is an enemy and in a position of power she’s hot to go.

        Yakov

        November 25, 2019 at 6:31 PM

      • Oops, a Freudian slip, lolz. Should’ve been got to go.

        Yakov

        November 25, 2019 at 6:32 PM

    • 11/24/19, 9:44 EST. RBG released from hospital.

      She’s like the Terminator. She doesn’t feel pity or remorse. She can’t be bargained with or reasoned with. And she will not stop until all is liberal.

      njguy73

      November 24, 2019 at 9:48 PM

  12. O/t – Not weird science, but an illogical foodie market filled with a glut of restaurants and eateries. There could only be so much customers paying the astronomical rents of eateries which are trying to rake in a profit.

    America, especially NYC has way too many eating establishments with parasitic landlords who are sucking their revenue.

    How many people do expect to patronize a place that serves Central Asian, Bukhara food in a high rent area like the Essex St Market?

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/the-first-shop-to-shutter-at-the-new-essex-market-%E2%80%94and-more-closings/ar-AAGRnro

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    November 24, 2019 at 9:45 AM

    • JS, I got a challenge for you: find something positive to say about the world around you. Can you?

      Yakov

      November 25, 2019 at 7:03 AM

      • There isn’t anything negative or positive about the world, just problems from humans.

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        November 25, 2019 at 8:06 AM

      • JS seems to like Montreal’s independent bookstores.

        njguy73

        November 25, 2019 at 12:49 PM

      • The world is a beautiful place, but humans do create problems, I agree, but they also do all sorts of amazing stuff. You like spreading misery, I like spreading happiness and positive karma.

        Yakov

        November 25, 2019 at 6:28 PM

  13. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride synced to Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party”

    Oswald Spengler

    November 24, 2019 at 10:43 PM

  14. Totally off topic. Baron Sacha Cohen came out against free speech on the internet. After watching this, I believe that boomer Jews not only faced less anti-semitism than every generation of Jews before them, they also faced less anti-semitism than every generation of Jews after them.

    MoreSigmasThanYou

    November 24, 2019 at 11:03 PM

    • Also here’s a totally anti-semitic remix of what he said:

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      November 24, 2019 at 11:06 PM

  15. Your reviews are well written, but your choice of films is paintful. Two days ago I watched ‘Una Salle Affaire’, which I recommend. JS, as a francophone I would expect you to have seen it.

    Yakov

    November 25, 2019 at 4:43 AM


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