1985’s Weird Science is an outlier in John Hughes’s filmography. Celebrated for his grounded teen comedies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, Weird Science is something different. It’s an all-out romp and perhaps the only Hughes comedy you could call “zany.” In it, Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play two lovable nerds who created their dream woman (Kelly LeBrock) with their home computer. Ah, the eighties…
While sillier than usual for a Hughes movie, Weird Science still has a lot of charm, with LeBrock’s Lisa an eighties dream girl to remember. She’s an eighties version of a genie. She uses her powers to make Hall and Mitchell-Smith cool and also to help them outwit their bullies, with one played by a young Robert Downey Jr. Bill Paxton has a fun early role as Chet, the sadistic older brother of one of the characters who, of course, turns out to not be so bad in the end after a little Lisa magic.
While not as well-remembered as many other Hughes movies, this does have a lot going for it, with LeBrock unforgettable and the excellent theme song by Oingo Boingo (headed by a young Danny Elfman). It led to a pretty good cable series that ran for a few years and cast another dream girl, Vanessa Angel, as Lisa. In this episode of John Hughes Revisited, we dig into the movie’s origins and reception.
This episode is written, narrated and edited by Matthew Hacunda. Adam Walton and Chris Bumbray produce. Watch previous episodes below! Do you have fond memories of Weird Science? Let us know in the comments!