Blu-Ray Review: Weird Science (1985)

July 14, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Uber-nerds Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are left to their own devices one fateful Friday, and after viewing Frankenstein on TV get the shit-hot idea to create their own woman to end their lonely ways like a couple of less drunk (for the moment)/more horny Colin Clives.

Utilizing  improbable computer simulations, an unauthorized entrance to top-secret government programs, scanned girlie magazines, footage of Diamond David Lee Roth, and a half-assed magic ceremony our heroes succeed, and the girl of their dreams, Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), arrives on the scene from the hot pink ether.

With Lisa’s magic and sex appeal the boys get lessons in life and a new-found popularity, but will it be enough to help them obtain real girlfriends and keep them out of the ham-fisted abusive clutches of Wyatt’s psychotic older brother Chet (a scene stealing Bill Paxton)…not to mention survive the party of the century Lisa throws in their honor (which comes complete with it’s own set of post-apocalyptic punks to shake things up)?

Weird Science has forever been one of my fav flicks…and a prime example of what should come to mind when folk’s mention ’80’s teen cinema (and coming from Writer/Direstor John Hughes this should come as no surprise).

Everything in this film just gels to perfection; we have the easy to relate to underdogs, the beyond sexy femme fatale, the pain in the ass cool kids, the drunken adventures, the obligatory scenes set at a shopping mall…but contrasted with that we get a toad monster, magic powers, and genre legends Vernon Wells and Michael Barryman looking like they just arrived from The Road Warrior (I mean Wells looks almost identical to the role he played in that very film). These things shouldn’t work in harmony, but man do they ever…and they create an amazingly fun film filled with humor that hits the mark and a whole ton of heart.

As for extras on this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment, we get both the theatrical and extended versions of the film (additionally the extra footage from the extended version can be watched separately), as well as the amazingly hilarious TV cut with the swearing replaced to side-splitting effect. Following that comes interviews with casting director Jackie Burch, Actor John Kapelos, special make-up effects artist Craig Reardon, editor Chris Lebenzon, and composer Ira Newborn.

Lastly we get an archival documentary from 2008 featuring various interviews concerning the film, the film’s theatrical teaser (which oddly enough is longer than the actual trailer…which is also included), TV and radio spots, and a still galleries (including the picture’s complete script, production stills, and poster and video art).

Bottom line; Weird Science is a straight up classic that deserves a place in the creepy collection of all who adore absurdist, psychotronic cinema; it’s hilarious, surreal, and downright…well, weird…and it’s as perfect an example of the cherished ’80’s genre vibe as you’ll find!

 

 

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