Viking Night: Weird Science
By Bruce Hall
April 14, 2015
I find it difficult to be objective about Weird Science. It's basically the story of a pair of horny teenagers who attempt to create a smoking hot love slave through the magic of 1980s digital technology. The experiment succeeds in insanely unpredictable ways, and they learn a valuable lesson about blah blah blah Kelly LeBrock. I guess there’s no point in trying to disguise the fact that Weird Science is a self indulgent, run of the mill adolescent sex fantasy with a handful of gimmicks that make it more memorable than it probably should be. It takes a few occasional, disinterested jabs at savvy before giving up and going for the low hanging fruit - just like an actual teenager.
And that’s okay. When it came out I happened to be a horny teenager myself - with an interest in computers AND impossibly hot British supermodels. My standards at that age were incredibly low - so believe me, I could relate. Give me a pair of adorable slobs to root for, some prehistoric CGI, Bill Paxton, a pair of exotic european sportscars, and Kelly LeBrock in a leotard. In my sugar-addled pre-adult mind, it might as well have been The Godfather. I may not have even required popcorn for such a thing. Smash cut to today; I can still appreciate Weird Science as the absurdity it is, but the adult in me has to work pretty hard not to wince at some really unfortunate things.
Here’s a plus - it starts out well. Some say the first three pages of a screenplay set up the whole thing, and if you listen carefully, Anthony Michael Hall tells you everything you need to know while coming uncomfortably close to touching himself on camera. Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) and Gary (the aforementioned Mr. Hall) are a pair of relentlessly uptight geeks somewhere in the middle of junior high. Their hobbies include math, science, and standing outside the women’s gym class ogling their classmates. They’re particularly interested in Hilly and Deb (Judie Aronson and Suzanne Snyder), a pair of moderately attractive young things who - like all the other girls - couldn’t be less interested.
Gary delivers an impassioned soliloquy regarding his dream of throwing the Mother of all Parties, inviting all their classmates, regaling everyone with awesomeness and then, in time, getting it on with Hilly and Deb. And that’s when Tony Stark pulls Gary's pants down (that would be Robert Downey - sans Junior - as the boys’ nemesis), and the astonishing reality of Gary and Wyatt’s incompetence AND impotence is made abundantly clear. These guys are hopeless schlubs, desperately in need of someone to show them how to unleash the musky studs that no doubt lurk inside those wiry, hairless little bodies. This is a story that could easily have been told using an eccentric Asian gentleman with an inexplicable surplus of car wax, or with werewolf basketball powers. It doesn't really matter, just as long as there's a montage involved.
Surprise! There is.