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Weird Science (1985)

Tags: Supporting Role, Comedy, Middlers, Career Trajectory: Unknown Actor, On DVD in Region 1, On DVD in Region 2, On DVD in Region 4, On Blu-Ray

Summary

Two dorky teens build the perfect woman.

Director

John Hughes

Downey Factor

Low, but it is a supporting (and speaking!) role.

Character

Ian, a stereotypical teen bully.

Looks

Not overly impressive, unless you liked him when he was younger.

Performance

Best you can expect given narrowness of the role.

Dies, Gay or Villain

No, no, yes.

Cast

Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock

Connection

Anthony Michael Hall in Hail Caesar and Johnny Be Good.

RDJ Says

At that time, walking into a production office on the Universal lot and seeing Anthony Michael Hall was like bumping into Spencer Tracy at the commissary in the 1940s ... My memories of Weird Science are being in Skokie, Illinois, in a huge mall and dressed in cutting-edge Melrose, Maxfield fashion. Any weird stuff we did while partying the night before would be the thing that John Hughes would say, “That thing you did that didn’t make any sense? Do that.” ... For the Weird Science audition, John Hughes, who was supposed to be real hip at that moment, said, “So you want to run the scene with the guy before you do it?” I said, “No.” Went in. Read the scene. I rocked. And John Hughes is like “Hey, I found another one.” ... if John Hughes hadn’t put me in Weird Science, who knows what would have happened? I might not have ever done comedy. I might be on that HBO series Rome right now, clanging scabbards with someone ... I defecated in [Kelly LeBrock’s] trailer, much to the chagrin of Bill Paxton and Robert Rusler. It was a real bad scene. Joel Silver freaked. I never admitted it. Joel said, “Downey, did you do it?” and I said I wish I had. Because I’d been threatening everyone that if they didn’t treat me right, I was going to take a dump in their trailer, or that I’d go take a shit in Joel’s office, on his desk or something.

Lit Reference

Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
In the press kit, the filmmakers refer to Frankenstein as inspiration for the plot of this movie.

Time & Place

Present day (1980s), Shermer, Illinois

Gossip

Even though this movie is a cult and sentimental favorite, at the time it was considered John Hughes’ first big failure. This was also the first time Downey worked with producer Joel Silver, who would later help revive his career with Gothika,Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Sherlock Holmes movies.

Availability

Released in theaters 2 August 1985. Now on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4.

Foreign Titles

Argentina: Ciencia Loca (Crazy Science)
Brazil: Mulher Nota Mil (A Woman Rated 1000)
Denmark: Tast Mig, Jeg Er Din (Key Me, I’m Yours)
France: Une créature de rêve (A Creature of Dream)
Germany: L.I.S.A. - Der Helle Wahnsinn (L.I.S.A. The Bright Insanity)
Germany: Cooler Zauber mit Lisa (Cooler Charm with Lisa)
Italy: La Donna Esplosiva (The Explosive Woman)
Poland: Dziewczyna z Komputera (Computer Maiden)
Russia: Oh, This Science (English translation)
Spain: La mujer explosiva (The Explosive Woman)
Sweden: Drömtjejen (Dream Girl)

Rotten Tomatoes

56% Fresh | 25 Reviews

Critical View

Janet Maslin, The New York Times: Most of Weird Science, for all its repetitive vulgarity and its wide array of gimmicks, is essentially much too calculating and cautious. Even 14-year-old boys may find it heavy sledding.

Chris Barsanti, filmcritic.com: Like something dug out of the back of John Hughes’ closet, among all the back issues of Amazing Tales, Playboy, and Mad — adolescent fantasy writ large and kind of creepy. Weird doesn’t even really begin to describe this spotty misfire.

2 Reasons to See It

1. After all these years, John Hughes’ indulgent fantasy is still an effective 90-minute distraction from a boring suburban life.
2. They wear bras on their heads.

Overall

Classic ‘80s teen flick is entertaining but not worth seeing strictly for Downey.

If You Liked It

You might also like A Scanner Darkly (2006), Back to School (1986), AquaNet

Photos

Video