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'Weird Science' Review: A Movie About Two Teenagers That Build a Pedophile

By Jodi Clager | Film Reviews | September 19, 2013 | Comments ()


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I was allowed to watch most movies when I was a kid. Like most children exposed to adult humor and situations, I had several movies I watched and enjoyed back in the 80s without fully comprehending them. One of those movies was Weird Science. What did I like about it back then? Cute boys wearing bras on their heads: HILARIOUS! The cute boys create a magical woman that helps them win respect and the girls of their dreams: AWESOME! They turned Chet into a turd! Um, were those boobs? That’s not so great. BUT SHE WAS SHOT RIGHT OUT OF THE CHIMNEY! AHAHAHAHAHAH!”

Kids are dumb.

Once Netflix started throwing out old favorites in their streaming service, I decided to go back and watch Weird Scienceagain as an adult. I was set to revisit the movie that held a special place in my childhood and ready to laugh. Alas, Weird Science is one movie that has gone from being goofy and light to creepy and uncomfortable for me.

Don’t get me wrong. The bras on the head are still hilarious, Chet is a superb asshole, and I still say “float an air biscuit” to indicate flatulence. The sh*t monster is a classic film masterpiece and Robert Downey Jr. is adorably horrible as one of the antagonists. The invasion of the motorcycle gang from beyond some faraway thunderdome is gleeful fun and freezing grandparents and placing them in a cabinet to keep the party going is decidedly dark humor at its finest.

It’s the rest of the movie that gives me the heebie jeebies, specifically the age difference between Lisa, Gary, and Wyatt and the things that she does with them. In 1985, the year the movie was released, Ilan Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt) was 16 years old and Anthony Michael Hall (Gary) was 17 years old. Kelly LeBrock (Lisa) was 25 years old. It is also specifically mentioned that the boys are supposed to be fifteen and Lisa is supposed to be 23. Perhaps you remember this innocent romp from the movie:

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Two underage boys take a shower with a minutes-old creation that is actually a 23 year old woman. I thought it was funny when I was a kid, but now that I’m old it just makes me feel icky. Watching the shower scene makes me feel like Chris Hansen is going to show up at my door and take me into custody or something. During my re-watch, this was the point where I knew that I was going to have a bad time.

Throughout the remainder of the movie we get tons of references to Lisa being into Wyatt and Gary, liking rough sex, and exposing the boys to “… sex, drugs, rock-n-roll… chips, dips, chains, whips… You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I’m not talking candle wax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals.” I just can’t. I JUST CAN’T.

Obviously the way to a boy’s confidence is through his mouth and boners, so you have Lisa playing tonsil hockey with Wyatt and grabbing his ass.

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Then the morning after features A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD KID showing off his abs and ding dang bulge in Lisa’s panties.

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Two boys decided to make a woman for their own personal pleasure and it worked. Lisa did end up teaching the boys what they are capable of and giving them the confidence they needed to grow up and move past their loser mindset, even if that wasn’t their intent. So that’s nice. I’m willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to the goofy idea of using a computer, some magazine pages fed into a scanner, and a doll to make a woman. I just can’t let go of the feeling of ick that permeates the film for me now.

Weird Science went from being a solid favorite to one of the creepiest entries in John Hughes’ oeuvre. Adulthood robbed me of the innocence needed to fully enjoy a movie where two young boys create an adult woman that they use to bolster their own feelings of sexual desire and self-worth while loosely supervised by a physically and psychologically abusive sociopath. Growing up is difficult and so is sitting through Weird Science as an adult. Damn it.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Space Cadet

    I'm pretty sure LeBrock was only 19 when that was filmed.

  • G Man

    You felt "icky"? Then you've surely crossed over to the hyper-feminized and politically sterile realm of Pop Thought fer sure. Loosen up wilya? And that goes for the rest of you touchy feelies out there

  • UnderTheDark

    "Throughout the remainder of the movie we get tons of references to Lisa
    being into Wyatt and Gary, liking rough sex, and exposing the boys..."

    She doesn't ACTUALLY have sex with them! That's kind of the running gag throughout the whole movie... they programmed themselves this wild and sexy woman, and then are too intimidated to take advantage! That entire quote is something that she *said* in order to shock Gary's fricking parents!

    I understand that the basic concepts underlying this movie are disturbing and problematic in retrospect, but I feel that it's being blown WAY out of proportion.

  • manting

    its a 80's teen age boy fantasy movie. I would remind me that they never make the beast with two backs with Lisa. I gotta say the bar scene is my favorite part. I still say "every damn night?! On the telephone!?!

  • Green Lantern

    "Fats, man...lemme tell ya mah storeh..."

  • manting

    whats that boy talking on the telephone for?
    Explain it to him

  • Red Green

    Interesting. You feel the same way about Twilight? Cause you know, hes what, 100 plus years old dating a 16 year old.

  • Cz

    This is the only Twilight reference worth slow claps. *slow claps*

  • Jason Malmberg

    Dear lord, the point of the movie is that the two boys (as two boys of their age would) create a mindless sex monster becuase that's what they think they want. Then when they really get it, they realize that's not what they want after all and end up growing to respect women more from the experience (note how Lisa is one of the only people in the film—maybe the only one—with any real agency.)
    Ya know how I know this? Because its what happens. In the movie.

  • Jezzer

    I'll bet you could write something even more condescending in tone if you really tried. Maybe throw in some eye-rolling emoticons.

  • Jason Malmberg

    Or I could just take a page from your posting history and refashion myself as the same kind of irrelevant internet troll from 1998 you have. It could be a retro thing!

  • Jezzer

    Bitch, please. Did you read the end of your post? You already are.

  • Sir Upp

    Wow this review is nutty, Weird Science was a teenage comedy fantasy.

    Have we really become this sensitive and victim obsessed that we throw around a serious term like pedophilia when describing a teen sex comedy?

    And by-the-way pedophiles are people attracted to pre-pubescent minors not teenagers.

  • Jezzer

    Dammit, Rowles, did you forget to spray for pedants again this month?

  • csb

    I only have one thing to say...

  • lowercase_ryan

    The worst thing about this movie is that it overshadowed the vastly superior Real Genius.

  • foolsage

    Real Genius was certifiably a classic. It's a real shame so few people have seen it. Val Kilmer was freaking hilarious, too… guy had real talent with those one-liners.

    ***

    Professor Hathaway: I want to see more of you around the lab.
    Chris Knight: Fine. I'll gain weight.

    ***

    Dr. Dodd: Why is that toy on your head?
    Chris Knight: Because if I wear it any place else, it chafes.

    ***

    Kent: Uh, I'll catch up with you guys. I have to go to the bathroom.
    Chris Knight: Okay, Kent, but I don't think that's going to help your confidence any, do you?

    ***

    Mitch Taylor: The weirdest thing just happened to me.
    Chris Knight: Was it a dream where you were standing in sort of sun-god robes on top of a pyramid, and there were hundreds of naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?
    Mitch Taylor: No...
    Chris Knight: Why am I the only one who has that dream?

    ***

    Jerry Hathaway: Mitch, will you miss your friends?
    Mitch Taylor: Well, no. I think I intimidate other kids.
    Jerry Hathaway: Good boy.

    ***

    Recruiter: Yes. You are Chris Knight, aren't you?
    Chris Knight: I hope so...I'm wearing his underwear.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    Real Genius is why I wear my sunglasses in the back of my collar.

    Also, always, never, forget to check your references.

  • Repo

    Real Genius and Three O' Clock High are the two most underrated and forgotten 80's gems. Although I love Weird Science.

  • meadowdancer

    This is true. I loved Real Genius. Whatever happened to whathis name? Not Val Kilmer but his little sidekick?

    Yes I used the wrong word. I suck a lot.

  • foolsage

    Gabriel Jarret is alive and well, and still making movies.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm041...

  • manting

    mitch?

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Now that I think about it, wasn't the young genius in a relationship with a college-aged woman? Was this a huge trope in the 80s that I just completely missed?

  • foolsage

    Mitch's love interest, Jordan, was also a youngish college student; I don't recall the movie stating specifically how old she was though and the internet isn't helping me find out. The actress who played Jordan was 8 years older than the actor who played Mitch though, so you're right that there was an age difference.

  • LwoodPDowd

    There was also the woman working her way through the list of geniuses, Sheri Nugil. Mitch is 15, and she says she had waited three years before he would be old enough to sleep with him. Not he would be old enough in three years, but that she first thought about sleeping with him when he was 12.

  • foolsage

    Sigh. I really need to watch this movie again; I'd forgotten about her. Good catch; there was indeed a strong pedophiliac vibe there.

  • lowercase_ryan

    *Real

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Real Genius gave me vastly exaggerated ideas about how much fun college would be. I was totally ready to ice skate in my dorm.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    my brother-in-law confirmed that such goings on did indeed take place at Caltech.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Jesus, so I wasted all that money on the wrong school?!?

  • lowercase_ryan

    you didn't? Hell I went to ASU and even we figured out how to pull that off.

  • bastich

    Btw, I'm starting a new boy band named "Mouth and Boners".

  • NateMan

    What's your real name? Just so I know who to look out for in the paper's police logs\sex offenders list. :)

  • bastich

    It's definitely not Lou Pearlman....if anyone else tells you different, they're lying....

  • Mrs. Julien

    Maybe you could open for Andy Dwyer's old band "Just the Tip".

  • RhymesWithSilver

    I find a lot of the age stuff arbitrary. Most 16-year-old boys would still love to be taken on consequence-free sexy adventures by a compliant, knowledgeable, slightly-older female, even if she was a robot (see: all the video games). And I don't think that either is particularly squicky or weird as fantasy fulfillment. Now, if they were *grown men* and made a wish-fulfillment sexbot, now THAT would be squicky.

  • So....more like Warren?

  • manting

    dont go to Japan

  • bastich

    Next week on "Pajiba Ruins My Childhood":

    "Was Ferris Bueller really nothing more than Cameron's Tyler Durden?"

  • Jamie Dello Stritto
  • mb

    Holy crap.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    /makes a note

  • RilesSD

    Mind. Blown.

  • rabbi

    nice

  • Xikar

    Oh COME ON. Weird Science is the triumph of two picked on teenage boys via their wet dream come to life. It's a fantasy, and a harmless one at that. With a empowered ending and a sweet Oingo Boingo soundtrack. This article is sillier than a bra strapped on your head.

  • NateMan

    Yeah, gotta agree with that one. If this was in any way a 'real' movie, it'd be creepy. But it's not. It's a movie from the 80s which all on its own makes it one of the most fake things ever. Secondly, it's entirely accurate in its 'pubescent male fantasy' theme. Every (hetero) male teen would give his left nut to be seduced by a hot, older woman. One who was designed to do what he wanted no less.

    Healthy? I dunno. But with that many hormones raging there isn't much healthy about being a teenage boy anyway.This is one of those movies where it's best to let go of your conceptions of morality and just enjoy the absurdity.

  • Anna von Beav

    I'm fairly certain Ilan Mitchell-Smith in that scene is what made *me* a pedophile.

    Edit: CHRIST GOD

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Well, as a UK reader where the age of consent is 16, and having been a teenage boy myself - I find zero wrong with being 15 and sharing a shower with an 'omg-so-hot' 23 yr old woman. And yes, the way to a teenage boy's confidence IS through his mouth and boners.

  • shahdhch

    Agree I think people are thinking way too much about this.

  • G Man

    Nothing like a realist limey to show it to us hand-wringing yanks! Btw I wholeheartedly agree.

  • Lurkey Turkey

    Try watching that feel-good, Tom Hanks classic, "Big" sometime. I can't figure out why my parents let me watch that movie. Yikes and double yikes.

  • foolsage

    Oh Good Lord yes. Lovely movie, nice message, but it's creepy as all hell once you realize the romance is actually pedophilia.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I actually always felt terrible for Elizabeth Perkins in that movie. She's tricked into sleeping with a little boy and then he dumps her to go enjoy his childhood and she's left to go find the best therapist in New York.
    Also, it's kind of a weird double standard about pedophilia, isn't it? It's totally fine when Stiffler's mother/Susan from Big/Lisa seduce young men because men can't be preyed upon because men inherently want sex?

  • Some Guy

    I was thinking that just the other day.

    1. The concept of the movie is terrifying. You're 13, then the next morning you are 30. Your mom doesn't recognize you, is terrified and thinks you are kidnapped and dead, you haven't worked a real job or ever really seen the world. You're thrown out on your own with no money, no credit cards, drivers license or ID. Had he not stumbled into FAO schwartz at the right time, he probably would have ended up dead. This was New York in the 80's after all!

    2. Elizabeth Perkins seduces, sleeps with, and falls in love with a grown man who is mentally 13. I think that speaks volumes about her character. I don't know what's worse: that she sleeps with a 13 year old kid, or that she somehow falls in love with someone who is mentally 13 and has zero life experience and doesn't realize this through polite conversation and his work habits.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Well, all the best movies (esp for kids) have a terrifying aspect to them. Because you grow the most in life through being terrified.

    (ok, I just BSd the last sentence, but it might be true)

  • mairimba

    She saw him as dorky and fun and not like the entitled assholes with sticks up their asses she used to date.

  • Some Guy

    Did she never talk to him? Ask him about life? high school? College? Business school? Sex? Religion? Music? Art? I know they were only together for something like a few months, and I get that he was fun and new and exciting, much like a toy, but come on. She had to be pretty emotionally injured to think it proper to develop a relationship with a man giving off many signs that something probably isn't right upstairs with no concrete past to speak of.

    Even the old man Robert Loggia was thought to have been really losing it by the other execs for simply hiring the guy.

    Kinda a stupid point to debate, I suppose, but if an imaginary being brought to life sleeping with a 16 year old can be considered skeevy, then a "real" grown woman sleeping with a 13 year old in an adult body should be equally if not more skeevy.

  • Yep. I can't watch Revenge of the Nerds, either, and even Sixteen Candles is ... uncomfortable. For a few reasons.

  • puddin

    Revenge of the Nerds-surprisingly rapey.

  • cicatricella

    *extremely rapey.

  • manting

    the scene in Animal house stands out. She is 13 and he debates about raping her. Social norms change and I guess back in the day date rape was expected? Did you guys know that it was legal to rape your wife in nearly every state until the 70's? The christian based thinking was its a wife's duty if you are married than its not rape. Mind blowing

  • Some Guy

    Come on, he doesn't know she's 13 until later in the movie when they go to the football field to have sex and she tells him she's only 13.

  • manting

    and THEN he has sex with her. Damn Amadeus likes them young, like game of thrones the books young. Whatever happened to him - he was a solid actor.

  • cicatricella

    Revenge of the Nerds - he deliberately disguises himself as the girl's boyfriend, takes her into an extremely dark room, rapes* her and when he later reveals who he actually is - it's okay! because he was such a good lay and she liked it so much she's going to dump her boyfriend for him. Shudder.

    *nb - I do not recall whether there was supposed to have been P in V or if the assault was 'only' oral/digital.

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