John Hughes, the king of movies about high school misfits, took a walk on the wild side in 1985 with Weird Science, a sci-fi flavored comedy about two lovable teenage geeks who create the perfect woman using little more than a souped-up computer and a Barbie doll.
Wyatt and Gary occupy the lowest rung of their school’s social ladder, bullied by their classmates and their families alike. One night while Wyatt’s parents are out of town, the nerdy duo decide to ‘make’ a woman to their horny specifications, inspired by an old Frankenstein movie. Using Wyatt’s computer (and a lot of power), they hook up a doll to some electrodes, strap some undergarments to their heads, and, lo and behold, a real-life bombshell appears in front of them. They name her Lisa and expect her to fulfill every one of their adolescent fantasies, but she surprises them with her off-the-charts IQ, sassy personality and ability to make impossible things happen. Lisa resolves to help Wyatt and Gary find some much-needed self-confidence and gain the affection of the two girls they pine for.
Lisa (played by the sexy Kelly LeBrock), has a lot to teach the boys about having fun: she drags them to a seedy blues joint where they get along famously with the patrons; she brings into existence expensive sports cars for Gary and Wyatt; and she organizes a huge party at Wyatt’s house to help the boys in their quest for popularity and girlfriends. In the midst of the party, the boys find that they’re still ignored by their peers until Lisa brings in a beastly biker gang to jolt her creators out of their complacence. Things work out of course, when the boys prove their mettle, get the girls and vanquish Wyatt’s jerk of an older brother (portrayed wonderfully by Bill Paxton), all before the adults return.
This fanciful take on the Frankenstein story was big on laughs and eschewed the usual teen angst of other Hughes movies. It may not be the writer/director’s finest achievement but it is definitely one of his funniest, an endearing film, full of saucy humor and surreal hijinks.
If you ever dreamed of hooking up your own computer to a Barbie doll (for purely scientific reasons, of course) or were just a huge fan of this teen comedy, we’d love to hear all of your Weird Science recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to another memorable adventure, thanks to the late, great John Hughes.