Weird Science



Guilty-pleasure '80s horny-geek sci-fi sex comedy.
  • Review Date: August 16, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The whole weekend of carousing, rule-breaking, illicit drinking, and (possibly) underage sex is supposedly engineered by Lisa as a character-building exercise to help mature the two friendless, nerdy teens, and there is lip-service given to the moral that you don't need hot automobiles, trophy babes, and apocalyptic parties to be cool guys who can get dates. Funny, though, there would not have been much of a movie without those ingredients. Pointing a big gun at some marauders and speeding/shaking off pursuers in a dangerous police car-chase are upheld as positive growth.

Positive role models

As was customary in John Hughes' films, parents/grownups are portrayed as idiots, compared to the clever and smart-alecky kids (though a bullying older brother is also presented as one of the most vile characters imaginable). Stereotypes of initially menacing urban blacks in a blues-type saloon. While the synthetic Lisa continually states her slavelike obedience to the two boys who created her, she's also the strongest and smartest of any character onscreen (rather more so than the "real" females too).


A loaded gun is brandished more than once, chiefly against a quartet of punk-mutant villains who commit acts of mayhem and vandalism. Reckless driving, including a car chase (against police) that races to beat pursuers to a train crossing. "Wedgies" and other teen-torture bullying.


Full-profile nudity in a girl losing all her clothes in a whirlwind. Toplessness on a computer screen (a wire-frame schematic, of ever-growing female breasts) and porn-magazine layouts. Euphemistic talk of masturbation. Sex is a preoccupation with the male heroes, beginning with their leering stares at a "gymnastics class" of shapely schoolgirls. After conjuring the obedient fantasy-figure Lisa, the nerds are so nervous that they can't perform sexually, keeping clothes on and hands at sides while showering with her. It's unclear whether the guys have actually had intercourse with two (mortal) girlfriends -- or just cuddled with them in bed overnight (though the intended audience will probably assume they "scored").


"S--t" is used repeatedly, plus "asshole," "bitch," "dickweed," and a few others.


A plethora of product labels, including beer, magazines such as Playboy, and major retail chains, the status-symbol Porsche and Ferrari automobiles (plus a pink Cadillac), and the board game Life.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this popular '80s comedy -- an early recipient of the new PG-13 rating -- has frequent adolescent sex, booze, and boob and drug jokes. Two main characters are lust-driven and manage to create a beautiful artificial woman as a sex-fantasy plaything -- but they are unsuccessful in their timid efforts to get something started with her and end up treating the bombshell more like a big sister. There are scenes of underage drinking (as a bonding exercise with threatening black males), much swearing (usually the s-word), and cavalier behavior with cars and a gun. Nudity includes a girl who loses all her clothes (in profile) in a windstorm, and a schematic of bare breasts on a PC monitor. Recreational drugs are briefly mentioned.

What's the story?

Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are sex-starved 15-year-old schoolmates, disliked, dateless, and continually bullied. With Wyatt's parents away for the weekend, Gary sleeps over at Wyatt's suburban-Illinois mansion, where the movie Frankenstein gives them an idea. Using Wyatt's new computer the lonely guys input data and pinup clips that materialize a gorgeous, eroticized woman (Kelly Le Brock) out of thin air. The creation, named Lisa, shows magical powers and attributes rather like a mythical genie, but she also has her own strong will, as she takes the two reluctant nerds on a fun-filled weekend that leaves them stronger, more assertive, and with a genuine couple of human girlfriends.

Is it any good?


Adolescents flocked to it, while critics hated WEIRD SCIENCE,
from writer-director John Hughes, whose 16 Candles,
Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club seemed a relief from many Porky's-imitations that were all teen sex and revenge. What critics forgot: their messiah had contributed to the lowbrow National Lampoon, and Weird Science springs from that -- outlandish, borderline-tasteless gags aimed at teens and tweaking The Establishment (the nasties in a Hughes movie are commonly adults with classical music playing around them).

The pacing here is quick, with most jokes well executed despite the pandering wish-fulfillment, and the good cast takes it over the top agreeably. Teens, the target market, will respond more than mature adults, but when juvenile white geek Anthony Michael Hall drinks in a largely black bar and talks street-jive like an old Chicago bluesman, it's politically incorrect, sure -- but hilarious, even for grownups.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the tone of the comedy. How does this relate to John Hughes' more sensitive dramas of teen angst and empowerment, such as The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles?

  • Compare-contrast Weird Science with the underrated S1m0ne, a later and realistic comedy about a man facing unexpected travails when he evokes a "perfect" woman via software. How do kids feel about making idealized "avatars" on social-networking sites and interactive online games?

  • How does this movie compare to modern-day teen sex comedies? Are the jokes here still funny? If the movie was remade, how would it be different now?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 2, 1985
DVD release date:April 1, 1998
Cast:Anthony Michael Hall, Bill Paxton, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
Director:John Hughes
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13

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Teen, 16 years old Written byRicochet94 October 20, 2010

Funny, but other than that a bit plain.

Most John Hughes movies are known for mixing humor with morals. They had a heart. This one doesnt. Its better (funnier) than most other typical teen flicks, but rather lacking for a John Hughes teen flick. Rent Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles instead, then come back to this one when you run out of other Hughes films to watch.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bydvdgirl85 October 4, 2015

cool movie 1985 i was born that year!!!

love this movie. same year I was born . a feel good movie oh yeah.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy Brew July 15, 2015

Crude high school comedy is about mad teens

My rating:15+ comci violence,strong language,adult content
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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