Parents' Guide to

Zapped! (1982)

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Sex, drugs, and telekinesis in dated '80s teen comedy.

Movie R 1982 98 minutes
Zapped! (1982) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

good its r rated but 12 and up its alright.

this is a fantasy movie . its not the new Zapped its the one with the guy with the powers. pretty good. a movie best for tweens and teens.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

At a time when most teen comedies were filled with underage drinking and drug use, gratuitous sex, and objectified women, this one offers a tiny bit more. There is some creativity at work in the nods to Star Trek, Taxi Driver, and Carrie, and in the budding relationship that develops between the awkward nerds Barney and Bernadette, there is an attempt to create a female character that can be attractive and yet more than just a body to be ogled at by the guys. The kitschy aspects alone -- the power-pop soundtrack, the goofiness of the premise, the haircuts -- give the movie entertainment value. But when the dated attitudes of the times rear their ugly heads, some of that charm fades.

Moments in which Barney's best friend Peyton surreptitiously takes a nude photograph of the girl he has seduced in his photo studio, or has implied sex with an adult high school administrative assistant on her desk, are downright creepy, wrong, and not funny viewed the perspective of today. The naked breasts, binge drinking, and extended psychedelic drug interludes feel forced in in order to "give the teen boys what they want" in a bankable (especially then) movie genre. Still, for parents who grew up in the early 1980s, Zapped! offers both nostalgic entertainment and an opportunity for families to talk about what has changed (or perhaps not changed enough) about attitudes toward sex and dating.

Movie Details

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