Released in the summer of 1985, Weird Science took movie goers on a rollercoaster ride of a film with two bumbling nerds who create a woman on their computer who is brought to life by a well-placed bolt of lightning. You might be interested to know that the film was based on a one-off comic titled “Made of the Future” which appeared in a 1950’s EC Comics magazine called, you guessed it, Weird Science.
Gary, played by Anthony Michael Hall who was well known at the time for playing the ‘awkward teenage boy’ character, absolutely steals the show with his tenacity, while his shy friend Wyatt, played by Ilan Mitchell-Smith, lays a solid foundation to the pair’s act. Another notable appearance is a young Robert Downy Jr. playing one of the older bullies, who matches Anthony Michael Hall’s charisma in every scene they share. And of course, the great Bill Paxton does a fantastic job playing the asshole big brother, Chett. From what I understand, it actually wasn’t all that well received upon release. I have a feeling that it might have fallen to the wayside thanks to the generation-defining The Breakfast Club which was released the same year.
Oh and the theme song! The theme to Weird Science would have to be one of the most electric and catchy movie songs from the 80’s. It was written and performed by new-wave masters Oingo Boingo, who actually never liked playing the song live as they felt that song was rushed to meet the release of the movie and was, according to them, unfinished. I would really love to hear the finished version of the song.
The reason that Weird Science would make such an awesome remake is because of the advances in technology since the mid 80’s. A computer program come to life would have a much, much larger pen to play in with smart phones, video games consoles, online RPG’s and the internet in general. There is a scene in the original where the two boys hack some kind of government website to download the data they need, but the actual imagery used to show the hacking is laughable, making the hacking process look like a video game rather than the white-text-on-black-command-screen affair that it typically is.
Well, according to Wikipedia; “As of 2013, Universal Studios is planning to make a Weird Science remake with original Weird Science producer Joel Silver returning to produce the film and with screenwriter Michael Bacall writing the film. This film will attempt to distinguish itself from the original Weird Science film by being redone as an edgier comedy in line with 21 Jump Street and The Hangover, which were R-rated; the studio says the rating for this Weird Science remake is not certain at this stage of the movie’s development.”
So, better than nothing, I guess. To be honest, I don’t know how much I like turning it into an “edgier comedy”, as one of the underlying themes of the film is innocence, with the two boys creating a woman and then not knowing what the hell to do with her.
Strictly speaking, the movie has already been remade. A TV series of the same name was released ten years after the release of the film, and to be honest it wasn’t that bad. The show managed to run for five years before being cancelled half way through its fifth season, leaving the final episode unaired. Part of the success of the TV series was altering Lisa’s powers to have a time limit, thus having all magical madness she would provide fade away by the end of the episode.
I would go and see a remake of this film. Partly because I love the original, and partly because the “two nerdy guys and a smoking hot electric genie woman” formula is so fantastic that it would almost impossible to screw up.