Hilarious ‘80s Sci-Fi Comedy Starring Marvel Oscar Winner Needs More Love

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

Of all the John Hughes films from the 1980s, Weird Science seems to get the least love, and it deserves so much more. Anthony Michael Hall is at the center of this madcap comedy, and if you’re making your way through John Hughes’ films, you must not forget this one.

John Hughes Dominated The 80s

Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — these are all huge films from the ‘80s that generations of children who came after still watch today. They sparked huge stars at the time — Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, and, of course, Matthew Broderick. Anthony Michael Hall played the nerdy guy in Hughes’ films, which is interesting because he went on to play the villain in several later films, including Edward Scissorhands

Young Robert Downey Jr.

weird science

In Weird Science, he plays nerdy 15-year-old Gary, who, along with his friend, Wyatt, played by Ilan Mitchell-Smith. The boys are hopelessly invisible at school and, it seems, at home as well. In one of the first scenes, we see them standing in the school gym, watching the teenage girls playing sports, talking about how if they were cool, the girls would pay attention to them. 

Meanwhile, from behind them sneak up two of the “cool” boys in school, one of whom is played by none other than Robert Downey Jr. This is no small role for Downey Jr., either. He goes on to play the menacing boy throughout the film. In this scene, his character takes part in pulling down Gary and Wyatt’s pants for the girls to see. 

Instantly Iconic Kelly LeBrock

weird science

Wyatt is tormented by his older brother, Chett, played by a very young Bill Paxton. Chett is obnoxious, bullying, and gross. But don’t worry. It’s a John Hughes film. The bad guys always get their comeuppance. 

To try to gain more popularity and advance their level of cool, Wyatt and Gary create a woman on Wyatt’s computer in a Frankenstein “it’s alive” moment. Fortunately, they use a doll instead of a dead body. Yes. It’s weird science, indeed.

The woman who arrives through smoke and mist is stunningly gorgeous supermodel Kelly Lebrock. She says she was created by the boys and that she has appeared to do whatever they tell her to do. The boys give her the name Lisa.

Surprisingly Heatfelt Despite The Weird Science

Instead of doing whatever they say, however, Lisa has come to shake the boys up and out of their lack of self-confidence and meekness. She takes them to a blues bar, she takes them shopping at the mall, and she invites hundreds of people to Wyatt’s house while his parents are out of town. 

As the party gets underway, two pretty teenage girls find themselves increasingly attracted to Gary and Wyatt, but the boys are still suffering from an image of inferiority. Lisa continues to step up the absurd challenges the boys must face with continued faith in their ability to rise to the occasion. 

Meanwhile, Downey Jr.’s character, Ian, and his buddy Max beg the boys to make them a girl of their own. Of course, madness ensues as more weird science takes off. 

Available On Video On Demand


You’ll have to watch the movie to find out what happens, but I would not leave it off your list of 80s movies to watch, especially in appreciation of a great filmmaker like John Hughes. I give Weird Science 4 out of 5 stars because I feel like the teenage girls could have been stronger female figures, and Hughes is usually quite good at providing decent roles for women. 

It’s available for rent for around $4 on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Google Play. It’s worth it to see what happens to Bill Paxton in the end. Then, once you watch it, check out the Genrevision podcast episode and see if you agree with their take!