One Of The Best And Most Problematic ’80s Movies Is Finally Getting An Upgrade

The 1985 comedy Weird Science is getting a 4K upgrade in a new boxed set.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

weird science
Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science (1985)

The science fantasy comedy Weird Science is getting a 4K upgrade. The new restoration comes by way of Arrow Films from a scan of the original negative. The unique box set includes a high-definition Blu-ray version of the original 94-minute theatrical cut, along with an exclusive extended version featuring two additional scenes.

It also includes an edited-for-TV version of Weird Science, paired with a comparison featurette highlighting alternate dubs and takes from the movie. Hardcore fans will be treated to newly-filmed interviews with special makeup creator Craig Reardon, Editor Chris Lebenzon, composer Ira Newborn, supporting actor John Kapelos, and casting director Jackie Burch.

A special documentary called, Alive: Resurrecting Weird Science is included in the box and features interviews with cast, crew, and fans. Other extras include theatrical trailers, TV spots, and a reversible cover sleeve showcasing commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching. The first pressing of the box set contains a collectible illustrated booklet showcasing the work of Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Amanda Reyes.

weird science
Kelly LeBrock and Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science (1985)

Released in 1985, Weird Science was written and directed by John Hughes. The movie is based on Al Feldstein’s 1951 pre-Code comic Made of the Future, which appeared in the magazine of the same name. The film stars Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace, Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly, Kelly LeBrock as Lisa, Bill Paxton as Chet Donnelly, and Robert Downey Jr. as Ian.

Weird Science follows best friends Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly, who lack confidence and popularity at school. Frustrated with their social status and lack of success with girls, they decide to use Wyatt’s computer, hacking skills, and a doll to create a virtual woman. After feeding in various specifications, a power surge creates Lisa.

Beautiful, intelligent, seductive, and equipped with magical powers, Lisa transforms Gary and Wyatt’s lives. As the story progresses, Lisa orchestrates events to enhance their social standing, including throwing a legendary house party that attracts the attention of the entire school. However, they must also deal with the consequences of their actions and Wyatt’s overbearing military-minded older brother.

weird science
Robert Russler and a Robert Downey Jr. in Weird Science (1985)

Throughout the film, Gary and Wyatt learn valuable lessons about friendship, self-confidence, and being true to themselves. Lisa encourages them to be assertive and take risks, ultimately helping them realize their own potential. Over the years, Weird Science became a cult hit for its witty dialogue, memorable characters, and entertaining blend of fantasy and humor.

Although the film continues to entertain audiences, Weird Science features a few problematic elements that haven’t aged well. At its core, the film focuses on the creation of a woman solely for the purpose of fulfilling the desires and fantasies of the male protagonists. The female characters are often portrayed as one-dimensional stereotypes.

Weird Science also portrays bullying as an accepted part of teenage life, with the protagonists being both victims and perpetrators. The aggressive behavior of Wyatt’s older brother, Chet, exemplifies toxic masculinity, promoting the idea that dominance and intimidation are acceptable forms of behavior.

Despite its problems, Weird Science holds above-average scores of 56 and 69 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.