I was around ten years old when I first saw Weird Science. One of the benefits of being raised by divorced parents was I kinda picked my own stuff with little discourse. For those who don’t know, Weird Science was a movie written and directed by 80’s movie GOD (and I do not say that lightly, the man was a God), John Hughes. Yes, Ferris Bueller and Breakfast Club John Hughes. Weird Science was about two virginal geeks who get picked on and can’t get a girlfriend so they finally end up using their computer to make one. A thunder storm happens, some movie magic goes down, and bam, stunning, real woman comes to life and is their to do their bidding. Think Frankenstein with nicer tits and less corpse parts and you have a decent idea. Yes, insane, but don’t forget. This was the 80’s and this was John Hughes. The man could do no wrong and this insane movie proved it. And also, in this writer’s honest opinion, this flick files itself as one of the best geek movies ever made.
I will now proceed to tell you why this oft misinterpreted movie is the holy grail of nerd movies.
It Is NOT About A Sex Bot
First of all, they do not make a sex bot. She is not a bot at all. She is one of those insane 80’s movies things that happens and has no real reason (thunderstorms make life!) but keep in mind, she is not a sex bot. This is one big misunderstanding about the film. No, they do not create a sex slave. They create something that helps them find comfort in who THEY are. Underneath the veiled sex bot themes are some genuine ones. They may have thought they wanted a sex bot, but nerds always think big.
Second, they don’t even use her for sex (which may have been their original intention, but as you can see above, a stunning woman can be very intimidating, which keeps the whole thing very PG in nature). In turn, she ends up being sort of a mother lion who helps them find their ‘roar’ and in the process, helps them find themselves. Honestly, she just makes them more comfortable in their own skin, and what teenager doesn’t want to feel that way? She makes them do things outside their comfort zones so they can stop learning to be victims. It is a very strong message to send, and sent more subtlety here than given credit for.
Also, the movie is funny as fuck, straight up.
A Friend, A Bodyguard, and a Therapist
For those who have not seen the movie, Lisa (the interstellar non-sex non-bot played by Kelly LeBrock) actually uses her wiles to help two teenage boys, Gary (played by Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (played by IIan Mitchell-Smith) lose their nerdy rep and gain some courage. It is kooky and kinky and sweet, all at the same time, if that is even possible. By the way, for anyone who wants to see what Robert Downey Jr was like PRE-Iron Man, peep this. The dude could play ‘douchebag’ better than anyone. Makes me wonder if he was acting at all back then:
That is the kinda stuff the two leads were putting up with. Public humiliation. You know, the kinda stuff that drives kids to eventually go all Columbine? Well, Lisa helped curve that by teaching them to stand up for themselves (in the right ways). She also shows them they have an amazing sense of inner strength and resilience they didn’t seem to be aware was there (because they were picked on and belittled by everyone in their lives). Hell, this was one of Bill Paxton’s first roles and I swear it is still his best. The abusive older brother of Wyatt named Chet, and my God, does he nail it and have a ton of fun with the role:
Even his name, Chet, makes your skin crawl. But even he gets taught a very valuable lesson (by being turned into a mutant frog. Wow, now that I write all this down I see how insane this movie really is. Bless the 80’s and their coked out insanity).
It Was About Being Happy Being Your (Imperfect) Self
Why I say it is the greatest geek movie of all time is the underlying message Lisa tries to drive home with the two leads. She does not make them cooler by banging them (though I am sure that helped a bit in Wyatt’s case). She doesn’t make them cooler by teaching them karate. She doesn’t help them by raising funds by holding a massive dance off so the rec center wont close. No, she simply puts Gary and Wyatt in situations SHE KNOWS they can get out of, and in doing so, she shows them they had the strength and courage and confidence in them the whole time. In essence, she does little but steer them, and they do the rest themselves.
So the reason it is here is because underneath the sort of “pretend slimy” veneer of the story (let’s create a slutty woman that we can use for sex which will make us cooler) is a really sweet story about two nerds who figure out being nerds isn’t a bad thing at all. A good message inside a funny movie that would NEVER get made today. Man, I (rarely) miss the 80’s, but right now I do.
A weird and wonderful movie, and one that still causes me to wear a bra on my head from time-to-time.