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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Back to the 80s: ‘Weird Science’

‘It’s Alive!’ with an 80s twist
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Alyssa Branum
Released in 1985, “Weird Science” features 80s icons Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Anthony Michael Hall in a comedic fantasy of bringing a doll to life. This movie is considered an 80s cult classic due to its comedic timing and John Hughes staple themes. (Graphic created in Canva by Alyssa Branum and Katelyn Marano, photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

A remake of the classic horror film “Frankenstein” with an 80s twist of male fantasy is brought to life with wistful comedy in “Weird Science”.

“Weird Science” features 80s icon Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith in a nerd-tastic manner of geeks just wanting to be cool.

In a desperate plea to fit in, two nerds Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly with the means of bringing a doll to life, design a woman with looks and powers out of this world. Similar to how Frankenstein was created.

This outstanding and other-worldly woman is none other than Kelly LeBrock’s character Lisa. Lisa is a walking male fantasy, with her mature flawless beauty, doll-like figure and seductive English accent. She’s the woman of every high school boy’s dream.

As the plot continues the boys use Lisa and her powers of beauty to explore a life of popularity. All in hopes of impressing the popular and out-of-their-league girls at school. Lisa is so much more than what they had anticipated though and they soon realize how in over their heads they really are.

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“Weird Science” directed by John Hughes is considered another one of his widely successful films alongside, “Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” which feature themes of self-exploration, romance and fitting in.

Hughes’s paving popularity and themes are still often explored in films like “Spider-man: Homecoming” and “Booksmart” which all capture the thrills and tribulations of the coming-of-age theme and genre. This is a theme that is still relevant and explored, due to the relevancy of all young adults relating to the desire to fit in.

This 90-minute film is filled with quick humor jokes, like nerds with bras on their heads and unforgettable scenes like Gary being drunk in Lisa’s pink convertible.

Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) and Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) with women’s bras on their heads as they unexpectedly turn the Barbie doll into the woman of their dreams. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)


This fantasy-filled comedy is considered an 80s cult classic due to its portrayal of nerds, popularity and romantic teenage desire. This film is filled with such eccentric and ridiculous scenes it will leave watchers reeling as they anticipate just what Lisa will do next.

Alongside iconic 80s actors, actor Robert Downey Jr. has a small role within the film “Weird Science.” He plays the bully to Wyatt and Gary, named Ian. Throughout the film, his antagonist role will have you rooting for the boys as they grapple with self-confidence and resilience against Ian and his gang of bullies.

Unlike traditional 80s tropes of the always foreseeable nerd and popular character falling in love, Wyatt and Gary don’t end the film with Lisa as viewers might anticipate. In fact, they fall in love with two age-appropriate, popular girls from school, while Lisa goes on to become a gym teacher.

Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) all standing in shock as they revel in the catastrophe of Lisa freezing Wyatt’s grandparents near the end of the film. Just another unexplainable thing that Lisa does to surprise the boys. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

The story of Gary and Wyatt breaks out of the traditional 80s predictable nature, by the boys not only pursuing girls of their own age but also breaking anticipation on which boy Lisa will choose. Viewers might anticipate there to be a large feud or even an uprise in the boys’ popularity, but Lisa herself grows in popularity, not the boys.

This break from tradition helps keep viewers engaged throughout each clip and jokes that are far from anticipated like Lisa turning Wyatt’s older scary brother Chet into an animated and talking pile of excrement.

While watching the film, viewers will quickly realize that though Lisa was created for the boys’ own male fantasy and exploration, she takes on more of a sensitive and nurturing role.

She in fact helps them realize the glory in being the nerdy and goofy boys they are.

“Weird Science” is anything but expected, especially when Lisa creates outlandish events for the boys’ like throwing a party, going out to a bar and even changing their style.

Lisa takes those poor overlooked boys to be the eye candy they deserve in the end and like all Hughes films “Weird Science,” is one that will truly leave viewers giddy in 80s nostalgia.

In the 80s, LeBrock was a woman of ideal beauty and standards. Her slim figure and waist were the staples of 80s Hollywood stars and icons, but like all things beauty standards change too. If “Weird Science” were to be re-casted Lisa would be played by stars like Kim Kardashian and Zendaya.

The male gaze has changed and “Weird Science” is a film that in 2024, would not be held to the same standards and praise as it once had before.

It is a film that thanks to its humor and iconic scenes has allowed it to age and remain an 80s cult classic.

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Katelyn Marano, Copy Editor
(she/her) Katelyn Marano is a graduating senior with a major in journalism and a minor in English. She is currently in her second semester here at The State Hornet and is the copy editor for the spring 2024 semester. Katelyn enjoys reading and writing, and hope to take her degree into book publishing.
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