Weird Science on 4K Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review – Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock

Weird Science

Weird Science is one of my all-time favourite ’80s comedies, and one of many times when the late-great writer/direcor John Hughes hit all the right notes, even though I didn’t realised until now that this was based on a comic book (like every other film made today!), most likely because the comic book’s writers were uncredited, and there was no internet for a while yet.

I was on my way to being around the same age as Gary (Anthony Michael HallHalloween Kills) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) by the time I saw this, as it always took a year or two for films to filter through to the home video market in the UK, but as you’re a young lad and get to that age, you’ll be doing as they do, as they fantasise about falling in love with the two hottest girls in the school, but they’ll never get with them, right? Of course they will, but it’ll take just over 90 minutes to achieve that. In reality, it’s rather different.

As with Sixteen Candles, Hall is again on top form, while Mitchell-Smith always looks one step from giggling his head off, so not the greatest actor, but IMDB confirms he only acted for a few more years after this, and then went on to be a University Professor in both History and English!

At the time, the latter would’ve been around 15 when Kelly LeBrock, as Lisa, the woman they created, is grabbing his backside. In 2019, this would have certain sections of society shouting, “The children! Won’t someone think of the children!?”, but had I been in the same situation, then I’d also have jump at the chance.

Time Bandits & Weird Science 4K Blu-ray Limited Editions! Full Unboxing! (Arrow Video Releases) – DVDfeverGames

Aside from the two lads, model Kelly LeBrock never reached the dizzying acting heights again as she did as the computer-creation Lisa, leaving another late, great collaborator on the project, Bill Paxton (Titanic), to continue to shine in his career as he did here, as Wyatt’s hateful brother Chet. Will he get his comeuppance? Oh yes, and in such a brilliant way, too.

There’s also a smaller role as a high-school ‘jock’ for one of today’s biggest stars, Robert Downey Jr (Oppenheimer), who appears alongside Vamp‘s Robert Rusler, and Sixteen Candles & Breakfast Club‘s John Kapelos also shows up here as the Kandy Bar Owner, early on.

Jokes come thick and fast, with quoteable one-liners aplenty, such as “Anything bigger than handful, you’re risking a sprained tongue”, and as with Sixteen Candles, there are knowing looks to the camera, not only from Hall, but also his compatriot.

Oh, and if you remember this film as a 15-certificate, then like Sixteen Candles, it’s been reclassified a 12, and still uncut. Certificates are sometimes lowered over time, as society changes, and I think that’s right in the case of both films, especially as they’re NOT peppered with f-words like too many modern films.

If there’s any downside, then it’s that Paxton features early on, and towards the end, but is missing for the majority of the film, but then it’s mostly about the two geeks.

Now, how about a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?

But before that, if you want to know what the extended cut scenes comprise of, check out the video below, but in short, Gary and Wyatt watch Frankenstein with Boris Karloff but don’t find it particularly frightening, then they continue watching in the kitchen while making popcorn, and finally, some lads come to the the party with Devo hats on, and actually gain entrance!

Weird Science – Extended Cut Scenes

The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 2160p high defintion, and the picture is absolutely stunning and has never been better. It’s absolutely crystal clear and I’m watching on a huge screen and this is a 4K package you can buy with confidence.

For the record, I’m watching on Optoma P2 Ultra Short Throw projector with a PS5.

Plus, there is a DTS 5.1 soundtrack on this disc, but only in the theatrical version. However, since these films were never made in any more than stereo at the time, you’re missing nothing by just hearing stereo, and that’s what I heard whilst watching the extended version.

The extras on this disc are as follows:

  • Edited For TV version (94:06): If there’s one thing that was irritating back in the ’80s, it’s when films were edited for TV, particularly with the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Robocop and Die Hard‘s awful censorship, removing the f-words. There’s none of those in this film, but still, some other swears get replaced along the way.

    In this circumstance – watching it as an option and not because it’s all the TV stations will show – it’s certainly worth a look, and it’s nice to see that the cast have voiced a lot of the changes, themselves, rather than the usual ’80s style, where some random individual would pretend to be Eddie Murphy.

    Presented in 4:3, this extra also gives the option of a split-screen comparison, which runs 18 mins 16 seconds, and just highlights the changes, in case you want to save a bit of time.

  • Casting Weird Science (6:01): An interview with Jackie Birch who cast the actors in the film, stating it wasn’t the easiest film to cast – well, Ilan Mitchell-Smith still couldn’t act, but anyway. However, Kelly could’ve been replaced by Sharon Stone :O

    This is a great extra to see how they all came about, and Ms Birch also worked alongside Mr Hughes in Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles.

  • Dino The Greek (6:55): A very amusing interview with John Kapelos, who also played Carl the Janitor in John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, as well as being in Sixteen Candles.

  • Chet Happens (19:38): Sadly, Bill Paxton is no longer with us to give his thoughts on the film, but for this segment, we have an interview with Craig Reardon, whose special effects brought Chet into being, and who was really inside that suit?

    Plus, alternate comeuppance scenes were apparently also shot for Downey Jr and Russler, but these didn’t see the light of day. We do get images of their costumes, though, with one wearing a pig’s head!

  • Fantasy and Microchips (10:44): An interview with editor Chris Lebenzon, who states that after test screenings, the start and end scenes were re-shot in the gym, and done at the same time as each other. This was because Lisa simply disappearing was felt to be a bit of a downer.

  • Ira Newborn Makes The Score (13:43): The music maestro talks about working with John Hughes and producer Joel Silver, and how he came to apply certain music to certain scenes. Plus, this was one of five films he made with Hughes, the others being Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes Trains and Automobiles, and Uncle Buck.

    However, why did he seemingly retire around 2000? He’s not made any music for films, since!

  • It’s Alive! Resurrecting Weird Science (16:38): An archive featurette made for the 2008 DVD release, featuring many interviews. Some also talk a lot about how Hughes had stopped making films, and how they wished he’d make more, again. Sadly, he passed away in 2009.

  • Theatrical Teaser (2:37): Presented in 4:3, for a teaser, it’s a long one.

  • Theatrical Trailer (1:34): Also in 4:3, the trailer is shorter than the teaser!

  • TV Spots (1:01): Two TV ads.

  • Radio Spots (4:50): 9 more ads, but in audio form.

  • Image galleries:Shooting script (133 pages), production stills (119 on-set stills), poster and video art (22), the latter of which includes the UK VHS cover from CIC Video, which I must’ve rented a zillion times! It was a 15-certificate back then, but we didn’t have a 12-cert at the time, but that feels more appropriate now. There’s also the cover for the UK 2-DVD boxset which includes The Breakfast Club, and a UK 12-certicate Blu-ray cover, albeit not from this particular release, and just shows Kelly LeBrock on her own, sort-of glowing blue.

As shown in the unboxing, there’s a double-sided poster, a 44-page booklet, and a reversible sleeve for the 4K Blu-ray box. I just wish there were two copies of the poster, so I could display both, or if they were able to make these available, I’d definitely get hold of a second!

The main menu features clips from the film mixed in with a segment of the Oingo Boingo main theme tune. There are subtitles in English, and 12 chapters. As always, I wish we got more.

Weird Science is out now on 4K Blu-ray Boxset and Blu-ray.

Weird Science – Official Trailer




Running time: 94 minutes (theatrical) / 97 minutes (extended)
Year: 1985
Chapters: 12
Distributor: Arrow Video FCD2426
Released: August 21st 2023
Picture: 2160p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD 5.1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1 (35mm)
Disc Format: BD100

Director: John Hughes
Producer: Joel Silver
Writer: John Hughes
Comic Book: Al Feldstein, William M Gaines
Music: Ira Newborn

Gary Wallace: Anthony Michael Hall
Lisa: Kelly LeBrock
Wyatt Donnelly: Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Chet Donnelly: Bill Paxton
Deb: Suzanne Snyder
Hilly: Judie Aronson
Ian: Robert Downey Jr
Max: Robert Rusler
Lord General: Vernon Wells
Al Wallace: Britt Leach
Lucy Wallace: Barbara Lang
Mutant Biker: Michael Berryman
Henry Donnelly: Ivor Barry
Carmen Donnelly: Ann Coyle
Gymnast: Suzy J Kellems
Dino: John Kapelos
Wyatt’s Father: Doug MacHugh
Wyatt’s Mother: Pamela Gordon