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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #251: Lisa

Don't hate her because she's beautiful.

So, what would you little maniacs like to discuss first?

Weird Science is perhaps the quirkiest entry in the catalogue of 80's-teen film maestro John Hughes. Hughes always had a talent for shining a light on the dorky or otherwise castoff corners of adolescent life in that day-glo decade, from Cameron to Ducky to the entire Breakfast Club. His teenagers were sexually frustrated and curious, socially inept, and yet aware that they inhabited a brief tipping point in their own lives, a last vestige of childhood before plunging into an uncertain, vanilla adulthood. His films are saturated with repressed need - for acceptance, for adventure, for experience.

The computer-geek protagonists of Weird Science are no different - Wyatt and Gary (Hughes stalwart Anthony Michael Hall) are awkward and clumsy, victims of bullying snobbery by more mainstream souls like Robert Downey, Jr.'s Ian. They retreat into the only world in which they possess any expertise and confidence - the digital. In a precursor to 3-D printing and online virtual pornography, they design and summon the incarnation of the teen boy's perfect woman - Lisa.

The result is an iconic cult classic of 80's schlock, made all the more memorable by sex kitten Kelly LeBrock's libidinous yet oddly sentimental Lisa. A fantasy in leotards (when wearing anything at all), Lisa is voluptuous (though no sprained thumbs), willing, and patient with her young sexual padawans. After some early antics, she determines that what these feckless boys need isn't unlimited carnal frolics, but rather more sustainable and meaningful emotional connections with real girls their own age. With aplomb and unexplained magical powers, Lisa arranges for the standard out-of-control house party to elevate Wyatt and Gary in the social pecking order. With her ravishing looks (don't hate her because she's beautiful) and subtle British charm, Lisa is the puppet master, the ostensible servant in complete control. (By the way - if there's a better line than "You know, there's going to be sex, drugs, rock-n-roll... chips, dips, chains, whips... You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I'm not talking candlewax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals." then I don't want to know about it.)

Of course things work out for the boys, this being 1985 and a John Hughes movie, and Lisa goes on to become a jaw-dropping gym teacher and marry Steven Seagal. Oh - and the theme song, Weird Science, was recorded by Oingo Boingo and frontman Danny Elfman, who has since gone on to an acclaimed career as a film score composer. So put a bra on your head and go back thirty years and enjoy this classic again.

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