Scott Baio Fan Blog


Retarded Review of “ZAPPED!”
September 28, 2011, 2:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  one  of  the  fine  unappreciated  gems  of  the  1980’s  teen  sex  comedy  genre  has  reached  its  20th  century  anniversary  year.  That’s  right.  ZAPPED!,  the  movie  that  helped  establish  SCOTT  BAIO  and  Willie  Aames  as  something  more  than  a  pair  of  TV  series  teens  has  reached  a  milestone.  They  say  that  things  get  better  with  age.  Like  a  fine  wine  or  cheese,  ZAPPED!  is  obviously  in  that  boat.

For  those  of  you  not  familiar  with  the  fine  work  of  the  two  main  stars  of  this  film,  I’ll  give  it  to  you.  SCOTT  BAIO  and  Willie  Aames  were  two  actors  who  got  their  breaks  on  television  shows  in  the  late  1970’s.  BAIO  starring  as  Chachi  on  “Happy  Days”  and  Aames  starring  as  Tommy  on  “Eight  Is  Enough”.  They  quickly  became  friends  and  worked  on  this  film  as  well  as  the  1980’s  sitcom  “Charles  in  Charge”.  BAIO  also  had  starring  turns  in  films  such  as  “Bugsy  Malone”,  “Skatetown  USA”  and  “Foxes”  while  Aames  mainly  stuck  to TV,  save  for  the  lead  in  “The  Blue  Lagoon”  wannabe  “Paradise”  along  with  Phoebe  Cates.  ZAPPED!,  however,  is  the  crowning  role  for  both  of  them  on  the  silver  screen.

ZAPPED!  is  the  story  of  BAIO’s  Barney  Springboro,  high  school  ubergeek  and  social  misfit,  who  is  working  with  lab  mice  for  what  we  assume  is  a  school  project.  Actually,  there’s  no  telling  why  he’s  actually  working  with  these  mice.  I  mean,  what  could  he  possibly  learn  by  getting  mice  drunk  on  bourbon  and  making  them  scuba  dive?  Or  why  he’s  the  only  person  in  the  entire  school  who  has  access  to  this  way-too-high-tech-for-high-school  science  lab.  Or  why  they  allow  him  to  experiment  using  Jack  Daniels  in  a  public  high  school.  Or  how  he  manages  to  grow  an  assload  of  pot plants  without  anyone  in  the  school  knowing  So  he’s  working  on  some  magical  serum  trying  to  super-power  these  mice,  and  in  the  process,  soup  up  some  super-powered  weed  as  well.  Turns  out  Barney  has  whipped  up  some  sort  of  telekinetic  powers  on  these  mice.  And  upon  taking  some  of  the  serum  himself,  something  any  self-respecting  science  student  would  do  without  testing  it  on  something  larger  than  a  friggin’  lab  rat  for  more  than  a  week  or  two,  winds  up  gaining  access to  some  of  these  powers  as  well.

Barney’s  best  friend  is  Peyton  Nichols,  played  by  Aames.  He’s  the  complete  opposite  of  Barney  –  outgoing,  dumb  and  popular  with  the  ladies.  He’s  after  the  local  high  school  honey,  Jane,  who  of  course  is  taken  with  the  captain  of  the  football  team.  Barney‘s  special  new  powers  put  a  light  in  Peyton’s  eyes.  It’s  not  enough  that  Barney  just  use  his  powers  to  pretend  he’s  the  commander  of  the  Starship  Enterprise.  Peyton  wants  him  to  use  the  powers  for  such  underhanded  activities  as  fixing  baseball  games,  cheating  at  carnival  games,  making  the  teacup  ride  spin  to  the  point  of  nausea,  and  beating  the  casino.  Oh,  and  of  course,  disrobing  all  the  young  ladies  they  can  find.

Unfortunately  though,  Barney‘s  conscience  gets  the  better  of  him  through  the  aid  of  Bernadette,  the  female  end  of  the   nerd  spectrum  at  this  particular  school.  She  and  Barney  are  entrenched  in  a  blood  feud  at  the  beginning  of  the  film,  but  through  their  partnership  in  the  name  of  science,  they  quickly  develop  a  screen  romance  that  Bogart  and  Bacall  would  envy.  This  culminates  when  they  again  play  on  the  biggest  myth  that  frequents  teen  movie  lore  –  that  girls  look  better  WITHOUT  their  glasses.

Of  course,  the  greatest  character  in  this  film,  and  one  in  the  running  for  the  greatest  character  of  all time,  is  baseball  coach  Dexter,  played  with  panache  by  the  late  great  Scatman  Crothers.  In  one  of  the  greatest  scenes  in  film  history,  Dexter  benefits  from  the  power  of  this  super  doja  that  Barney  has  been  raising.  One  of  the  teachers  at  the  school,  obviously  the  rocket  science  instructor,  finds  Barney‘s  stash  and  decides  to  dispose  of  it  by  incinerating  it  IN  THE  SCHOOL  BOILER.  Dexter  gets  a  good  lungful  and  winds  up  in  a  hallucination  that  features  he  and  Albert  Einstein  bike  riding  through  a  meadow  while  being  chased  by  Dexter’s  crazy  wife,  who  won’t  let  him  eat  salami,  on  a  horse-drawn  chariot.  I  wish  I  could  say  I  made  this  up,  but  I’m  not  nearly  that  creative.

The  action  carries  on  until  the  finale  which,  even  in  the  world  of  teen  sex  comedies,  is  almost  to  the  point  of  overkill.  As  one  last  hurrah  with  his  special  powers,  and  as  a  pretty  blatant  ripoff  of  “Carrie”,  Barney  manages  to  disrobe  THE  ENTIRE  STUDENT  BODY  at  the  prom.  It’s  boobies  galore  in  a  scene  that  I  seem  to  recall  having  increased  the  size  of  my  eyes  twofold  when  I  first  saw  this  thing  on  cable  around  8  or  9  years  old.  It’s  brilliant.  It  puts  anything  they  did  in  “Porky’s”  or  “Revenge  Of  The  Nerds”  to  shame.  And  it’s  all due  to   the  power  of  SCOTT  BAIO.

by   Noel   Wood,   http://www.fortheretarded.com   ( October  10,  2002 )