Scott Baio, Willie Aames. When a hormone-ravaged teenage nerd acquires special telekinetic powers, just imagine all the fun he can have. 1982/color/98 min/R.
When high-school science nerd Barney Springboro develops the power to move objects with his mind, he immediately uses it to burst the buttons on a busty cheerleader's fuzzy pink sweater. Welcome to Zapped!
, a classic example of teen sex comedies from the 1980s (such as Porky's
, Private Resort
, Revenge of the Nerds
), combining awkward adolescent romance with a breast obsession that is somehow both leering and innocent. There's not much plot to speak of: Barney (one-time teen heartthrob Scott Baio) uses his powers to win a baseball game, get back at his oppressive parents (who try to have him exorcised), and help his best pal Peyton (Willie Aames, Eight is Enough
) get laid with the aforementioned busty cheerleader (buxom blonde Heather Thomas, The Fall Guy
). Along the way there are peculiar fantasy sequences about Star Trek
and Einstein, as well as a strangely drawn-out subplot about the school principal (Robert Mandan, Soap
) placing a personal ad. Zapped!
is sprinkled with nudity and four-letter words, but what's even more striking is how the budding relationship between Barney and would-be reporter Bernadette (Felice Schachter, The Facts of Life
) feels genuine and sincere--far moreso than the plastic, prefabricated romance of contemporary teen comedy. In fact, up until the berserk prom sequence when Barney goes into a weird, horndog-Carrie
frenzy of telekinetic clothing removal, Zapped!
is surprisingly sweet and will provide a dose of warm nostalgia for guys who grew up watching these movies. --Bret Fetzer