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  • Gareth Crook

Zapped! (1982) - 1/10

I’ve got Josh & Chuck of SYSK to blame for watching this. Zapped! tells the story of Barney (Scott Baio) and his mate Peyton (Willie Aames), two high school students. A popular theme in 80s movies. Barney is a science nerd. In the era before animal testing was frowned upon and Peyton is… the other one. We’re 5 minutes in before I’m resigned to the fact that this is terrible. It might be worse than Howard the Duck. The experiments Barney’s been doing on Edgar the mouse have given him telekinetic powers, powers that Barney gains himself after spilling some of the concoction in his lab. Go with it, this isn’t a deep film. The acting all round is absolutely shocking. Is it supposed to be this bad? The whole thing is cheap. Apparently the final scene took a week to shoot, I’ve no idea why. Barney begins to realise he can control things and after opening a few doors and tidying up his lab like something from Mary Poppins, but not as good, he moves onto removing people’s clothes. But only after he freaks out his mum with a mannequin and indulges in a weird Star Trek fantasy. Like I said, not deep. Most of it is filmed with a minimal cast, aside a ball game. Where Scatman Crothers turns up as the coach and Barney rigs the game with comedy sound effects in case we weren’t sure he was using his powers. Scatman Crothers gets high. There’s a montage at an amusement park. An exorcism. They clean up at roulette and piss of the token jock. Barney falls for Bernadette (Felice Schachter) and Peyton chases Jane (Heather Thomas). Everything culminates with the prom where everyone loses their clothes in teenage fantasy Carrie spoof. It plays more like a TV show, a bad one. Maybe not a surprise as that’s where most of these actors wound up. There’s no redeeming features. I don’t really blame Josh & Chuck. I could tell from the poster this wasn’t going to score well, but it’s even worse than I thought… and they made a sequel!



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