Barney Springboro (Scott Baio) is what you would call a nerd. He spends all of his spare time in the laboratory of Emerson High School working on an experiment. His best friend is the eccentric Peyton Nichols (Willie Aames) who’s only real concern is trying to get himself some ladies. While working in the lab a freak accident (partly caused by Peyton) happens that gives Barney telekinetic powers. When they learn of his newfound ability, they use it to win at the college casino, help their baseball team to victory, and of course, get girls naked. It’s all fun and games until Barney begins to fall for Bernadette (Felice Schacter) who is growing real tired of his infantile shenanigans. He will have to decide what’s most important in his life and try to make the right decision.
I watched ZAPPED many times as a young, impressionable child and the idea of having telekinetic powers and using it to get girls naked was a high priority. I tried but it never actually worked so I figured it was time to revisit this goofy little movie and it’s a bit goofier than I remembered. It hasn’t aged very well and the humor isn’t quite as funny as I remember. There’s a few decent gags and every moment Scatman Crothers is onscreen talking about his salami is pure gold. This was the first time Scott Baio and Willie Aames appeared together before going on to sitcom stardom with CHARLES IN CHARGE. I had always crushed on Heather Thomas so seeing her in this film was imperative, especially since I heard she was naked in it. Well, by now we all know she not only had a body double but was pissed off about the whole thing so I can’t even pretend I saw them anymore. Regardless of what I think, ZAPPED has become a cult classic, it’s a bit of a satire, and it has a few fun moments. The film has never looked better on any format and it’s most certainly worth having in your 80’s sex comedy collection. I just remembered it being far more entertaining when I was younger. I like to think I still have that teenage mentality when it comes to comedy but this one doesn’t always do it right. For me, I think I’ll just stick to thinking it was magical film I loved AS A KID, my adult self doesn’t like it so much. Now available on Blu-ray from Olive Films. It was followed by a sequel in 1990 called ZAPPED AGAIN! Directed by Robert J. Rosenthal (MALIBU BEACH).