Zapped! (1982)

zapped

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 1 out of 10

4-Word Review: Teen acquires telekinetic powers.

Barney (Scott Baio) is a high school nerd who spends more time in the science lab than socializing with friends. During one of his experiments he accidently acquires an ability to move things using telepathic powers. His powers impress fellow teen Bernadette (Felice Schachter) and the two fall in-love…and that’s about it.

One of the biggest problems of this horrible teen comedy is that there is no discernable plot. Yes, we have a teen acquiring some amazing powers, but the script does nothing with it. The tricks that he does are minimal and there is no real bad guy, tension, or even basic story just some broadly ‘comical’ scenarios instead. The premise reminded me of one of those old Disney movies with Kurt Russell playing college kid Dexter Riley who would somehow attain similarity extraordinary powers, but those movies at least had Cesar Romero as a fun bad guy and even on a subpar level were far funnier and more entertaining than this.

I think what really bugs me about this movie is that you have some nudity and crude jokes, which would clearly aim it for an older audience and yet the humor is incredibly kiddie-like stuff that could only amuse your basic 4-year-old and be lame to everybody else. The brief bits of nudity that you do see do not make sitting through this inane thing worth it. You also get treated to not one, but two sappy 70’s-style love songs that could easily make most people want to puke.

Baio has no screen presence or ability to carry a movie and it is easy to see why he went right back to doing TV-sitcoms after this. The way he politely puts up with his over-the-top intrusive parents (Roger Bowen, Marya Small) is pathetic. Most films of this type always portray the mom and dad as being ‘uptight’ and ‘out-of-it’, but this one plays it up too much until it becomes just plain dumb.

I will say that Heather Thomas is hot here. Really, really hot both with her clothes on and off and simply eyeing her in every scene that she is in helps in a minor way get through the stupidity. Sue Ann Langdon is attractive in the ‘milf’ category and she is the only one of the cast members to appear in the film’s 1990 direct-to-video sequel Zapped Again!.

The Exorcist parody and the Carrie prom-like disaster that occurs at the end is mildly amusing enough to give this embarrassment one point, but otherwise this film gives the already low-grade genre of 80’s teen comedies a bad name. In fact I would consider this to be the worst out of all of them.

My Rating: 1 out of 10

Released: July 23, 1982

Runtime: 1Hour 38Minutes

Rated R

Director: Robert J. Rosenthal

Studio: Embassy Pictures

Available: VHS, DVD

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