Picks and Pans Review: Zapped!
When 1992 rolls around and the class reunion is held for this year's spate of high school films (Porky's, Class of 1984, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Homework), reserve a small table by the kitchen for Zapped! It is a smarmy vehicle designed to showcase teen idols Scott (Happy Days) Baio and Willie (Eight Is Enough) Aames. Baio plays a nebbishy student who, through a lab accident, acquires telekinetic powers. Being an earnest scientific genius with dreams of receiving grants to continue his research in botany, how does he put his newfound talents to use? By fixing baseball games, foiling fraternity bullies, and popping open the sweater of cheerleader Heather (Fall Guy) Thomas, of course. To set objects in motion, Baio must glare at them and crook an eyebrow; much of his performance comes straight from the Elizabeth (Bewitched) Montgomery School of Twitching. Aames is convincing as a slick teenage Lothario. This film, a kind of Son of Flubber flavored with Our Miss Brooks, is so thin that Scatman Crothers, who encourages Baio to cure his cancer so that his wife will let him eat salami again, almost steals the show. The funniest scenes (and that ain't saying much) involve Baio's domestic life. His father, Roger Bowen, drinks prune juice and rum when he isn't snoring on the couch, and the ditsy mother, Marya Small, races around brandishing a crucifix once she has had a look at her son's telekinesis. Zapped! climaxes at the prom (where else?), as Baio strips the student body of its formal wear. If the title hadn't been used, this could have been called The Nude Bomb. (R)
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine