It’s pretty fun to see Scott Baio and Willie Aames team up in what would be one of their many endeavors in “Zapped!” Baio was fresh off of “Happy Days,” Aames was off of “Eight is Enough,” they were a few years away from the comedy gold of “Charles in Charges” and decades away from being the douche bags we know today. It was an interesting time where Baio and pal Aames delved in to the sex comedy. “Zapped!” attempts to be as outrageous as silly as possible, but only really ends as a somewhat mediocre comedic effort that doesn’t do much with the premise it hands us.
If you don’t think about it too hard, “Zapped!” works within the confines of eighties comedies (what eighties movie would be complete without an appearance by Eddie Deezen?) and that’s about all it does. It’s bizarre how “Zapped!” comes off initially like “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” feeling like a late seventies era Disney Television movie, but once the clothes start to rip off, and the flesh is bared, it feels slightly tacked on. It almost feels like the sex comedy aesthetic was injected at the last minute in what was probably a PG-13 comedy about a geeky science kid with super powers.
Regardless, the sexual elements don’t improve or detract from the quality of “Zapped!” as it’s all fairly routine and cliché misadventures once character Barney garners telekinetic powers after a lab accident. Once he realizes he can move things with his mind, he begins abusing them to help him in sports, and to help him gamble. His friend Peyton is also unashamed in asking Barney to commit certain tasks for him, including winning at a gambling function. Barney inevitably begins to fall for the more morally upright Bernadette who feels Barney’s use of his powers is corrupting his personality.
“Zapped!” performs a lot of meandering here and there, focusing on Barney’s relationship with Bernadette, an odd sub-plot involving his teachers hooking up on a blind date, and Barney’s abilities that range from silly to creepy time and time again. To make the film even more unusual, there’s a full fledged spoof of the finale of “Carrie” in the climax, where Barney’s incident with a stray watermelon prompts him to unleash his powers and begin telekinetically tearing clothes off of fellow classmates attending the prom. One of the many post-“Porky’s” comedies that drops the sex comedy template over science fiction, “Zapped!” is a solid diversion with some occasional giggles to be mined.
The Blu-Ray and DVD from Olive Films doesn’t come with any special features.