You Dumb Kid: Zapped!



Zapped! (1982)

zapped_xlgThe Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland a few weeks back (don’t worry this article has nothing to do with politics I promise) and one of the prominent speakers was the one and only Scott Baio. I was flabbergasted at such a celebrity endorsement. I haven’t heard from nor even  thought of Scott Baio since his has-been-back-in-the-limelight VH1 show: Scott Baio Is 45…and Single. As a child of the 80s Scott Baio was very popular and a teen heart-throb but I was somewhat linked to him through a rather weird way, my mom used to (and sometimes still does) call me ‘Chachi’ as a term of endearment.

Like I said, he was very popular from Happy Days and had his own spin-off. Joanie Loves Chachi. I was very young, like 5, when the people decided that they no longer love Chachi and it was canceled after only one season. But I suppose I kinda looked like a young Scott Baio and so my mom lovingly referred to me sometimes as Chachi. I never minded it and it could’ve been worse. She could’ve called me Potsie or Twiki (look that one up!).

And I don’t know why I was able to watch the 1982 teen comedy, Zapped! at such a young age. Sure it featured some sci-fi elements of Scott Baio gaining super telekinetic powers in a high school science lab accident but other than that it’s a typical un-PC, teen sex comedy that would most likely get an R-rating if it was made today. But that’s the weird thing about my folks. They seem to be very conservative, yet were very liberal when it came time for the Hollywood rating system. I was able to watch basically anything I wanted. It didn’t matter the subject, the language or if it featured T&A. I have mentioned before that I was able to see Revenge of the Nerds when it came out—and that featured full frontal bush! But horror movies were my bread and butter and as long as I wasn’t scared or repeated the harsh language I was A-OK. I guess it was a different time or that they didn’t care. I dunno but I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I wasn’t molded by the 80’s lack of good judgments. 

I rewatched Zapped! a few years ago and I should include it in our award-winning segment “What Were We Thinking?” but one scene corrected a mistake I made back when I was a wee lad. In this scene, Heather Thomas (WOW!) is lured back to Willie Aames supposedly rape-lair so he can possibly fornicate with her. Seriously, you should watch the whole clip because that room is hilariously predatory and lewd for a teenage boy. While he’s preparing them a toast of champagne (seriously, the 80s were such a great decade of depravity) she’s rummaging around his room and opens up what looks like a small cabinet or one of those small dart boards. When it opens a dozen or so condoms fall out and she embarrassingly puts them back in the cabinet. Back when I was a kid, I thought those were candies or butterscotches.

I didn’t have a clue what condoms were when I was 5 and I guess I thought that gold wrapper looked like butterscotch since my grandmother had the same type of wrappers in her house.  

Oooooh shit. Maybe they weren’t butterscotch candies in my grandmother’s house. As I write this post, I’m starting to realize more than I should remember. Aw I feel really really gross right now.


Here’s some great quotes about Zapped! that currently has a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“ZAPPED!, which opens today at Loews State and a number of other unfortunate theaters, is a half-baked, rather retarded parody of Carrie and a number of other films that, using the awesome power of their ignorance, drove telekinesis into the ground.” ~The New York Times’ Vincent Canby

“[Zapped! is]…”so puerile and uninspired that it makes Porky’s seem like Ninotchka in comparison.” ~The Daily Courier



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