My Science Project (1985) – Jonathan B. Beteul

When I was growing up in Bermuda, my fellow Canuck, Sean lived across the street of Cedarcraft Lane, and he and his brothers always seemed to be renting odd movies that I had never heard of – they were well into their b-movie science fiction before I came along. And one weekend, I was able to hang out with him and his fam as they watched My Science Project.

At least I knew a little about this one, having seen it in an issue of Starlog, and I remember us having a lot of fun with it at the time. I hadn’t watched it since… until now. And it’s still pretty entertaining, but that may be because there is a healthy dose of nostalgia associated with it now on my behalf.

Back in 1957, apparently, a UFO crashed, and its contents were taking to an airbase where it is ordered to be destroyed. Flash forward to 1985 where Harlan (John Stockwell), who loves cars, is trying to figure out how to pass Bob’s (Dennis Hopper) science class – the grade depends on a science project.

Dealing with a recent break-up and the fact that his dad (Barry Corbin) is having a whirlwind romance with a local door to door sales woman (Ann Wedgeworth), Harlan agrees to go out on a date with Ellie (Danielle von Zerneck) – but he takes her to a junkyard, in search of a science project, or the idea of one. The junkyard, however, used to be an airbase… can you see where this is going?

Harlan returns home with a piece of alien tech that looks cool, and seems to feed off electricity. He pulls in his buddy, Vince (Fisher Stevens) to have a look, and soon, he, Ellie, Harlan and poindexter, Sherman (Raphael Sbarge) find themselves caught up in the adventure of a lifetime as overnight, the tech begins to feed on the electrical grid of the city and begins opening spatial and temporal holes all over the high school, one of which has swallowed Bob!

Now, in one night, they have to stop the technology before it causes an implosion of the universe, but it won’t be easy, there are neanderthals, enemy soldiers, mutants, and even dinosaurs prowling the halls of the school, and lets not forget the developing chemistry between Harlan and Ellie…

It’s goofy, it’s fun, most of the special effects have held up nicely, and no one attempts to really explain anything beyond the bare bones to convey the threat and what has to be done to stop it. Sure, not all of it has quite stood the test of time, but it was still a fun ride and it brought back lots of memories for me.

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