In a career filled with scene-stealing turns, Weird Science’s Chet might be Bill Paxton’s most underrated performance. Writer/director John Hughes was hugely prolific throughout the ’80s and ’90s and is behind some of those decade’s biggest comedies. After scripting the likes of 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, he stepped behind the camera to direct teen comedies Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The Breakfast Club – which featured five students from different walks of life bonding during a weekend detention – might be his most beloved work.

He later moved on from teen movies to direct the likes of Planes, Trains And Automobiles – whose perfect ending was a happy accident – starring Steve Martin and John Candy. While he retired from directing following 1991’s mediocre Curly Sue, his name continued to appear on the writing credits for the first three Home Alone movies and Jennifer Lopez romantic drama Maid In Manhattan. His work was hugely influential on filmmakers like Kevin Smith and Jon Watts also.


Even among his eclectic CV, Weird Science from 1985 – the same year The Breakfast Club was released – is one of his strangest. It’s a mixture of teen comedy and sci-fi b-movie, where two dorky teenagers create a beautiful woman named Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) with their computer. Lisa then teaches them some important life lessons, though her presence also creates chaos for the both of them. While his screentime is all too brief, the late, great Bill Paxton’s turn as Chet is one of Weird Science’s comic highlights.

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Bill Paxton’s – who nearly had an Alien Vs Predator 2 cameo – Chet is in military school and is tasked with looking after his younger brother Wyatt while their parents are away. Weird Science’s Chet is the stereotype of the bullying older sibling cranked up to 11 and delights in tormenting his brother. Paxton has a long line of credits – often in sci-fi movies – where he steals scenes, including Aliens‘ Hudson or Edge Of Tomorrow. Weird Science’s Chet might just be Bill Paxton’s most underrated performance because while he received great reviews for the role, it really is comic perfection.

From Chet’s flat-top haircut to his horrible laugh, Paxton crafted one of the most loathsome screen bullies ever. He hammers home punchlines like “How ’bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?” – which is a line Paxton adlibbed – to sicken his hungover brother. Even when Weird Science’s Chet is turned into a festering, Jabba The Hutt-style beast by Lisa as punishment for his bullying ways, his voice work sells the illusion this blobby puppet is still the same Chet inside. Whether or not Weird Science’s Chet is one of Bill Paxton’s most underrated turns, he later cited the role as one that gave his career at the time a real boost.

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