My Science Project (1985)

My Science Project (1985)

Taglines: We must not destroy the world.

Michael and Ellie break into a military junkyard to find a science project for Michael’s class, and discover a strange glowing orb which absorbs electricity. When the orb begins to blend past, present, and future, its up to Michael and Ellie to stop the orb and save mankind.

My Science Project is a 1985 American comedy science fiction film directed by Jonathan R. Betuel. Although not performing as well, the movie follows on heels of other teen-sci-fi/comedy films released the same year, such as Back to the Future, Real Genius, and Weird Science.

About the Story

The movie begins in 1957 with a scene of a United States military operation to secure a crashed UFO in a hangar bay. A man, (President Dwight D. Eisenhower; played by Robert Beer), enters to see the craft and simply orders his men to “get rid of it.”

Fast-forwarding to 1985, a high school senior named Michael Harlan (John Stockwell), whose only interest is muscle cars, reluctantly searches for something to turn in for his final science class project. While on what his bookworm friend Ellie Sawyer (Danielle von Zerneck), thinks is a date, Michael breaks into a government aircraft boneyard and stumbles upon a hidden fallout shelter. There, he finds a glowing, plasma globe-like piece of equipment and grabs it just as a military guard approaches and chases him away.

My Science Project (1985)

The next day, Michael cleans up the device in auto shop class and unwittingly activates it where it begins drawing power from a nearby boombox. His friend Vince Latello (Fisher Stevens), tries to talk him out of attaching the device’s “terminals” to an automotive battery whereupon the device emits a swirl of colorful energy that manifests into an Ancient Greek vase. As the two leave the auto shop for their next class, they soon realize they inexplicably lost two hours of time and missed their final science exam.

After a series of other strange happenings surrounding the machine, Michael takes the device, referred to as “the gizmo,” to his ex-hippie science teacher Dr. Roberts (Dennis Hopper), who quickly realizes it is a portal to another dimension. While bathing in the cosmic energy of the gizmo and contemplating the wonders of the universe, Roberts suddenly warps away only leaving behind his peace symbol medallion. Michael tries to disconnect the machine from the power outlet, but is unable to. His only solution is to destroy the power lines leading to town before the warp spreads out of control.

Michael and Vince obtain dynamite from the backroom of a hardware store owned by Michael’s father (Barry Corbin), and then race to outrun a wave of energy traveling along the power lines before it reaches the local power plant. They successfully blow up a tower, but upon returning to town are arrested for Dr. Roberts’ disappearance.

Michael calls Ellie and asks her to go to the school to retrieve the gizmo hoping to prove his innocence by showing it to the police. At the school, she runs into Sherman (Raphael Sbarge), an obnoxious nerd, who hooks the gizmo up to a power outlet again and creates a massive time warp over the school. This causes a black out in town, allowing Vince and Michael to escape the police and return to the school.

My Science Project Movie Poster (1985)

My Science Project (1985)

Directed by: Jonathan R. Betuel
Starring: John Stockwell, Danielle von Zerneck, Fisher Stevens, Raphael Sbarge, Richard Masur, Ann Wedgeworth, Candace Silvers, Beau Dremann
Screenplay by: Jonathan R. Betuel
Production Design by: David L. Snyder
Cinematography by: David M. Walsh
Film Editing by: Carroll Timothy O’Meara
Costume Design by: Betsy Jones
Set Decoration by: Jerry Wunderlich
Art Direction by: John B. Mansbridge
Music by: Peter Bernstein
Distributed by: Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date: August 9, 1985