According to Bill Paxton, Chet's line "How about a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?" was based on something his father John Paxton used to say to him when Bill was hungover from a night of drinking.
In an interview at Comic Con, Kelly LeBrock said when she did the kissing scene with fourteen-year-old Ilan Mitchell-Smith, he got carried away and stuck his tongue down her throat. Afterwards she told him: "If you ever do that again, I'm going to kick your ass!"
Vernon Wells, who played the Lord General (lead biker), reprises nearly the same character he played in The Road Warrior (1981). He essentially wears the same make-up, mohawk, mesh tank top, and lots of studded leather.
In the scene where Bill Paxton is speaking to Kelly LeBrock while interrogating everyone over what had happened the previous night, in the background, Suzanne Snyder and Anthony Michael Hall are struggling to stay in character, but it is clear they are laughing. John Hughes chose to use this take in the completed film.
Robert Rusler said the scene when the rocket came up through the floor was a complicated shot to set up. Right before cameras rolled, Anthony Michael Hall farted, breaking the cast members' concentration, and ruining the take. Rusler estimates the scene cost one hundred thousand dollars to shoot. Because the take was blown, it had to be filmed in reverse, with additional tweaks in post-production.
Robert Rusler said the first scene he ever filmed as a professional actor, was when his character Max dumps the Slushee on Gary and Wyatt. He also said the celebratory handshake he does with Robert Downey, Jr. right before pouring the Slushee was improvised between the two of them.
The piano girl (October 1982 Playboy Centerfold Kym Malin) performed her own stunts. This included the use of a scaffold when hoisted up where the chimney is a makeshift vacuum, where her clothes were ripped off, and a crane when hoisted in the air, where the piano girl lands in the swimming pool half-naked (in real-life, her Playboy centerfold pictorial used a swimming pool in the background).
The film is titled after the anthology comic book series, published in the 1950s by the legendary William M. Gaines and his company EC Comics, which also published Tales from the Crypt and Mad Magazine. The plot of the film is loosely based on the story "Made of the Future" by Al Feldstein, from the fifth issue. Producer Joel Silver had acquired all EC film rights in the early 1980s.
According to a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, Robert Downey, Jr. cleared up the rumors that he defecated in Kelly LeBrock's trailer. He stated that he and his co-star, Robert Rusler (Max) joked about defecating in people's trailers throughout the shoot. They eventually did it in one female cast member's trailer, but it was not LeBrock's. John Hughes questioned everyone in the cast as to who did it, and when he got to Downey, he replied, "No, but I sure wish it was me who did it." He also stated there was never any tension between him and John Hughes, and he highly respected his friendship.
The large Chet puppet was designed to be solely operated by Bill Paxton, but he became too claustrophobic in the suit, so dwarfs Kevin Thompson and Joe Gieb were crammed inside and puppeteered the creature in unison.
During the scene where Lisa is walking through the mall to get to the front entrance, a different track plays for the HD and non-HD versions. On the HD version, "Pretty Woman" covered by Van Halen is playing, while on the non-HD version, the title track by Oingo Boingo is playing.
Shermerville was the original name of Northbrook, Illinois, home of Glenbrook North High School, featured in the exterior school shots for Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). The village of Shermerville was incorporated in 1901, and renamed Northbrook in 1923.
The same moving shot of the exterior of the high school was used for the beginning of Sixteen Candles (1984), as well as the end of this movie. The same people can be seen making the same movements in both movies.
One of the pictures Gary and Wyatt feed into the scanner to create Lisa is of David Lee Roth. The version of "Pretty Woman" that plays later, when Lisa is in the mall, was recorded by Van Halen when Roth was the lead singer.
Bill Paxton, Vernon Wells and Mikul Robins appeared in Commando (1985) that same year. Vernon Wells played the film's main antagonist Bennett, Bill Paxton has a cameo as a radar operator and Mikul Robins was Boy in Bed at Motel.
In the final cut of the film, Max and Ian are last seen fleeing the party when the bikers invade. A follow-up scene was shot in which multi-colored clouds engulf the teens and they transform into a pig and donkey. They then bend over to see their reflections in hubcaps of a car and tails rip through the seats of their pants. Producer Joel Silver insisted on cutting the scene, rationalizing that it detracted from a later transformation in the film. Photos of the actors in this make-up were published in the March 1986 issue of Cinefantastique.
In 1994, the film was made into a television series of the same name. In the television show, Vanessa Angel played Lisa. Michael Manasseri played Wyatt Donnelly, John Asher played Gary Wallace, and Lee Tergesen played Chet Donnelly. The series ran for five seasons.
Wyatt has a poster on the wall of his bedroom with the slogan, "The Wave of the Future", from a promotional campaign for a company called VM Software. The picture is based on "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", a wood-block print by the Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849).
There are 5 actors named in the credits as The Weenies. Wallace Langham (Art) was also a Weenie. There were multiple scenes shot with these characters, who were buds of Gary and Wyatt. John Hughes did not have final cut of the film and so almost all of The Weenie scenes were cut. They can be seen in a mall scene when Ian and Max chase after Lisa. Lisa passes by The Weenies and Max and Ian slap them. They can also be seen sitting on a couch with Lisa when the house is going berserk during the party scene. The edited TV version of the film includes a scene when The Weenies arrive at the party on mopeds, wearing Devo helmets. Lisa opens the door and allows them into the party.
In the scene where Chet returns from hunting and sees his house in ruins, the music score playing while he searches for Wyatt strongly resembles the main theme from Patton (1970), composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
Siskel and Ebert split on this movie: Ebert loved it for being a fun escapist wish fulfillment fantasy; Siskel hated it and slammed the exploitative and sleazy aspects of the script. On their TV show "At the Movies"; when they were reviewing the movie; Ebert slammed Siskel for being too uptight and told him you "sound like you are on the Parents Advisory Committee". While the film was a big hit when it came out; most critics agreed with Siskel as a matter of fact; and it is now thought of one of John Hughes' lesser movies; not rising to level of other Hughes classics like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.