Actress Heather Thomas had serious reservations about filming her nude scenes for what was going to be the actress' motion picture debut. In post-production, the production used a body double without Thomas' knowledge for Thomas' topless scene at the prom, and pasted her head onto a topless body double in a photograph in the movie. These changes prompted Thomas to file a complaint with the Screen Actors Guild. This broke SAG rules as an actor or actress has right of approval over any body double that may represent them. As such, a disclaimer at the end of the film was added which read: ""A double was used for Miss Thomas in her nude scene and in the photograph."
Scott Baio and Willie Aames were both 21 during filming, while Heather Thomas was 24. Only Felice Schachter was still a high school student when the film was shot. In fact, she missed her own prom to shoot the prom sequence in the film.
The spaceship model flying around Barney Springboro's bedroom and through the fish tank was a modified Millennium Falcon from Star Wars with USS Enterprise nacelles from Star Trek and lighting.
Following the box office success of Porky's (1981), parts of the film were refilmed to increase the amount of nudity and to intentionally earn an R-rating.
The movie's two top-billed lead stars, Scott Baio and Willie Aames, later reteamed for the television series Charles in Charge (1984), which they both starred in for around six years between 1984 and 1990.
Star Scott Baio later said of this film: "Great movie. Loved it then. Love it today. I get more people asking about that movie than anything, no lie. And I had a ball making that. A cute, fun teen movie, and it made money. And it had Scatman Crothers!. He was a good guy, and supposedly he smoked pot every day. That's what I was told, but I don't actually know. But I got to work with Willie [Willie Aames], and it was a great experience . . . Good people. Good crew. Good director."
According to the press kit, on the first take of the sweater popping scene, Heather Thomas was pulled to the ground.
The movie ad received complaints from Los Angeles Times readers, not because of what the readers could see but because the illustrated boy characters could see up the skirt of the illustrated girl character. A modified movie ad was run in the Los Angeles Times with the illustrated girl's character's modesty protected by a lower skirt from the illustrated boy characters.
Final theatrical feature film directed by Robert J. Rosenthal. The film's sequel Zapped Again! (1990) was also the final film of actress Sue Ane Langdon ; the only original cast member to return.
The love scene with Barney and Bernadette had to be re-shot after production wrapped up. At the end of the sequence they can be seen laughing.
The only original cast member from this movie to return in this film's sequel Zapped Again! (1990) made and released about eight years later was actress Sue Ane Langdon.
Because Felice Schachter (Bernadette) was still a minor at the time of production, she wasn't allowed to be present for the filming of the scenes where people's clothes were flying off.
Bernadette (Felice Schachter) sports a Brown University sweatshirt because in real life actress Schachter was about to attend the college.
The movie poster artist was Michael Backus. He was paid $5,000. The artist's signature appears on the "Zapped!" poster as (1) An 'MJB' monogram on Scott Baio's pink polo shirt (2) a 'Backus' signature on the Gilbert Stewart George Washington portrait and (3) 'Backus' on the ruler flying through the air. It was his first commercial assignment and it launched Backus Studios.
Actresses Demi Moore and Helen Slater auditioned for the role of Bernadette which was in the end cast with actress Felice Schachter.
The closing credits declare that "a [body] double was used for Miss Thomas [Heather Thomas] in her nude scene and in the photograph" but the person who body doubled is not credited in the movie billings.
Actor Willie Aames was Razzie nominated in 1983 for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for this film and Paradise (1982) combined but lost on the Razzie to Laurence Olivier for Inchon (1981).
The film used several techniques to capture the feel of its high school setting for nostalgic fans. It was filmed largely at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles with the students as extras. The storyline rarely leaves the high school. The students talk mostly about social life and college plans, while the prom is in the gym. The senior trip is to the local amusement park.
A notable edition of 'The Onion' shows a tuxedoed Scott Baio holding multiple Oscars with the spoof headline "Zapped! Sweeps Oscars!".
Apparently, playing Bernadette, actress Felice Schachter missed out on her own prom night in order to appear in the movie's big finale prom sequence.
Two of the film's songs-- "Got To Believe In Magic" and "King & Queen of Hearts"-- while only grazing the pop charts in America, have become 2 of the biggest songs ever in the Philippines where singer David Pomeranz is a star. Both songs are sung by dozens of young Filipino singing stars, and there was even a TV series called "Got to Believe" which used it.
Debut theatrical feature film acting credits of actresses Heather Thomas and Felice Schachter.
One of a number of films which were part of a cycle of pictures involving ESP / telekinesis made during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The films include Carrie (1976), Patrick (1978), this film, Scanners (1981), Firestarter (1984), Modern Problems (1981) The Fury (1978), and The Medusa Touch (1978). Of these films, "Zapped!" and "Modern Problems" were the only comedies.
The promotional slogan publicizing the Emerson High Senior Prom was "This Must Be Heaven!".
Actor Robert Mandan's character is called "Walter Coolidge" during the movie but in the closing credits the character is named "Walter Johnson". Moreover, reportedly, Avco Embassy president Blossom Kahn was named an executive producer on the picture, but instead received an Executive in Charge of Production credit for the Embassy production house.
The pinball machines visible in the frat house are in the center of the room Bally's 1974 machine Trail Drive. On the left of the room Bally's 1974 machine Delta Queen.
Scatman Crothers and Mews springboro appeared in one flew over the cuckoos nest (1975)
Felice Schachter and Greg Bradford previously co-starred together in television show The Facts Of Life.
The high school baseball game in the film was played between the Lincoln High School Tigers and the Emerson Penguins.
The black-and-white photograph of the famous scientist hanging on the wall in the school laboratory was of Albert Einstein.
The film's working and original script title had two spellings: "The Wiz Kid" and "The Whiz Kid". Debuting in the same year as this film was Jimmy the Kid (1982).
The film's closing credits state: "Thanks to Bob Rehme; Beverly Reardon; Art; Dot; Larry; Marijane; Belle; Barry; Barbara; Schutt; Rachel; Becky; Karen; Frank Capra Jr..; Mike Finnell; Joel Goldman; M. B.; Ken; Jonathan; Haig Manoogian; Cathy Waterman; Jerry M.; The Gladstones; Family and Friends."