When lovable nerds Gilbert and Lewis embark on their freshman year at Adams College, little do they realize the dangers that await them. They are beset by taunting from the jocks of Alpha Beta fraternity, which only worsens when the jocks accidentally burn down their house and toss the freshmen out of the freshmen dorm. To make matters more problematic, Lewis develops a crush on pretty Betty Childs, popular sorority sister and quarterback’s girlfriend. Joined by the aptly named Booger and the violin-playing Poindexter, the nerds soon realize they must form their own fraternity in self-defense. Soon the tables are turned as the nerds employ high-tech warfare against the jocks…. but can they really succeed and make a difference?
Rick Munoz <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Revenge of the Nerds – 1984
There have been a lot of comedic rip-offs of `Animal House’ over the past years. `Police Academy’ and all its sequels come to mind, but those films were also rip-offs of `Stripes’ with Bill Murray. Basically, all those movies are in the same genre: misfits strike back and win the day. That’s what it is. In `Animal House’ it was a pack of college slobs; in `Stripes’ it was Bill Murray and his gang of oddballs; in `Police Academy’ it was Steve Guttenberg with his rip-off pack. Now, I’m reviewing `Revenge of the Nerds,’ another comedy about nerds and how they conquer the `cool’ people. Thank God this one is funny, and not another rip-off, i.e. `Police Academy.’
As I write this, I have never seen `Animal House.’ I know that to be a `movie buff’ `Animal House’ is a must-see, but I just haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet; not having it at my local video rental store and the television companies never putting it on TV doesn’t help, much, either. So, with that in mind, `Revenge of the Nerds,’ is, to me, the best college-geeks/misfits comedy around – perhaps even better than `Stripes’ (though that is pushing it, a bit).
After a bunch of nerds are shipped off to college, they are utterly devastated by the fact that they are picked on constantly (though I don’t understand how that can be anything new for those guys). The jocks of the college ridicule them publicly, causing them to retreat to their college dorms.
But now, they’ve had it up to here, and they are making a strike against the oppression.
Robert Carradine leads a low-star cast full of geek-comedy stereotypes: the loveable slob, the token black guy with `riddim,’ the full-of-himself jock, the snobby (and busty) cheerleader, etc Fortunately, the characters are almost a pun on those of comedies like `Animal House’ they don’t take themselves too seriously. The actors have fun with their roles, and that’s always good to see. Robert Carradine proves to be a good actor – not the greatest in the world, but surprisingly convincing. I’m pretty sure he’s the brother (son?) of John Carradine; I think so, at least.
The jokes in `Revenge of the Nerds’ sometimes fall flat (the burping contest rings to mind) but the film manages to mainly stay on course with what it tries to do: have some fun, and entertain the audience, while giving slight courage to the nerds of these generations.
Along in the joke category are the pranks the nerds pull on everyone who ever made fun of them; they make a great array of booby-traps and pranks that would threaten even Macaulay Culkin’s mad skills. The pranks are very funny, although a few get out of hand (the plate picture).
Ask me why I like `Revenge of the Nerds’ so much and I can’t really tell you why. Granted, it’s not a whole lot different (or better) than the ill-fated `Police Academy.’ Still, it has some sort of `feel’ to it that a lot of eighties comedies had and have, that just make the film worth watching. It grows on you. It’s a bit like the feel of a campy movie, except for a comedy. I’m going to have to think of a name for this eighties comedy-film feeling. Perhaps I’ll call it `campeight’ or something like that. I don’t know. I just know that `Revenge of the Nerds’ is good entertainment.
Before I bought `Predator’ on DVD about a year ago, and before I bought it on video (yes, this has to do with `Revenge of the Nerds’), I rented it out on video in 1999. I had already seen it, of course, but I felt like watching it again. Anyway, before the film, there was a commercial where the camera scaled this decorated room with all kinds of gadgets and `nerdy’ stuff. Finally, the camera came to rest on a chair, and the back of someone’s head. Then, that `someone’ turned around to reveal Robert Carradine saying `We’re ba-a-a-ack!’
I instantly felt both happy and sad.
It was a commercial for `Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.’ I must say that the commercial made it look good, but the sequel is just so-so. The jokes mostly fall flat, and are very reminiscent of the `Police Academy’ films and their downfall(s). I just felt like adding this pointless paragraph to this review to tell you readers to ONLY watch the second film if it is on television. It is NOT worth renting. With that in mind, go see `Revenge of the Nerds’ part I and have some fun. It’s pure entertainment, and is very `campeight.’ 🙂
3.5/5 stars –