Fox // 1987 // 178 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // June 1st, 2001
Nerds unite...your time has come!
Just the sound of the word makes many of us laugh in hysterics (and others of us cringe in remembrance of our junior high gym class days). Everyone knows someone who is or was a nerd. The guy sippin' coffee at the workplace water cooler, your friend's wacky bud that has to hang out with you guys everywhere you go, or maybe even...gasp!...YOU. In 1984, Fox released the comedy hit Revenge Of The Nerds. Starring Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards (E.R.), and Ted McGinley (Married With Children), Revenge Of The Nerds let all who saw it know one indomitable truth: NERDS RULE. Due to the success of Revenge Of The Nerds, in 1987 Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise was released to lesser box office receipts. Fox heaps on a helpin' handful of geeks with the Revenge Of The Nerds / Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise double feature DVD.
* Revenge Of The Nerds (1984)
Welcome to the wonderful world of college! Mega-dorks Gilbert (Edwards) and Lewis (Carradine) are on their way to Adams University fresh out of high school! Along the way they meet fellow nerds, including the aptly-named Poindexter (Timothy Busfield), the very young Wormser (Andrew Cassese), the disgusting "Booger" (Curtis Armstrong), effeminate homosexual Lamar (Larry B. Scott), and foreign exchange student Takashi (Brain Tochi).
Friends, college, freedom...it seems the boys are on their way! But college does not come without a price, including ridicule and humiliation from the local fraternities, like the cruel Alpha Betas, a group of rambunctious frat boys (including Ted McGinley, Matt Salinger, and the wonderful Donald Gibb as the obnoxious "Ogre"). It looks like this is the end of our nerd's joyous romp through the high life of college...
...or is it? The nerds take the disgrace only so far until the time comes to strike back. Armed with calculators, pocket protectors and their keen intellect, it's time to get even...it's time for the revenge of the nerds!
* Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise (1987)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to college...the nerds are back. Now part of the Tri-Lamb Fraternity, Lewis, "Booger," and the rest of the boys are off to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the United Fraternity Conference. There they will represent their frat and discuss the philosophy of what it means to be brothers, bathe in the wisdom of other members, and encounter...the Alpha Betas. Yes, the Betas are back, this time led by the cunning Roger (Bradley Whitford of The West Wing), plus the underused "Ogre" (Gibb).
Along the way their leader Lewis will encounter love in the form of Courtney-Thorne Smith (Melrose Place). She's a babe, but is she really smitten with Lewis, or is it all some dastardly plot to stop the nerds from invading the beaches of Florida?
Will the nerds triumph once more? Or will they lose the day to the Alpha Beta's?
Oh, ye of little faith!
Revenge Of The Nerds has a special place in my hormonally charged childhood heart. It was the first film where I saw a woman...and I mean a whole woman (*wink wink*, if you catch my drift). It was darn exciting stuff back when I was thirteen years old. Of course, back during this time I wasn't watching Revenge Of The Nerds for its comedic merits. I giggled when Louis would do his obnoxious nerd laugh, but the full impact of that chuckle would not hit me for more than a decade.
After re-watching the original Revenge Of The Nerds, I realized what a very funny film it is. College hijinx films from the 1980s were usually always good for a few belly laughs, and Revenge Of The Nerds was no exception. Robert Carradine embodies the perfect nerd, from the alien laugh to the coiled cowlick on the back of his head. Though a complete dork, Lewis is confident that people will see him and his friends for who they are in the inside, not the outside (and I can easily say from personal experience: fat chance). His character, like Anthony Edward's Gilbert, is exaggerated, yet surprisingly grounded in reality.
The rest of the cast, however, are complete geeks. "Booger" is the most entertaining of the group, a cross between Tom Green and John Belushi's "Bluto" from Animal House. His obliviousness to his disgusting behavior makes him all the more likable (though I still wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole). Lamar is the type of homosexual character that you rarely see much in the movies these days, what with all the political correctness floating around. And Poindexter is...well, he is exactly how is name sounds, the type of guy who takes 65 different pills a day for allergies.
The plot to both movies is inconsequential; it's just a rack on which to hang nerd jokes. The first film's plot tends to be a bit meatier, with the nerds devising ways to make the Alphas see the error of their ways (and trying to score with the ladies). Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise was a rehash of the first film, only set in Florida. The second film is funny, though lacks the spark and wit of the original. Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise was also tailored into a PG-13 rating, making it more "kid friendly" than the first (the original had a sophomoric chant of nerds looking for "bush," and I don't mean shrubbery). Even with the slightly smaller rating, Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise manages some nice, raunchy humor. When one character lets a stewardess know they're VIPs, "Booger" chimes in with "Very Immense Penises."
I'm all for a movie that uses the words "immense" and "penis" in the same sentence on a moving aircraft.
Revenge Of The Nerds / Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise are both presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Both films looks good, though Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise tends to look better (due to a bigger budget and later release date). Side one containing Revenge Of The Nerds tends to looks a bit washed out with some grain present. Though the picture is the best you'll ever see, the colors tend to be muted with blacks looking somewhat gray. Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise's color tends to look brighter with less grain, though there still tended to be much grayness where solid black should be. Although both pictures do have their weaknesses, overall this is a fine transfer by good old Fox.
Revenge Of The Nerds is presented in its original Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack, as well as a newly mixed 2.0 track. Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise is presented in 2.0 as well, originally mixed in stereo. Both of these tracks, while nothing spectacular, get the job done. There was no need for a new 5.1 track for either of these movies, and the 2.0 track does exactly what is desired by listeners: gives us a nice, powerful nerd laugh when needed. Most music and sound was from center speakers, with some directional sound from side and rear speakers. A decently fine job by Fox on both mixes.
Supplemental material consists of four theatrical trailers, including Revenge Of The Nerds, Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise, Porky's, and Porky's 2: The Next Day. All are featured in anamorphic widescreen, and all are endlessly entertaining! What more could you ask for? Well, I mean besides a commentary track...and a featurette...and a few interviews...and...
Don't get me started.
I'm going to try to say this as gently as I can: if you own a pocket protector, if you wear glasses with tape around the middle, if you snort loudly when you laugh...you may be offended by Revenge Of The Nerds and Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.
Otherwise, these are two very funny films. Revenge Of The Nerds ranks a big higher on the laugh meter than the second installment (and there were even more after that), but for light, fun entertainment, you can't beat a good dork. It certainly would have been nice to receive some more features, but when you're getting two films for one, you can't complain too loudly.
I'm a huge fan of the Fox double feature discs, and the Revenge Of The Nerds set is a great example of what Fox is doing right. Though it's short on extras, the double feature is a great way to give the consumer two anamorphic films for one low price (around $20.00). Both Revenge Of The Nerds and Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise are fun flicks, and weather you're a jock or a geek, Revenge Of The Nerds holds hearty laughs for the whole college gang.
Completely innocent. I ask you, how can you lock up a nerd and live with yourself?
Review content copyright © 2001 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
Running Time: 178 Minutes
Release Year: 1987
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Theatrical Trailers
* IMDb: Revenge of the Nerds
* IMDb: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise
* Revenge of the Nerds Movie Archive