1 Store22 Reviews
Pros: Entertaining movie
Cons: Some stereotyping. Could be too silly for some viewers.
Some comedies from the 1980s are rather silly, but still entertaining movie worth watching. I still enjoy some of those movies and recently added one, Revenge of the Nerds, to my DVD collection.
Best friends Gilbert Lowell and Lewis Skolnick are heading off to start their freshman year at Adams College where they will study computer science. When they first arrive on campus, they are called nerds. They settle into their dorm room, but it isn't long before they and the other freshmen are uprooted. The house for the fraternity Alpha Beta, the fraternity the entire football team is part of, burns down. The freshmen are kicked out so that the Betas can move into the dorm. The freshmen have to live in the gym, though they will be allowed to join a fraternity right away.
Lewis and Gilbert are part of a group of guys, all different in some way, that aren't asked to join a fraternity. The guys work together and find a house that they fix up. They also decide to form a fraternity and eventually find one, Lambda Lambda Lambda, that will give them a chance. Even after that, the guys are still tormented by the Betas and Pi Delta Pi, their sister sorority. The guys decide that they need to win the Homecoming Carnival so they can control the Greek Council, so they team up with Omega Mu, a sorority that is basically the female equivalent of their fraternity.
Several things are going on throughout Revenge of the Nerds without making the plot complicated. The majority of the movie is focused on the various confrontations between the nerds and the Betas. Gilbert and Lewis are called nerds within minutes of arriving on campus and things just go downhill from there. Gilbert, Lewis, and the other guys are just trying to find a decent place to live. They only decide to try to get control of the Greek council after the Betas refuse to leave them alone. There is a build up to the actions between the two groups, so there is time for some other minor things to be shown as well. There are one or two small surprises, though things are mostly predictable.
Revenge of the Nerds is a teen comedy type of movie. There is a good amount of humor in the movie, though the humor won't appeal to everyone. Some of what happens is a bit silly, but I think that works for the movie. Other things that happen are a bit gross. I could have done without seeing Booger picks his nose all the time or without hearing all the burping. The Betas make fun of the nerds throughout the movie. Some of those things aren't that nice, but they are still funny overall. Certain things done to add humor may offend some viewers.
Most of the male characters in Revenge of the Nerds are shown to be interested in women in some way. Stan, one of the Betas, is dating Betty, a girl in Pi Delta Pi. They are shown making a couple of times and they have a few sexual discussions. It is made very clear that a few characters have sex without much being shown. Gilbert gets a girlfriend, though not much about the relationship is shown. Lewis is attracted to Betty when he first sees her and he does chase after her a bit. At one point, the nerds have a panty raid at the Pi Delta Pi house. During the raid, they also install cameras so they can watch the girls from their house. There is some nudity in a couple of scenes, including brief full frontal female nudity. Some of the characters, especially Booger, swear throughout the movie. The word that rhymes with luck is used several times, though the swearing isn't as excessive as what has been used in other movies. It is rated R, and not a movie for children. The movie is considered raunchy by some viewers, though the movie is rather mild compared to what has been done in newer movies, like the American Pie series.
Several of the characters in Revenge of the Nerds are stereotypes, but that manages to work for the most part. Louis is very smart, though he doesn't get that he and his friends are considered nerds by most of the rest of the college. Louis comes up with plans for the group and he seems to act as their leader for the most part. He is a nice guy over and makes a likable character. Robert Carradine does really well with the part. This is probably the part he is most known for. Gilbert is just as smart as Louis. Gilbert is more aware of how they are perceived. He is another leader of the group. Anthony Edwards does fine with the part. James Cromwell turns up briefly as Louis's dad. He went by the name Jamie Cromwell for the part.
Arnold Poindexter is mainly just around in several scenes without actually saying anything. Timothy Busfield does very well with the physical performance. Booger is tougher than the other guys and just as interested in chasing girls as the Betas are. Curtis Armstrong does well with the part. Harold Wormser is a young boy who is a genius, making him even more out of place than the others. Andrew Cassese is fine in the part. Lamar is a flamboyant gay guy. Larry B. Scott is fine in the part. Toshiro is from Japan and knows very little English, which is why he is not accepted at college. Brian Tochi is mostly just around in a few scenes without saying much. Some other guys are shown around the house, but they are identified by name. The girls from Omega Mu are around in a few scenes without really doing much.
Stan Gable is the star of the football team and one of the Alpha Betas. He seems to be leading the fraternity and he is in charge of the Greek council. Stan is very arrogant and clearly thinks he is better than everyone else, especially those he considers nerds. Stan is not a nice guy and Ted McGinley does well with the part. Ogre is another one of the Betas and a member of the football team. He drinks a lot and he basically serves as the muscle for the Betas. Donald Gibb does fine with the part. The other Betas and football players are in several scenes without really doing much. Betty is the only Pi Delta Pi who does much. She is a cheerleader who dislikes nerds just as much as Stan when the begins for some reason. Julie Montgomery does fine with the part. The way the Betas and Pis act does seem to be a stereotype for how popular kids act.
Most of the facility members for the college aren't shown. Dean Ulich turns up every so often. He does seem to be a nerd and it does look like he has been bullied by others. He is a bit of a pushover at times. David Wohl does fine with the part. Coach Harris is the football coach and he is very vocal in his dislike of nerds. He is a huge bully and not that nice of a person. John Goodman does well with the part. U.N. Jefferson is the man from the national level of the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity who meets with the group. U.N. is only in a couple of scenes, so Bernie Casey doesn't have much to do. Various other students for the college are shown without them being identified or developed.
Curtis Armstrong - Booger
Timothy Busfield - Arnold Poindexter
Robert Carradine - Louis
Andrew Cassese - Harold Wormser
James Cromwell - Mr. Skolnick
Anthony Edwards - Gilbert
Donald Gibb - Ogre
John Goodman - Coach Harris
Ted McGinley - Stan Gable
Julie Montgomery - Betty Childs
Larry B. Scott - Lamar
Brian Tochi - Toshiro
David Wohl - Dean Ulich
Jeff Kanew - Director
I believe that Revenge of the Nerds has been released on DVD a few different times. I picked up what is called the Panty Raid Edition recently when I found it for five dollars. This version has the widescreen version of the movie as well as a few extras. I have no idea what extras are on other DVD versions for the movie. There is a commentary with the director and some of the cast that I haven't listened to. I'm a Nerd, and I'm Pretty Proud of It featurette features the director and some of the cast talking about the movie. Several of the actors were reluctant to take parts in the movie at first. The featurette is interesting and entertaining. Anthony Edwards is not included in the featurette. There are a few deleted scenes and the pilot from the attempt of making a Revenge of the Nerds television show.
Revenge of the Nerds is an entertaining comedy from the 1980's that has held up well and still deserves to be seen. The movie spawned three sequels, none of which were as good as this movie.