Revenge of the Nerds (1984) / Comedy

MPAA Rated: R for language, nudity, sexuality and drug use
Running Time: 90 min.

Cast: Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Ted McGinley, John Goodman, Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott, Julia Montgomery, Michelle Meyrink, Donald Gibb, Brian Tochi, Bernie Casey, Timothy Busfield, David Wohl, Andrew Cassese, Matt Salinger, James Cromwell
Director: Jeff Kanew
Screenplay: Jeff Buhai, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Steve Zacharias
Review published January 19, 2005

Best friends Louis (Carradine, Coming Home) and GIlbert (Edwards, The Sure Thing) head off to Adams College together only to find that the jocks that belong to the fraternity called Alpha Beta have taken over the dorms after they burn down their own frat house.  In order to stop having to live in the gym, the former dorm residents must try to get into a fraternity or sorority of their own, but Lewis and Gilbert, along with a several other misfits, are all shunned away -- because they are nerds.  Since no one will take them, they decide to start their own fraternity.  However, this still makes them the target for many pranks initiated by the Alphas, and now the nerds are pissed -- they vow revenge!

Revenge of the Nerds may be a bit juvenile and simplistic in its approach, but it is often funny, and that makes this otherwise stupid comedy far better than others that have tried the same formula.  it has become the quintessential misfit comeuppance film, delivering the message that those social pariahs that usually get picked on, beat up, and excluded from all the "cool" activities are actually a cool bunch of people themselves, once you get to know them. 

Like the nerds themselves, this film might look dorky and un-hip from the outside, but it is resourceful, clever, and quite likeable if you give it a chance.  Good casting and excellent performances (for the type of movie that it is) help immensely.  While not exactly a movie one could call genuinely good, this is a cult classic worth a look for fans of 80s flicks, dumb comedies that are deceptively smart, or anyone feeling a bit nerdy themselves these days. 

-- Followed by three sequels: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation, and Revenge of the Nerds IV; Nerds in Love.

Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo