Revenge of the Nerds

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Revenge of the Nerds
Revengeofthenerdsposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Kanew
Produced byTed Field (producer)
Peter Samuelson (producer)
Peter Macgregor-Scott (co-producer)
Screenplay byJeff Buhai
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Steve Zacharias
Story byTim Metcalfe
StarringRobert Carradine
Anthony Edwards
Timothy Busfield
Curtis Armstrong
Brian Tochi
Ted McGinley
Bernie Casey
John Goodman
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographyKing Baggot
Edited byAlan Balsam
Production
  company
Interscope Communications
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • July 20, 1984 (1984-07-20)
Running time90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$60,400,000 (Including rentals)[2]
 
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Revenge of the Nerds
Revengeofthenerdsposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Kanew
Produced byTed Field (producer)
Peter Samuelson (producer)
Peter Macgregor-Scott (co-producer)
Screenplay byJeff Buhai
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Steve Zacharias
Story byTim Metcalfe
StarringRobert Carradine
Anthony Edwards
Timothy Busfield
Curtis Armstrong
Brian Tochi
Ted McGinley
Bernie Casey
John Goodman
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographyKing Baggot
Edited byAlan Balsam
Production
  company
Interscope Communications
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • July 20, 1984 (1984-07-20)
Running time90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$60,400,000 (Including rentals)[2]

Revenge of the Nerds is a 1984 American comedy film about social life on a college campus. The film stars Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, with Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Julia Montgomery, Brian Tochi, Larry B. Scott, Michelle Meyrink, John Goodman, and Donald Gibb. The film was directed by Jeff Kanew.

The film's storyline chronicles a group of nerds trying to stop harassment by the persecuting jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas. Revenge of the Nerds is #91 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".[3]

Plot[edit]

Best friends and nerds Lewis Skolnick (Carradine) and Gilbert Lowe (Edwards) enroll in Adams College to study computer science. The Alpha Betas, a fraternity to which many members of the school's football team belong, carelessly burn down their fraternity house. At the urging of hotheaded Coach Harris (Goodman), the Alpha Betas seize the freshmen dorm for themselves and violently eject the residents. Dean Ulich (Wohl) assigns the freshmen to live in one-half of an active University gymnasium. As the more socially skilled students find housing, only the nerds remain. Lewis find a rental house which he, Gilbert, and the other nerds renovate to serve as shared residence.

Stan Gable (McGinley) and Betty Childs (Montgomery) stop to view the nerds' house while cruising on Stan's motorcycle. Betty is impressed with the renovation, which angers and threatens Stan. Later, a rock painted with the phrase "NERDS GET OUT" is thrown through the nerds' window, and the sound of a motorcycle speeding away can be heard. The nerds bring the issue to Adam's campus police, but they are unable to help and direct the nerds to the Greek Council. The nerds appeal to the Greek Council, but its president, Stan Gable, the leader of the Alpha Betas, rejects their complaints, as the nerds are not a part of any fraternity. The nerds attempt to join a national fraternity, but due to the inclusion of a group photograph in all but one of their applications, all but one fraternity reject them. They meet U.N. Jefferson, the head of the black fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda (Tri-Lambs). Although Jefferson notes that the applicants are nerds, he gives them probationary membership when Poindexter discovers that the Tri-Lambs' official bylaws require it.

The nerds prepare a party and invite Jefferson, but the party appears ruined when the Pi Delta Pi, after promising to be their dates, do not appear. However, thanks to the Omega Mus — a sorority consisting largely of overweight or geeky women — and large amounts of marijuana supplied by Booger (Armstrong), the party ultimately becomes a success. Towards the end of the evening, the Alpha Betas and Pis unleash a herd of pigs in the nerds' house, then loudly taunt and moon them from the street; Jefferson sees firsthand the harassment the nerds face.

The nerds seek revenge; they stage a panty raid on the Pi Delta Pi house and use the distraction to install video cameras to spy on the women while they undress. The nerds then sneak into the football team's locker room and pour a powerful liniment on the players' jock straps, resulting in a painful and humiliating football practice. The nerds' ingenuity impresses Jefferson, who officially makes them the Adams College chapter of Lambda Lambda Lambda.

The Alpha Betas continue to harass the nerds, however, leaving a burning "NERDS" sign outside the house. The new Tri-Lambs realize they need to win control of the Greek Council by winning the annual Greek Games during homecoming. They use their significant knowledge to compete well with the Alpha Betas during the athletic portion of the event. They then use topless photos taken from their Pi Delta cameras to easily win the charity sales and costume events. Lewis dresses as Stan and tricks Stan's girlfriend, Betty Childs (Montgomery), into having sex with him. Booger soundly defeats Ogre (Gibb) in a belching contest. Finally, the nerds' elaborate, computer-driven musical production wins the final event of the Greek Games, and the Lambdas nominate Gilbert to succeed Stan as president of the Greek Council.

The angry Alpha Betas vandalize the Tri-Lambs' house. Gilbert attempts to denounce the act at the homecoming pep rally, but the Alpha Betas attack him, while Coach Harris (Goodman) prepares to assault the school's dean when he intervenes. The Alpha Betas and Harris step back only when Jefferson and a group of Tri-Lambs from other chapters arrive and intimidate them. As the other nerds arrive, Gilbert makes an inspiring speech about how it feels to be mistreated just for being different, and Lewis invites anyone who has "ever felt stepped on, left out, picked on, put down" to come and join them. Betty and most members of the assembled crowd do so, to the chagrin of the Alpha Betas. The Dean gives the Tri-Lambs the Alpha Beta house pending the repair of their own accommodation, while the Alpha Betas must live in the gymnasium. The film ends with the nerds celebrating their victory, accompanied by "We Are the Champions".

Cast[edit]

Nerds
Jocks and their girls
Adults

Production[edit]

Exterior scenes such as the arrival of the nerds at college and the fraternity houses were filmed at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. The original Nerds residence, from which they were ousted, was in fact Cochise Hall.[4] Their subsequent residence was Bear Down Gymnasium.[5] The original Alpha Beta fraternity house that gets burned down was shot (at the time of filming) at the Alpha Gamma Rho house,[6] now the Beta Theta Pi house on University Boulevard and the Pi house was the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.[7]

Soundtrack[edit]

Revenge of the Nerds
Soundtrack album by various artists
ReleasedJuly 20, 1984
March 31, 1998 CD
GenreCollege rock, new wave, synthpop
LabelVolcano
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars [8]
No.TitleArtistLength
1."Manhattan"  Andrea & Hot Mink3:45
2."Don't Talk"  Ya Ya4:02
3."One Foot in Front of the Other"  Bone Symphony3:10
4."Breakdown"  The Rubinoos3:34
5."Revenge of the Nerds"  The Rubinoos3:19
6."They're So Incredible"  Revenge3:54
7."Are You Ready?"  Ya Ya4:02
8."Are You Ready for the Sex Girls"  Gleaming Spires4:10
9."Right Time for Love"  Pat Robinson and Jill Michaels4:00
10."All Night Party"  Gleaming Spires2:31

Ollie E. Brown, of Ollie & Jerry fame, wrote and performed as Revenge the song "They're So Incredible" for the film. "They're So Incredible" is performed with different lyrics by the nerds in the film at the final event of the Greek Games.

Reception[edit]

The film holds a 77% "Fresh" rating at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 27 critics' reviews[9] and a 41 out of 100 ration on Metacritic based on 5 critics' reviews and signifying "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Sequels[edit]

Three less successful sequels followed; two of which were television films.

Influence[edit]

Television series[edit]

The pilot episode of the 1991 attempted series of the same name was mostly a condensed version of the film's events. The only character created for the series was the nerds' resident advisor, P.T. Turner (Richard Gant). The pilot aired on FOX in 1991 to fairly negative reviews. This pilot is available on the "Panty Raid" DVD release.

In 2012, a game show based on the series was announced, called King of the Nerds. The show is hosted by Robert Carradine (Lewis) and Curtis Armstrong (Booger). The series premiered in January 2013 and ran for 8 episodes. In the show, 11 players are placed on two teams and compete in a team challenge called the Nerd War. The losing team must send two members (One selected by the losing team, the other by the winning team) into an elimination challenge called the Nerd Off where the loser is sent home. Players are consecutively eliminated in this matter until the number of total players reaches five, and the teams merge. The winner of the first individual Nerd War choses one Nerd Off-ee, while the losers choose the other. The next episode is the four-person finale, with two Nerd wars where the losing player is eliminated, leading to the final Nerd Off to decide the winner. The series was renewed for a second season that premiered January 2014, and ended in March. The series runs on TBS.

Home media[edit]

The first home video release of the film was the original VHS release. It is interesting to note that the original VHS release contains a longer version of the scene where Lewis finds the house for sale that the Nerds buy and renovate, featuring him seeing the "for sale" sign and subsequently leading the nerds there. This was cut rather abruptly in all subsequent home video releases, as the sign featured an actual phone number on it.

The first DVD release of the film was a "flipper" disc that contained the first and second films, with trailers as the only extras.

On January 3, 2007 Revenge of the Nerds was released as a special edition DVD entitled "Panty Raid Edition" (The special edition name was changed from "The 'We've Got Bush' Edition", with preliminary artwork shown on websites such as The Digital Bits). Special features included: an audio commentary, Making of Documentary, deleted scenes, television pilot, and two theatrical trailers.

A blu-ray disc was released on May 6, 2014. Special features included: a "making of" featurette (I'm a Nerd, and I'm Pretty Proud of It), deleted scenes, a television pilot, audio commentary by director Jeff Kanew and actors Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield and Curtis Armstrong, and a theatrical trailer. The Blu-ray has all of the same special features as the previously released "Panty Raid Edition" DVD except for a trailer for the second film.

Planned remake[edit]

A remake of the original Revenge of the Nerds was slated for release in 2007, the first project for the newly created Fox Atomic, but was canceled in November 2006 after two weeks of filming.[13] The cast included Adam Brody, Dan Byrd, Katie Cassidy, Kristin Cavallari, Jenna Dewan, Chris Marquette, Ryan Pinkston, Efren Ramirez, and Nick Zano. The film was to be directed by Kyle Newman, executive produced by McG, and written by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, and Adam F. Goldberg.[14]

Filming took place in Atlanta, Georgia at Agnes Scott College, the Georgia State Capitol, and Inman Park.[15] Filming was originally scheduled to take place at Emory College, but university officials changed their minds after reading the script.[16][17] The film was shelved after producers found the movie difficult to shoot on the smaller Agnes Scott campus and studio head Peter Rice was disappointed with the dailies.[13] 20th Century Fox personnel have stated that it's highly unlikely that a remake will be picked up in the future.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p260
  2. ^ "Field Marshal". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  3. ^ "Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies" on Lists of Bests". Listsofbests.com. 2006-06-02. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  4. ^ "ResLife: Cochise Hall". Life.arizona.edu. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  5. ^ Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - Filming locations
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088000/locations
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088000/trivia
  8. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r230516
  9. ^ "Revenge of the Nerds". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Revenge of the Nerds". Metacritic. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Melissa Bishop (January 25, 2007). "Friends Start Fraternity From Scratch". The Daily Campus. 
  12. ^ Haque, Ahsan (2009-05-18). "Family Guy: "Peter's Progress" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  13. ^ a b LaPorte, Nicole; Alex Romanelli (2006-11-21). "Atomic blast to 'Nerds'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  14. ^ ""Nerds" Get Revenge on Agnes Scott Campus". Collegenews.org. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  15. ^ Longino, Bob (2006-10-14). "'Nerds' will hang out in Atlanta". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  16. ^ Grossberg, Josh (2006-11-22). "No Revenge for New Nerds". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  17. ^ a b "Naughty `Nerds' remake is shut down - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 

External links[edit]