DVD Review: Revenge of the Nerds: Panty Raid Edition
By Jeff Swindoll Mar 8, 2007, 13:55 GMT
When lovable nerds Gilbert and Lewis embark on their freshman year at Adams College, little do they realize the perils that await them. They\'re beset with taunting by the jocks of Alpha Beta fraternity, which only worsens when the jocks accidentally burn down their house and are forced toss the freshmen out of the freshmen dorm. To make matters more problematic, Lewis develops a crush on pretty Betty Childs, popular ...more
“Nerds!” “We’ve got bush!” “That’s my pi!”
Those lovable nerds are back and in a very nice, new special edition. The irony of ironies is that it comes out at the same time as another hit that Fox didn’t have faith in, but then went on to reap the financial rewards.
Louis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) are on their way to Adams University, driven by Louis’ dad (Jaime Cromwell, now known as James Cromwell). They think that this will be a different life than what they’ve experienced in high school (read: hot chicks falling all over them).
However, their nerdish ways see that they’re treated with the same disdain as before. When the Alpha Betas frat house burns down, thanks to their stupidity, they take over the freshman dorm and kick them out to live in the gym. Those poor, homeless fish have no alternative but the pledge to the frats around campus to find a better place to live. A group of nerds is left frat-less, so they decide to get their own house and form a fraternity of their own.
These include the disgusting “Booger” (Curtis Armstrong), myopic Arnold Poindexter (Tim Busfield aka Timothy), youthful (think Doogie Howser), Harold Wormser (Andrew Cassese), limp wristed Lamar Latrell (Larry B. Scott), and Toshiro Takashi (Brian Tochi) to name our main nerds. They submit their application to the Tri-Lamba fraternity, an all black organization (led by Bernie Casey), and are accepted on a technicality (not sending a picture with the application was a genius move).
The Alpha Betas control the Greek Council, the college student governing board, with Stan Gable (Ted McGinley) as the president. Louis has eyes for Stan’s girlfriend Betty Childs (Julia Montgomery). To get out from under the thumb of the Alpha Betas the nerds need to take over the Greek Council and the only way to do that is to win the annual college competition. Can the nerds rise to the occasion and beat the Alpha Betas?
I guess I didn’t know this at the time, but according to the very nice documentary on the disc Fox’s treatment of Borat was not the first time that they’d nearly botched a film’s release but actually went on to reap the financial rewards of the film’s popularity. During the studio screening the Fox exec said that Revenge of the Nerds was sh*t and released it to a token 400 theaters. However, once the Nerds were released those theaters had lines that stretched around the block.
Fox then rushed to get the movie out into as many theaters as they could and ended up making multiple times the film’s 8 million dollar production costs. Needless to say, one Fox executive soon found himself unemployed. So I suppose that you can say that both the nerds and the filmmakers had their revenge.
What works for the movie is that everyone can associate with the nerds. Though we may not have pocket protectors, we’ve all felt put upon and felt like rising up and smighting those that have power (both real and imagined) over downtrodden us. That’s why the movie works and in some degree we can all sympathize with the nerds of the film.
Revenge of the Nerds is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include a commentary by director Jeff Kanew, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, and Curtis Armstrong. “I’m a Nerd, and I’m Pretty Proud of it” runs 38 minutes and features interviews with Jeff Kanew, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese, Ted McGinley, Larry B. Scott, Julie Montgomery, and Curtis Armstrong. It looks like the only person skipping the affair is Anthony Edwards.
Next are 8 minutes of deleted scenes, including a deleted Vegas scene with Michael Lerner. The 24 minute “Revenge of the Nerds TV Pilot” is next and is hideous. It steals a lot of the jokes from the movie and is really quite atrocious. The dude playing booger looks more like singer Paul Williams than Curtis Armstrong anyway. Finally, the film’s theatrical trailer is there along with the trailer for Revenge of the Nerds 2.
To some degree, Revenge of the Nerds is a classic film. Not only is it still funny after all these years but it makes you root for the underdog and nerd that is inside all of us. Fox has made a very nice special edition that fans of the film have been waiting for. They’ve also released a box set that contains all four Nerd films.
All of the "Nerd" movies are now collected in Revenge of the Nerds: The Atomic Wedgie Collection which is now available at Amazon. As of yet, it is not available in the UK. Visit the DVD database for more information.