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Fresh from high school and into their first year of college at the prestigious Adams College, Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) instantly come across hard times when a group of football jocks, the Alpha Betaís, kick them out of their dormitory, leaving them homeless. Along with a group of other outcasts and nerds, the gang forms their own fraternity, Lambda Lambda Lambda, trying to make a home for themselves. But the fun-loving, nerd-hating jocks and their uppity girlfriends at Pi Delta Pi want nothing more than to humiliate them in front of the entire college, so it is up to Lewis, Gilbert and the rest of the Tri-Lams to fight back, and win the collegeís homecoming carnival and earning the respect of everyone seems just the way to do it.

Review by Craig Miller:
Since the conception of the campus comedy in 1978 with the now classic offering Animal House, audiences have had to endure a great number of these teen, shock, gross-out comedies (whatever you want to call the genre), with the 1980s responsible for the majority of them. Now, since the 80s was little more than a glitch in our matrix, we are left with a great number of these movies that unfortunately just do not work today.

Revisiting Revenge of the Nerds (or probably any one of a number of this style of film from the same period) after all of these years is eye opening to say the least, but not because of the filmís nature or its crass, politically incorrect humour (although thatís part of it), but mainly because of how poorly it has travelled. This film, which I thought was hilarious and a possible blueprint to university life when I was a young lad cheekily watching it at a friendís birthday party after being expressly told by my parents I could not see it, is by todayís standards not funny, and is for the most part, quite simply, dumb. Imagine my horror!

A film that introduced me to the antics of American college life, political incorrectness and what was under female clothing, has as much impact on me these days as a Madonna film, leaving me with a great feeling of emptiness after viewing, and sorrow for having ruined something so precious from my past. But that is always a risk when revisiting something from your childhood.

There is everything here you have come to expect from an 80s frat house comedy and more: predictable performances, alcohol abuse, bad dancing and a host of primitive visuals and special effects which keeps Revenge of the Nerds tied to its time period forever.

Donít get me wrong, the film as an example of the genre is second to none, itís just as an overall retro film experience it leaves you with the sense that it is best fondly remembered rather than cringingly relived. Of course there will be those Anthony Edwards fans wanting to see their favourite doctor before he made it big, and those movie buffs who will find it compulsory to revive it after reading that there is a brief cameo from James Cromwell as a father nerd, but try to be strong and leave this in its resting place. The 80s teen comedy is no place for a naughties film enthusiast, or for anyone for that matter!

Published October 30, 2003

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(US) - 1984

CAST: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Ted McGinley, Julie Montgomery, John Goodman, Timothy Busfield

DIRECTOR: Jeff Kanew

SCRIPT: Steve Zacharias & Jeff Buhai

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

PRESENTATION: 1.85:1 Widescreen 16:9 Enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0


DVD DISTRIBUTOR: : Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: September 10, 2003

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