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Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

R   |    |  Comedy


Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Poster

At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect.

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6.6/10
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6 July 2002 | bob the moo
The only worthy successor to Animal House – this is a oasis in a desert of rubbish frat movies
When Louis and Gilbert head to college they think it'll all be different from high school. However they are branded nerds and, when the jocks burn their own dorm down, the nerds find themselves kicked out and forced to sleep in the gym. When the nerds form their own chapter of the Tri-Lam fraternity. When they are bullied continually they decide to take matters into their own hands and fight back with the Jock's own games.

If there's one genre in the world that I hate it's the American college jock/nerd comedy. Whether it be the Animal House or Porky's or more modern ones – I hate almost all of them! So when I watched this I watched it with a certain fear. However the plot makes redresses the balance by having us support the nerds! It's well plotted so that it isn't just them becoming just like the jocks but instead learning their own lessons. Of course it is rude at times and does fall into being just silly and slapstick, but it's mixed nicely with some good sentiment and more gentle laugh.

The cast is great (in retrospect). Anthony Edwards is a real surprise in this post-ER time. Likewise Busfield is strange after 30-something and West Wing. Less so but Moonlighting's Curtis Armstrong is funny to see. And lets not forget James Cromwell (or Jamie as he was called then!), John Goodman and black 1970's star Bernie Casey! The nerds are all good – rising above their caricatures to start to bring out characters.

Overall this is a spin on the frat-comedy so it is a little juvenile and silly but the fact that it is spun towards the nerds makes it that little bit refreshing to watch compared to so many where our `heroes' are arrogant, annoying jock-types who sponge off mummy and daddy just to get drunk at college. Not a great movie but much better than anything else post-Animal House - I'm with the nerds!

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