Sunday, 27 July 2014

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)



I loved this movie when I was 15.  After all, it had nerds triumphing over cool kids, and a bunch of naked bosoms.  It was like geek catnip.

I picked up the DVD about 7 years ago, because it was cheap and I had a rish of nostalgia.  Then I remembered some of the stuff in it, and felt bad.  Which is why it hasn't been watched until now.  But we'll get to the bad stuff in a bit.  Let's give credit where credit is due.

Because this does have some stuff going for it.  It has a surprisingly talented cast (seriously, what are Anthony Edwards and John Goodman doing in this), and some refreshing inclusiveness, what with there being a gay nerd.  I mean sure, he's an over the top stereotype gay man, but at least he's there and not one of the bad guys.  Heck, the film's even mildly amusing: the script's jokes are generally pretty juvenile and obvious, but the actors have a pretty good command of physical and visual humour, and make a lot of it work better than it should.

Unfortunately, there are some major issues with the movie.  After the various persecutions of the cool kids finally become unbearable, the nerds decide to fight back.  I can overlook the 'comical' scene where they douse the football team's jockstraps in some version of deep heat.  Sure, it'd be recklessly dangerous in real life, but in a film I can pretend that's not true.

Installing cameras in the cheerleaders sorority house so they can spy on naked women, though?  That's way over the skeevy line.  And lets not even get to the part where one of them tricks a woman into sleeping with him (he's wearing a mask, and she thinks it is her boyfriend).  And these are the 'heroes' remember.

So yeah, there's a whole heaping mess of wrong in this. Even for the 80s, which were not exactly an enlightened time in cinema.

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