Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

revenge of the nerds


The Scoop: R 1984, directed by Jeff Kanew and starring Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, and Timothy Busfield

Tagline: They’ve been laughed at, picked on and put down. But now it’s time for the odd to get even! Their time has come!

Summary Capsule: Nerd frat wages war against jock frat, hilarity ensues


Justin’s rating: Hey, you don’t see ME using that “Geek Code” after all of my e-mails!

Justin’s review: Apparently, in Movie Land, no one goes to classes while they’re in college. Granted, classroom scenes tend to border on dull (unless Spicoli’s ordered pizza again), but it gets a bit ridiculous when you see an entire college film, like Revenge of the Nerds, where classes aren’t even referred to. Where is this college? I wish I could’ve gone there… college was great except for napfests like English Lit Survey and Business Statistics.

Nerds are the oft-sung heroes of moviedom, most notably in the eighties. Of course, they have to be smart nerds, soaked with mutating radiation that allows them to outperform McGuyver in the gadget department. After all, a movie about nerds that only played on their Nintendos and discussed the merits of Star Wars would be… a little too close to home.

Anthony Edwards (Top Gun), Curtis Armstrong (Better Off Dead), and a bunch of other freshmen rejects find themselves at odds with a jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas. Naturally, bad guys in comedy movies can’t have an ounce of likability about them, so they kick the nerds out of their dorm, tar and feather them, and concoct other humiliations. What’s a nerd to do? Form their own frat, of course, and fight back.

The kids in this movie do a fine job of creating some of the most disturbing, geeky, and all-around unattractive nerds ever to grace the screen. Their seal-bark laughs and unadulterated love for all things nerdy make them endearing. This film dates itself, since these nerds are nothing like what we have today, and the robot looks like that robot maid from the Jetsons. They’re definitely not the “cool” nerds of Real Genius, particularly Booger (Armstrong), who’s got nose love in a bad way.

While the standard “good guys are trounced, recover and eventually rule the day” plot is in full predictable swing here, it’s fairly enjoyable. Nothing big, just a lot of little jokes (like a nerd eating a cereal consisting of beer-soaked popcorn) that keep the nerds from being a one-note jerk. Not that it stops them from committing several actual crimes that better reviewers than I have documented. Suffice to say, don’t make this movie your role model.

If you haven’t ever seen Revenge of the Nerds, you might want to steel yourself for the somewhat lame ’80s soundtrack, the blatant ripoff of certain aspects of Animal Houses frat system, and the sight of some of the ugliest men and women alive. Yet, it’s got its moments and merits.

What's hiding in your shower... RIGHT NOW!
What’s hiding in your shower… RIGHT NOW!


  • James Cromwell (Babe) as a nerdy father
  • You ever notice that when main characters are moving into college, they seem to be the only ones doing so? Everyone else appears like they’ve been there for weeks, just moseying around.
  • The Talking Heads “Burning Down The House” plays over just that event.
  • You can type graphics straight onto a computer screen in the 80s without having to look at code
  • Hahaha… “switching glasses”… who HASN’T done this?

Groovy Quotes

Julia: A nerd saw me naked!

Lewis: Jocks only think about sports, nerds only think about sex.

Takashi: Excuse please, but why do they call you “Booger”?
Booger: [picking his nose] I don’t know.

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