Friday, August 13, 2010

Freaky Friday: Revenge of the Nerds

Ah, 1984.  We got Van Halen's "Jump", Reaganomics, and the most influential movie of my young life...Revenge of the Nerds.
Year: 1984
Rating: R
Running Time: 90 minutes

This movie oozes the 1980's:  Lovable underdogs beat the odds, become the most influential fraternity on campus, and, of course, start dating cheerleaders.  It was my pre-pubescent dreams come true!
The movie begins with Lewis and Gilbert (played by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards) leaving for college.  They arrive at the fictitious Adams College (filmed at the University of Arizona) and discover that they are outcasts, unwelcome by the ruling class of jocks--the dreaded Alpha Beta fraternity.  They are "picked on and put down" but through a series of clever plans they get their revenge on the Alpha Betas and their female counterparts the Pi Delta Pi's.
This movie has heart!  The Nerds try to join a fraternity and are rejected; mostly because they send accompanying photos.  The one fraternity that gives them a chance is Lambda Lambda Lambda, an all black fraternity--reminding us again that we must look beyond appearances to discover the real person underneath.
The final sequence is a series of contests, which of course the Nerds win, in order to take over the Greek Council.  We close with Queen's "We are the Champions" while each person discovers that deep down we're all nerds (i.e.  we feel left out).  While I write this I'm crying just a little....
One caveat: This movie is rated R for good reasons.  I suggest you catch this on Comedy Central or TBS where they have edited out the copious swearing and nudity.  But the fact that these channels constantly air this movie is a testament to its lasting greatness (or its ability to crack you up at 1:30 in the morning.)
I give this movie 4 stars: Great story, great heart, geeky kids overcoming the odds, and once again Queen in the soundtrack!

P.S. in the 80's, Queen wrote, produced and composed many soundtracks.  These became immortal songs etched in the psyche of America's collective consciousness...not unlike John Williams.  Wouldn't that be cool John Williams conducting Queen music at the Hollywood bowl!  just a thought!

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