Revenge Of The Nerds / Revenge Of The Nerds II (1984)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine
Once again, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is bringing us a set of Double Features. This time, the common theme is college comedies from the 80s, including the 1984 "Revenge Of The Nerds" and its 1987 sequel "Revenge Of The Nerds II." Given the quality of these Double Feature releases and the eclectic selection of films on this release batch as well as the previous ones, one can only hope that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will continue this tradition and release many more such fine Double Feature discs.
"Revenge Of The Nerds" introduces us to Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards – with hair) tow freshmen on their way to college. The two nerdy computer geeks set up their dorm room, only to find themselves booted out to make room for the Alpha Beta fraternity when they burn down their own house. Mocked and rejected, they are forced to live in the campus gymnasium together with a group of other "outcasts." To make the best of the situation, the group eventually decides to look for a home and set up their own fraternity. To do so they need sponsors however and no one is interested in supporting the misfit group of nerds – or so it seems. To build a reputation for themselves, the nerds face an uphill battle against the Alpha Betas but they are determined to prove that it is mind that matters.
The film is a charming and truly hilarious comedy that is as nostalgic to watch, as it is funny. Dated through and through by the clothes, hairstyles, music, and the production design, "Revenge Of The Nerds" is almost like a time travel in your own mind. That however is what makes it such a charming release. While we may have taken films like this one halfway serious in 1984, today it is just a riot to watch giving you plenty of reasons to hold your belly in laughter.
The same is pretty much true for "Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise" as well. Shot three years after the original, the Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity of nerds at Adams College, still lead by Lewis and Gilbert, are on their way to Florida for the United Fraternity Conference. Feeling like they’re in paradise with all the scantily clad bodies around them, the nerds quickly become the target of the Alpha Betas once again. This time the fraternity of brainless football jocks try to demoralize the nerds and have the cast out of the Conference. Fortunately Lewis has a few things to say – and do – about that!
Sunshine, booze, tits and ass is the formula that drives both these films in general as they recreate the mayhem that can be college life – at least in the movies – and like "Revenge Of The Nerds", the sequel is a raunchy, but harmless comedy that offers plenty of laughs and even more boobs than the original film. Sadly, Anthony Edwards plays only a small part in the film – he is really quite funny in the original – but at the same time the entire group of nerdy characters gets much more exposure this time and is played up to good potential, resulting in a great variety of funny moments.
This DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment contains both films in their original 1.85:1 <$PS,widescreen> aspect ratios. Given the insignificance of the actual movies and the somewhat limited appeal it is once again astounding what effort 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has put into this release. Although there are no mentionable extras on the disc other than the trailers, the audio and video transfers are superb. Especially the video presentation leaves nothing to be desired. The prints are absolutely clean and free of any defects. No scratches, marks or other blemishes disturb the viewing experience and the colors are vibrant and stable throughout. Naturally rendered, flesh tones look very realistic and colors are always strong and well defined. Shadows are nicely delineated with good definition, while the blacks in the picture are rock solid. Needless to say that there are no compression artifacts to be found anywhere in these movies, making them beautiful renditions of these films.
While the audio section of the release is not as impressive it is nonetheless surprisingly good. Both films feature new <$DS,Dolby Surround> mixes apart from the original mono mixes. While the frequency response is a bit limited, the Dolby Surround tracks sound natural and never really date the films in terms of their technical limitations – the music takes really good care of that instead. While surround usage is limited and underplayed, there are occasions where the sound field is involving and creating a full sonic image. Dynamic range is good, and dialogues are very well integrated, producing a pleasing presentation overall.
"Revenge Of The Nerds" and "Revenge Of The Nerds II" clearly caters to an audience that fondly remembers these films from their own youth but for those of us, this is a spectacular release. Never in a million years would I have expected to see films like these presented in such quality ever, or as a double-feature at an attractive price for that matter. No one argues that the films aren’t really good, but that’s beside the point. They are fun, entertaining and simply enjoyable. The DVD that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is serving up her for these films perfectly suits the bill and makes it an incredibly enjoyable experience to revisit these films. With big glasses, pencils and tools in your shirt pocket and calculator ever-ready, "Revenge Of The Nerds" turned out better and funnier than ever on this DVD, so make it a point to check it out!