Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

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Released 10-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 86:27
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jeff Kanew

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Robert Carradine
Anthony Edwards
Timothy Busfield
Andrew Cassese
Curtis Armstrong
Larry B. Scott
Brian Tochi
Julia Montgomery
Michelle Meyrink
Ted McGinley
Matt Salinger
Donald Gibb
James Cromwell
Case ?
RPI $19.80 Music Thomas Newman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French Titling
German Titling
Italian Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes, not just tobacco
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

It's time for the odd to get even

This is not the most politically incorrect film ever made, but it is a nice try. It's become somewhat dated, and watching this film today can make you wonder what we saw in it. However, back in the mid 1980s this film was a minor hit. It even spawned a number of sequels (although only the first sequel got a cinema release).

I guess this film appeals to that part of our psyche that barracks for the underdog. And these nerds are very much the underdogs, epitomised by their leaders, Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards, yes, that's him). Cast out of the freshman dormitory when the Alpha Beta fraternity, which is filled with sports jocks led by Stan Gable (Ted McGinley), burns down their frat house, the nerds are forced to live in the gym. Then, when they find a house to live in, they are attacked again by the Alpha Betas (for no apparent reason, other than the need of the small-brained to persecute the weak). The campus police can't help, so all they can do is turn to the college's Greek Council (with representatives from each of the fraternities and sororities). Unfortunately, they need to be a fraternity before they can appeal to the council through a comedy of errors, they end up becoming the local chapter of a nationwide fraternity called Lambda Lambda Lambda. The Alpha Betas, and their associated sorority, Pi Delta Pi, continue to pick on them. The nerds do get some of their own back, but to really win they need to get control of the Greek Council, and that means winning the Homecoming Carnival...

As the film progresses the conflict between the Alpha Betas and the tri-Lambdas becomes paralleled by the conflict between the Coach (John Goodman) and the Dean (David Wohl).

This is one of the few films Michelle Meyrink appeared in during her short career (19831988) she was also in Real Genius.

There are some gross-out and stoner jokes, mostly involving Booger (Curtis Armstrong). There's some nudity, mostly featuring Betty Childs (Julie Montgomery), the head of the Pis. There are some effeminate gay jokes, all of them about Lamar (Larry B. Scott). There are jokes about taking advantage of naive foreigners (and Japanese tourist photographers), about Takashi (Brian Tochi). There are jokes about large women, featuring most of the Omega Mu sorority. And the list of politically incorrect material goes on...

If I had to pick the best fraternity film, I wouldn't be choosing this one; I'd choose Animal House. Let's not pretend that there's any deep meaning, or great value, to this movie. It's a fairly silly movie, vulgar and crude, but it is still funny and entertaining.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. That's the theatrical aspect ratio.

The picture is a little soft, but it's clear enough. Shadow detail is reasonable, but somewhat limited. There's what looks like some moderate film grain in a few scenes, especially around 74:51, but I'm not sure if that is real film grain, or apparent grain from mild over-compression. There's no low level noise.

Colour is rather well-rendered, especially the plentiful swathes of bright red. There's no colour bleed or oversaturation.

There are frequent small film artefacts, but no large ones. The film has obviously not been restored, but it doesn't look too bad, considering it's 20 years old.

There are some minor moments of shimmer. There is surprisingly little aliasing, possibly because of the softness of the image. There are no MPEG artefacts, other than appearing over-compressed on occasion.

There are subtitles in seven languages, including English for the Hearing Impaired, which were the only ones I watched. They are more than passably accurate, well-timed, and easy to read, with plenty of sound cues.

The disc is single sided and single layered; considering the length of the movie, and the complete absence of extras, the single layer should be adequate, so it seems odd that there are moments when the image looks a bit over-compressed.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The soundtrack in provided in five languages, including English, which is the only one I listened to. The English track is Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, at 192kbps. The sound shows nothing significant in the way of stereo separation, which is less surprising when you know that the original sound was mono.

The dialogue is clear, and easy to understand. There are no lapses in audio sync, except for occasional lines that appear to have been ADRed: for example, when Lamar is thanking the crowd at the javelin throw, and one from Betty in the Moon room (her mouth is clearly not moving).

Thomas Newman's score is adequate, but nothing special. The contemporary songs in the soundtrack have been carefully chosen, though.

Neither the surrounds nor the subwoofer are called upon by this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


There are no extras on this disc.


The menu is static, silent, and simple.


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

This film has been available for some time in Region 1, as a package deal with the sequel (Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise). The two movies are not on separate discs, though they are on opposite sides of a double-sided single layered disc. Makes you suspect that this R4 disc is just one side of that disc, doesn't it? Well, no. The R1 disc has extras (OK, they are just a couple of trailers, but they are extras). And the R4 is PAL, not NTSC. And the R1 transfer is actually a little bit worse than the R4; that's possibly due to it being NTSC instead of PAL.

All up, the R4 is slightly better, even without the extras. The single-sided disc is easier to handle, the transfer is better, and it's PAL. Besides, the second movie is dreadful, so we're better off without it!


A guilty pleasure movie (we shouldn't enjoy this, even if we do), presented on a bare-bones DVD.

The video quality is adequate, but the film is showing its age.

The audio quality is adequate.

The extras are completely absent.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
It even spawned a number of sequels (although only the first sequel got a cinema release). - Ryan REPLY POSTED
Nerds Go To Television... - cztery
Censorship? - cztery
re: censorship - cztery
Why is PAL always better? - cztery