Revenge of the Nerds

From Academic Kids

Revenge of the Nerds is a 1984 movie starring Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, and featuring performances by Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Julia Montgomery, and Donald Gibb. It chronicles the story of a group of nerds trying to stop the harassment by the persecuting jock fraternity, Alpha Beta. Exterior scenes such as the arrival of the nerds at college and the fraternity houses were filmed at the University of Arizona.

The scene is set in Adams College where two nerds enroll on account of its acclaimed computer studies department. Unfortunately, the college also displays inappropriate favoritism towards their football team, the Atoms. This gives the coach, an arrogant bully, and his team, stocked mainly by the equally obnoxious jocks of the Alpha Beta fraternity, considerable power on campus.

This power is shown when the Alpha Betas accidently burn down their fraternity house. They pressure the Dean of the campus to let them use the freshman dorm and literally throw out the present residents. The freshmen are forced to bunk in the gym until they can be bunked with the various fraternities. However, the nerds are all rejected and attempts to approach the fraternities on their own lead to them being publically humiliated and harassed.

The nerds, with some difficulty, manage to find a house which they fix up into a superb place to live. However, the Alpha Betas and their associated sorority, the Pi Delta Pis, attempt to drive them out simply for its own sake.

When the nerds approach the campus police, they are referred to the Greek Council which oversees fraternity affairs only to find that Stan Gable, the head of the Alpha Betas, is the president. He bluntly overrules their complaint because they are not a fraternity. The nerds attempt to sign with one of the fraternal organizations only to find themselves rejected because they sent group photos of themselves to nearly every organization.

The Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity is the exception, but seeing as how it is an African American organization and only one of the nerds is African American, the situation seems hopeless. However, the nerds press the point using a regulation that, as a petitioning group, they have the right to join on a probationary status. The nerds attempt to organize a party to impress the management. However, they are tricked by the Pis who falsely offer to be their dates only to competely snub them on party night. Another sorority, the Omega Mus, come in their place, but they consist of social rejects themselves and the resulting awkwardness deadens the atmosphere. In desperation, the nerds resort to lighting large marijuana joints to liven up the affair which proves successful. However, the party is spoiled by the Alphas crashing the party with pigs and the nerds' chances seem ruined.

At the end of their patience, the nerds decide to retaliate. First they plan an elaborate panty raid on the Pis which is actually a diversion from the surveillance cameras they were simultaneously installing the sorority's rooms. The nerds saturate the Alpha's jock straps in liquid heat (a liniment that produces sensations of heat) to create an agonizing and embarrassing experience at football practice. The Lambda fraternity head is impressed with the nerds' creativity, and a charter is granted for the chapter.

However, the harassment by the Alphas only worsens, and the obviously biased Greek Council refuses to respond. Deciding that they must take power themselves, the nerds compete in the homecoming carnival. During homecoming, the fraternity which receives the most points from participating in various physical contests, fundraising, and a talent contest becomes the ruling fraternity. Although the Lambdas and Mus have a difficult time in the first phase they more than compensate in the following competitions. They seal their victory in the talent show with a spectacular song and dance routine.

The Alphas retaliate by wrecking the Lambda house, and the nerds are disheartened, especially considering that they don't assume office until the next school year. One of the nerds decides to personally confront the Alphas at the homecoming rally. When the nerd is about to be beaten, the Dean finally stands up to the coach and exercises his rightful authority. Although the Dean is about to be beaten himself, the Lambda head arrives just in time with a group of huge members to intimidate the Alphas while the nerd is given a chance to speak his mind to the audience.

He poignantly speaks about how he and his friends were harassed, but in spite of this, he re-affirms that he is a nerd and proud of it. His friends gather around in support and call on any of the audience who has faced similar abuse to join them. Almost the entire audience does so, and the Alphas find themselves hopelessly outnumbered.

The film ends with the Dean ejecting the Alphas from their building for the Lambda's use until the Alphas repair the damage they caused to the Lambda's house.


This movie spawned three sequels:

A remake is being made for a 2006 release.

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