Revenge of the Nerds & Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
Revenge of the Nerds, originally released theatrically in 1984, was followed in 1987 by the first of three sequels; however, part II was the only sequel released theatrically. Robert Carradine (Lewis), Anthony Edwards (Gilbert), Curtis Armstrong (Booger) James Cromwell (Mr. Skolnick), and John Goodman (Coach Harris) star in the first; Carradine, Edwards, and Armstrong do return for the sequel, though Edwards is in a reduced role.
Labeled as nerds throughout high school, best buds Lewis and Gilbert look forward to college where they'll be accepted for who they are. They enroll in Adams College, home of the best computer department in the country. However, when they arrive on campus, their freshman dorm is quickly overtaken by the Alpha Betas, who have burned down their fraternity house. The freshmen are then housed in the gym, and get to know each other. Along with Lewis & Gilbert, the group consists of Wormser, Takashi, Lamar, Poindexter, and Booger. Determined to find a place to live, they scout out the surrounding areas, and Lewis strikes gold – a rundown house which they fix up and convert into their dorm. The Alpha Betas, jealous of the Nerd's new home, vow to destroy it. The Nerds know that their only chance is to join a fraternity, and they find reluctant acceptance with the Tri-Lambdas on a trial membership basis. At their first celebratory frat party, the Alpha Betas show up and embarrass them in front of the Tri-Lambda president, prompting the Nerds to take their revenge and end the persecution of Nerds once and for all.
In the sequel, Adams College has asked the Tri-Lambdas to represent them at the United Fraternity Conference that's being held in Fort Lauderdale. Gilbert, now leader of the fraternity is unable to attend due to a broken leg, but asks Lewis to lead the group in his absence. They agree, and once there, face immediate persecution from the hotel manager and several Alpha Betas who are determined to have them expelled from the conference. Once again, the Nerds must unite together and triumph over the Alpha Betas.
However its possible, I had never seen any of the Revenge of the Nerds movies till now. Having watched the first two back to back, I can safely say that Part I is the better of the two; Part II feels too familiar and the lack of Edwards in a leading role or the return of Nerd Takashi really hurts. I am amazed at how many characters they got to return for the sequel, and this does help Part II quite a bit. And while Part II does have a few laughs, Part I is immensely more funny.
Also, as a sidenote, Part I has been edited, as rumors circulating on the Internet have been confirmed. Scenes that contain a personal phone number clearly visible in the original version when Lewis finds the rundown house have been trimmed out. The first cut does seem a bit jarring, but honestly, unless you know what you're missing, you probably won't notice – I didn't the first time.
Both Revenge of the Nerds 1&2 are presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfers on both are remarkable, considering the age of the films. Marks, specks, and lines are practically non-existent; colors are quite good, flesh tones are accurate, the contrast is well balanced, and the blacks are terrific as well. The only thing holding back the score is that the colors do seem a bit faded and the image appears somewhat dated occasionally during the film.
Revenge of the Nerds is presented in a new Dolby Surround 2.0 track in English and the original Dolby Mono 1.0 track in both English and French. Part II is presented in the original Dolby Surround 2.0 in English and a Dolby Mono 1.0 track in French. Dialogue in both films is crisp and clean throughout with no distortion that I detected. Neither has much in the way of special effects; the surrounds are mostly used for the music, which sounds quite good. Optional English Subtitles are also available for both films.
Theatrical trailers for Revenge of the Nerds 1&2 and Porky's 1&2 are the only extras, though it must be said that they look fantastic.
While I really enjoyed the first film, the second one was a bit disappointing. However, fans of both films will surely eat up this double feature: for an MSRP of $25, you get two films with terrific transfers and great sound. Recommended!