Movie: I watch a lot of independent movies since they often provide a fresh look at things through the eyes of an individual rather than a movie made by committee. Many times, the director of such movies is also the writer, the producer, and one of the actors, and it allows a more personal vision to make it to film. One of the most prolific, if under appreciated, such director of the last 15 years is Richard Gabai. Mr. Gabai wears many hats when making his movies, he's an accomplished musician, has directed about a dozen films, and has acted in scores of features, most of which you've probably never heard of. In one of his earlier efforts, Assault Of The Party Nerds, he pays tribute to the more popular 80's movie Revenge Of The Nerds.
The movie is one of those fraternity comedies that admittedly imitate all the similar movies that went before it. It concerned a small frat house with only four members who are about to graduate. They cross paths with a rival fraternity that is made up of jocks and both sides try to outdo one another while getting laid. In short, it was a pretty basic flick with most of the originality displayed in the small touches that were added to the formula. There was a lot of gratuitous nudity from Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, lots of silly pokes at jocks and nerds alike, and a minimal plot of the Lambda Alpha Eta recruitment drive. I wish there was more to say about the movie but fans of the cast (scream queen fans in particular) and ultra low budget comedies will probably want to check it out. The acting was questionable, the script tossed together, and whole thing looked pretty bad but it had just enough entertainment value to suggest it as a Rent It.
Picture: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. It was very grainy and had a very soft focus with lots of artifacts and mosquito noise. In short, it looked bad. Even the print itself had plenty of scratches but some people will think of it as the coup de grace of the whole cheesy low budget movie experience.
Sound: The sound was in Dolby Digital English but I didn't hear any separation between the channels. It was also scratchy and while the vocals were listenable, the music was, at times, pretty good.
Extras: The best extra was the Director's commentary with Richard Gabai (and a couple of actors from the movie-Dempsey and Mann). He described some of the stuff that went on during the filming of the movie as well as some of the limitations of the show itself. The next best extra was the 4 interviews, I think filmed in 1999, one of Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer, and Richard Gabai, as well as a group interview. Each talked about their experiences with the movie and made it clear that they were all friends who had worked on a number of projects together afterward. There was a trailer for the movie, a slide show, and a bloopers reel to round out the extras. A paper insert for the movie was included, which was a short message my Mr. Gabai, written to explain the budget for the movie was under $40,000 and it took 5 days to shoot.
Final Thoughts: No one's going to mistake this as a classic movie but it did have a lot of little funny bits to like. It was almost like a class project or home movie, which made it a bit fresher than so many other ROTN knock-offs. Slice of life college films are legion in number and almost all of them stink so for all the limitations of this independent release, I have to admit it had some cute moments. Maybe it was just the attitude that permeated the whole project or maybe it was just how ambitious it was for the amount it cost to make but it's worth a rental. The sequel, Heavy Petting Detective, was better in all ways, but check out the commentary if you want to hear the truth behind the flick (and get a lot of laughs).