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Monday, May 26 2014 00:42

Retro: REVENGE OF THE NERDS (1984) Blu-ray Review

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I honestly don't know if it's a fact, or just the way it seems, but I can't think of another decade that produced a comedic output on par with the 1980s - specifically on the cinematic front. From front-to-back, the 80s was stacked with comedies that have had lasting impact, been constantly imitated, and never really matched on a cultural scale. Perhaps it's because I was born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s, often finding myself experiencing movies for the first time on the small screen, in large part due to HBO, USA Up All Night, and whatever other channels I shouldn't have been watching at the time. REVENGE OF THE NERDS is one of those films, an R-rated affair that I, from a ratings standpoint, shouldn't have been allowed to see until the early 1990s... but I did, and it was glorious. Now, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has released the film on Blu-ray, just in time for it's 30th Anniversary.

REVENGE OF THE NERDSThe Feature Film:

I don't think it would've been possible to predict that audiences would still be talking about REVENGE OF THE NERDS in 2014 - three decades past the release of a college comedy that was reportedly shot for $6 million, and was essentially 20th Century Fox taking a shot at getting an ANIMAL HOUSE to call their own.

This group of lovable anti-heroes plays more like a band of outcasts that are led by true "nerds," but embrace whoever doesn't fit the status quo. There's a lot of stereotypes at play here, along with some characters that probably wouldn't exist had this film been made or remade (which they tried back in '07 and it was looking so bad it got cancelled) in 2014. But right there is a lot of the charm, in that the filmmakers crafted their romp within the realms of taste of the day, without pushing as far as they could've. It's just a fun movie that has become a gem of the 80s.

The Blu-ray:

I'm fairly certain that I've never seen REVENGE OF THE NERDS in its widescreen glory until now, despite a DVD release a decade ago. With that said, this is a beautiful transfer that sounds great, and it probably looks just as good - if not better - than it did 30 years ago. There's really no aging here, and that's surprising.

The Extras:

For those who did purchase this in it's last DVD form, there's nothing new here in terms of bonus materials. Everything from the last time around is here, but with it being new to me, I really dug the 2005 retrospective featurette, "I'm a Nerd and I'm Pretty Proud of It." The 30-minute+ bonus features cast and crew giving the inside story on the creation of the film, and it's well-worth a watch. The deleted scenes don't really add anything, and the failed 1991 REVENGE OF THE NERDS TV pilot is here - a 24-minute disaster that's painful to watch on all levels, but features a few recognizable faces (and voices) such as Robbie Rist (former "Michelangelo" of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES), and Julie McCullough (GROWING PAINS). It's so terrible, you almost have to watch it just to witness it for yourself.

Overall:

While not a true "30th Anniversary Edition," REVENGE OF THE NERDS is a must-own for fans of 80s cinema, and the reasonably-priced Blu-ray makes it a sweet deal as well. Now, if we could get REVENGE OF THE NERDS II: NERDS IN PARADISE ready for Blu-ray next... wishful thinking?

THE ROCK FATHER Rating: 4/5 Stars

4

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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