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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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