Nerd life is so much better than regular life.

– John Green

Unequivocally, being a nerd rules; naturally of course I express my own bias here. We get behind the most complex of things, argue about technicality, and enjoy pushing ourselves beyond in our own discerning acumen (why, hello tautology).

Being a nerd is a phenomenon of pop culture. In this modern world of bits, and bytes; the accrual of knowledge is seen as a person’s greatest asset. In fact the technology industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the modern economy. Characters such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk (am I tech writer yet?), Wozniak, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page. You name it. Some of our biggest figureheads in the entrepreneurial  world are nerds. They’re not industrious, they’re not loud. They’re often the ones happy enough working away at their little niche to an almost ASD level of obsession.

But that’s not to discredit the position of humility here. There’s nothing more frustrating in this app-driven world (which, by the way. You can’t make money with an app), than the unemployed person pretending to be an entrepreneur. When Microsoft started in 1975, the concept of even selling a virtual product alone was without a hazard of a doubt…risky. To us now, the concept of not owning a physical asset is nothing but ordinary. Almost everything we consume is in some way or another SaaS.

Movie franchises as a whole have recognised this. The nerd  of the 1980s wouldn’t fit in today in anyway. The stereotype has evolved and grown. No longer is it just about whether Star Wars, or Star Trek is the better franchise (which, by the way. Star Trek is). We’re powerful characters for change. My favourite franchise in this regard is in James Bond’s new Q – a young, spotty nerd who likes his gadgets. My belief is that Mendes has viewed the changing climate of the 21st century and felt that a Quartermaster now, well. Why wouldn’t they be a nerd?

Responding to a request, this lengthy introduction neatly sets the scene for the 1984 cult classic. Revenge of the Nerds. A movie that hasn’t dated well in anyway, and not just because of the painfully cheesy pocket protectors. It also suffered what I like to call the ‘Police Academy Syndrome’ whereby they just keep churning out movies that the characters just don’t have room to grow anymore.

Firstly, I have to make a confession. Australian Universities don’t really have sororities, or a Greek system at all. Some larger Universities do have on-campus colleges, but they pale in comparison to what happens in the US. It’s considered unusual, and out of the ordinary to move out of home for University unless you’re moving towns to study such as myself. Revenge of the Nerds was filmed on location at the University of Arizona, and the University resented the filming.


The opening scene of the movie shows our main protagonists – Lewis and Gilbert on their moving day to Adam’s College. Calculating the ratio of male students to female students we’re introduced to that horrific nerdy laugh. If you plan on watching this movie, prepare for that cackle. It’s worse than Amadeus. Quite obviously Lewis is the more confident of the two – immediately at it with the obnoxious ‘checking out’ of college sophomores whereas I certainly relate more to Gilbert. A quiet, reserved, and quite evidently more introverted, albeit less developed character wise. If there’s one thing I do have to say about reviewing a movie from the 80s is that the optics is so refreshing to see. As someone who shoots exclusively on vintage lenses, I mean. Come on. I had to notice the amount of chromatic aberration that comes from lenses in this period.

Getting in the way of every possible person on their way to the freshman dorms we’re introduced to the Alpha Betas. Although if we want to get technical here, it should be α, not Ω. Learn. Your. Greek ffs.

Evidently. Nerds are not welcome at this institution. A typical house party by Australian standards (we don’t have a drinking problem, noooo) ensues in the Alpha Beta fraternity. That is, until Talking Heads’ Burning Down The House becomes quite a reality for the fraternity. This by far is the plot point of the movie. It’s a case of we burnt down our house, but we want a place to stay kind of situation. But being jocks, they took the opportunity to oust the freshmen, whereby they are now renegade to the gymnasium.

Hilarty ensues right?

You’d be wrong. Looking for a place to stay, we start a very long (and I mean, ridiculously long) montage scene of our two main protagnosists, as well as the rest of the freshman year seeking accomodation at the very sororities on campus. Without surprise, we found ourselves with some nerds leftover without a place to stay. Including the ever-comical, and individual of questionable personal hygiene. Say hello to Booger.

The idea is floated, by Lewis no less, to start a sorority especially for those who haven’t been able to find a place to stay. Finding a rundown house, they get to work on a, you guessed it. Another long montage scene. Trying to find a sponsor for a sorority application, they find themselves applying for Lamda, Lamda, Lamda; an African American sorority currently not on campus at Adams. This is where the story gets interesting again. The complexities of starting a sorority on campus are brought upon them. Hosting a house party that isn’t awful, and proving that the team are worthy of the Tri-Lam’s support.

Revenge of the Nerds has a very cyclic storyline, with the story taking an almost ‘we’ve almost made it. Oh. No we haven’t.’ approach the whole way through. From the countless engagements with the Greek council, through to their own internal politics, the Lamda’s find themselves constantly fighting the establishment. It is a movie that I do hold as one of those ‘you have to see it at least once’, but it’s not one that I come back to as it hasn’t aged well at all. I know this seems #controversial and all, but I just don’t like this movie.