Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

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Flack
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Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Flack »

As a guy who enjoys the 1980s way more than the 2020s, I'm used to judging entertainment based on the context of when it was released. That being said, my wife and I watched the original Revenge of the Nerds this evening as our son is leaving for college next week, and... boy, a lot of that movie did not age well.

For those who never saw it (or need a quick refresher), nerdy freshman pals Gilbert and Lewis arrive at Adams college only to be immediately harassed by the Alpha Betas, the "jock" fraternity. After the Alpha Betas accidentally burn their own frat house down, Gilbert, Lewis, and the rest of the college's nerds are relocated to the gym while the jocks take over their dorms. Despite the nerds' "we just want to be left alone" attitudes, the Alpha Betas continue to harass them. When the nerds realize there will be no justice until they take over the Greek council, they join a fraternity (Lambda Lambda Lambda) and do battle against the Alpha Betas in the Greek Games, a series of events at the school's homecoming carnival.

I have fond memories of this film from seeing it while in high school. While I wasn't a nerd, I related more to them than the popular jocks in the film. Who doesn't love a good comeuppance story? I have to say though, as an adult, I certainly had a different take on some of the film's scenes.

The first scene that made me cringe was when the nerds, tired of sleeping in the gym, set out to find a place to live. In a montage, the nerds go door to door, looking for rooms to rent. The clip that didn't sit well with me was when one of the doors is answered by an overweight woman wearing lingerie, who tells the nerd that a bedroom is available, and notes "it's right next to mine. It'll be perfect for us," before brushing the nerd's cheek. The problem is, the nerd is Wormser, who is 11 years old. It's... uh, awkward.

The next scene that didn't age well is the party the nerds throw for Lambda Lambda Lambda. When music and alcohol fail to get things moving along, Booger breaks out "Wonder Joints," comically large joints. After everyone (including the adult Tri-Lamb guests) smoke enough weed, the party kicks into high gear. At least two of the nerds get laid, so I guess it works. I guess what bothers me the most with these scene is that (I believe) every Tri-Lamb is a freshman, which means a couple of adults stand by (and even partake) in drinking alcohol and smoking weed with a bunch of 18 year old kids. I get that it's a silly movie, but the scene would have worked better without adults at the party.

To exact revenge, the nerds launch a two-part plan against the Pi Delta Pis sorority. The first part, a panty raid in the girl's dorm, is largely a diversion (and a chance to show multiple topless Pis -- which again, at least in the story, we are to believe are under the age of 21). The nerds' real plan is to plant hidden cameras all throughout the dorm, which provide a live feed of the women's dorms. The nerds (again, including 11-year-old Wormser) stay awake all night watching feeds in the women's rooms and bathroom. We see them without bras, panties, and while sleeping topless. The whole thing feels creepy and invasive, and there's no point where the cameras are removed. Today we would call this a felony.

On to the Greek Games. The very first event, overseen by the dean of the college, is a 20 lap tricycle race in which the participants must drink a beer during each lap. As already stated, most if not all of the participants are under the legal drinking age -- not to mention the fact that drinking 20 beers in 20 minutes could actually kill you. It doesn't seem like the type of event that would be sanctioned by the dean.

Then there's the pie booth the nerds use to raise money. Their pies sell like hot cakes, and soon we see why. The nerds have lined the pie plates with naked pictures of lead cheerleader and Pi Delta Pi Betty Childs -- a topless picture they snapped with their surveillance cameras. Don't they call that revenge porn now or something? I'm guessing Mr. and Mrs. Childs aren't going to be real happy when they hear how the fall carnival went.

All of this culminates in a scene in which Betty Childs meets who she thinks is her boyfriend in the carnival's fun house, but ends up meeting a masked nerd (Lewis) instead, who proceeds to perform oral sex on her. I think this is... rape? When Betty discovers she has been (b)eaten by a nerd, her anger only lasts a few seconds when she decides he was pretty good at it. "All jocks think about is sports. All nerds think about is sex," he says. A few minutes later at the end of the movie, Betty has left her quarterback boyfriend for Lewis, because he's great at performing oral sex.

Any one of these scenes by itself might not have been too bad on their own, but 90 minutes of it didn't set too well.
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by AArdvark »

Revenge of the Nerds

Vs

The Wild Life

Fight!

I thought Porky's was a better movie than either of em

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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Casual Observer »

Flack wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:14 amFor those who never saw it
Is it possible that anyone here didn't see Revenge of the Nerds? Great plot description though. Jonsey should promote those things somehow because I'm always looking up movie plots and wikipedia and IMDB aren't anywhere near as good.

RotN wins as I never saw the other one.

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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Good point. With Flack's permission I'll front page his review because it is really good criticism.
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Tdarcos »

While I don't want to sound like I'm condoning the things they did based upon the standards of now, you should look at a few things, based on the rules then. I'm going to try to look at it as a typical prosecutor would.

I'll grant the video in the dorm was unlawful recording, however, wiretap laws only apply if they recorded sound. If so, then it's probably a felony. Otherwise it most likely is only a misdemeanor.

If the girl they were distributing topless cut outs for the pies was under 18, it's arguably distribution of child pornography, a serious crime. Otherwise it might not even be a crime, if not it's the civil tort offense of commercial exploitation of someone's likeness. She would have to sue. The concept of "revenge porn" did not exist then.

As for the Nerd in the Darth Vader mask, I had previously considered this issue for some time, and I'll explain why I don't think it was rape and I don't think it is now. First, presuming she wasn't under the age of consent, which in most states is 16, there has to be a lack of consent, which means threats, force, or incapacity.

She was not passed out, he didn't force her against her will, and did not threaten her with a weapon. All he did was take advantage of her mistaking him for her boyfriend. Whether you find his conduct merely mischievous to slimy or even reprehensible, there is not and has never been a crime of "rape by deception." If we go that way, every guy who lies to get laid, even where the lie is harmless, like telling her he loves her or understating the number of prior sexual partners he had, would be committing a crime.

As far as a court - or prosecutor - is going to say is, did you permit the person who was with you to have sex with you? If no, it's rape. If yes, did he threaten you or use force on you? If no, it's not rape.

I'm not sure if this happened before the movie was made, but there was a case where a woman saw her boyfriend, who was knocking on the door of her apartment. At some point after she let him in, he asked her for sex, she agreed, they had sex, then afterward, he asked her if he was as good as his brother. It turned out to be her boyfriend's twin brother.

She filed a complaint, he was convicted of rape, and on appeal, the conviction was reversed. Rape of a person over the age of consent requires lack of consent, which means: incapacity, threats of violence, or force after refusal. While she made a mistake as to whom she thought it was, and even though he let her believe he was his twin brother, she did consent to him - that specific person - having sex with her.

Beyond that, the nerd in the movie was a small, ordinary man, her boyfriend was, if I'm not mistaken, a football player, which obviously would have mede him at least more muscular. Didn't she notice the difference in size? And if not when the guy was standing in front of her, wouldn't she notice either he was very different in the way he moved in bed or his penis was a different size?
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

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I'm going to try to look at it as a typical prosecutor would.
You go, Matlock! Seriously though, that last couple of sentences creeped me out

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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Flack »

Tdarcos wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:14 pm I'll grant the video in the dorm was unlawful recording, however, wiretap laws only apply if they recorded sound. If so, then it's probably a felony. Otherwise it most likely is only a misdemeanor.
https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles ... nging-room

"Wilson was charged and arraigned at 52/3 District Court for allegedly installing a hidden camera inside a fitting room at Target. He was charged with Surveilling an Unclothed Person 2nd offense (5 year felony), Capturing/Distributing Image of Unclothed Person (5 year felony), Eavesdropping – Installing/Using Device (2 year felony), and two counts of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime (4-10 year felony.)"

That doesn't include the "breaking and entering" charge.
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Casual Observer »

Tdarcos wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:14 pm As for the Nerd in the Darth Vader mask, I had previously considered this issue for some time, and I'll explain why I don't think it was rape and I don't think it is now. First, presuming she wasn't under the age of consent, which in most states is 16, there has to be a lack of consent, which means threats, force, or incapacity.

She was not passed out, he didn't force her against her will, and did not threaten her with a weapon. All he did was take advantage of her mistaking him for her boyfriend. Whether you find his conduct merely mischievous to slimy or even reprehensible, there is not and has never been a crime of "rape by deception."
Paul, let me help you out. You, more than anyone here needs to go to bing.com, click videos, type "blindfolded sex" and hopefully you have a private room and the equipment actually works.

Jesus christ I've never communicated with anyone more obsessed with sex crimes. Creepy Paul.

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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Jizaboz »

I still really enjoy this movie today. While I did think it was dumb for adults to be at that party, I liked how the invited the Mu's. Booger is like "Oh man. Not them. They're a buncha cows!" but of course ends up making out with one of them and having a good time (They were actually pretty attractive, just wearing glasses and dorky clothes for the part)

Absolutely loved the hidden camera scene and the mask scene.. when I was 10 years old seeing it the first time. Doesn't really do anything for me now lol

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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by nessman »

Hair pie!
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Tdarcos »

AArdvark wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:41 pm
I'm going to try to look at it as a typical prosecutor would.
You go, Matlock! Seriously though, that last couple of sentences creeped me out
Wrong metaphor, 'Vark. Matlock was a defense attorney.
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Tdarcos »

Flack wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:05 pm
Tdarcos wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:14 pm I'll grant the video in the dorm was unlawful recording, however, wiretap laws only apply if they recorded sound. If so, then it's probably a felony. Otherwise it most likely is only a misdemeanor.
https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles ... nging-room

"Wilson was charged and arraigned at 52/3 District Court for allegedly installing a hidden camera inside a fitting room at Target. He was charged with Surveilling an Unclothed Person 2nd offense (5 year felony), Capturing/Distributing Image of Unclothed Person (5 year felony), Eavesdropping – Installing/Using Device (2 year felony), and two counts of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime (4-10 year felony.)"

That doesn't include the "breaking and entering" charge.
Very good, except all those crimes were created after that movie came out. Especially computer crime.

When I was in college we did not have any computer crimes. I did things then that today would be multiple felonies.

As for the breaking and entering charge (in the movie), didn't they just walk in while the others were distracted?

If you are referring to the guy who put cameras in private areas of Target, it is not going to be easy to prove 'breaking and entering' to be committed in a commercial place open to the public. Also, while the change room was marked for women, that is just store policy and violating it is not a crime. He had not committed a crime to be in women's labeled change room. What was unlawful was installing/leaving the cameras. He committed no crime in entering the store or the change room.

As the actual article pointed out by asking people to call the local policfe at a 248 area code number, this was in Michigan. Under Michigan law, B&E can occur if the person committed a "breaking" of some kind - even opening an unlocked door can qualify. However, Target stores use automatic doors that open on approach, thus a defense attorney could probably argue no "breaking" occurred as the open door was clearly an invitation to enter. To charge for "entering" it must be proved the person intended to commit a crime before the entry occurred. If the guy carries camera equipment all the time, then decided to plant them, that is not B&E. Prosecutors hate weak cases or weak charges, because the jury might decide if the B&E charge was bogus, maybe the others are. And the jury might believe B&E only occurs if something is actually forced, just walking in isn't enough.

Another example: A friend comes over to visit, walks in the back door, while there he steals your wallet. That's only theft, since he did not break in, unless it could be proven he intended to steal when he entered. If he steals it out of your pocket while sleeping, that's robbery. But it's still not B&E unless it can be proven the crime was intended before entering the property.

I would say, unless they can get the guy to admit he planned to do this when he went in the store, charging B&E won't work.
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Re: Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Post by Flack »

You just responded to a post that's 10 months old. You'll have to update us on everything that's happened in computer security over the past 10 months before I can respond. A day-by-day summary would be best -- don't skip a minute!
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