Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nerds Redux: Whither Gilbert?

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise  (20th Century Fox, 1987)

Before the Camera:

Robert Carradine  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Bradley Whitford  (TV's The Good Guys)
Larry B. Scott  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Timothy Busfield  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Courtney Thorne-Smith  (TV's Melrose Place)
Andrew Cassese  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Donald Gibb  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Ed Lauter  (Death Wish III)
Barry Sobel  (Martians Go Home!)
James Hong  (Big Trouble in Little China)
James Cromwell  (Revenge of the Nerds)
Curtis Armstrong  (Revenge of the Nerds)

Look fast for:

Anthony Edwards  (Gotcha!)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Joe Roth

Produced by Peter Bart, Richard Chew, Robert W. Cort, Ted Field, Joe Roth, and Peter Schiff

Written by Dan Guntzelman and Steve Marshall

Based on characters created by Tim Metcalfe, Steve Zacharias, Jeff Buhai, and Miguel Tejada-Flores

Three years after the success of Revenge of the Nerds - a sequel set one year later was put in play. This time out most of the nerd crew from Lambda Lambda Lambda are headed to Fort Lauderdale for a Greek Council convention. Sitting out the trip are Brian Tochi (Toshiro) and for the most part Anthony Edwards (Gilbert). Gilbert is first shown with a broken leg in a cast - preventing his character going along. I guess Edwards didn't want to do the movie but agreed to a token cameo. But then he turns up two more times before the end credits - with enough screen time eventually you wonder why he didn't just agree to be fully in the movie. It actually would have made more sense considering some of the plot developments.

But I vaguely digress.

The nerds make it to Florida with no problem - a missed opportunity as there's a scene at the airport where it looks like a prank is being set up to humiliate the boys and send them in the wrong direction - but no, they just arrive and all is well. Once they arrive you get some fun moments as they drive through the city, ogling the bikini babes and the beautiful Florida beaches. Once at the hotel, they quickly run afoul of hotel manager Lauter - who is an alumni of their enemy fraternity - and current enemy frat boys Whitford and our old pal Gibb as Ogre - the only original antagonist to show up here.

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in a Car

On the positive side is the aptly named Sunny (Thorne-Smith), a hotel desk clerk with eyes for Carradine's Lewis. But that's where it would have been better for Gilbert to be along - so he could be the romantic nerd for this flick. Lewis is still with Betty (though Julia Montgomery sits this movie out) - Lewis puts her picture in his luggage and she does turn back up with Lewis in later sequels. So, this means Lewis's schmoozing with Sunny here is cheating, which takes away from the fun.

Crappy cellphone pic: Ed Lauter and Bradley Whitford are a little blue.

While Whitford and crew escalate their war with the nerds, little else happens other than Booger meeting his personal guru Snotty (Hong) and grossing us out. By the time the nasty frat guys strand the nerds on an island so they can vote the Tri-Lams out of the Greek Council - the movie has pretty much ground to a halt. The entire island sequence is pretty boring, though at least things brighten up a bit when the nerds track down some abandoned military equipment to effect their escape and get back to the Council meeting in time.

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in trouble with the law.

This is the kind of sequel that hurts the very idea of sequels. It's watchable, but nowhere near as fun as the original movie. In this case, only a couple of producers were a part of the first film. The writers and director are new - and frankly, they're not as good as director Jeff Kanew and the first film's writers. I saw both of these movies in the theater when they were new - loving the first movie a lot and finding this one pretty meh.

When the hotel is called something unwieldy like"Hotel Coral Essex"
you just know something like this is going to happen eventually.

This killed the theatrical franchise - but later on they made two more sequels for TV - with some of the original writers back for both - so we'll check those out sometime down the road.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At roughly 1:02:50 - Bradley Whitford is all done stranding nerds on an island.

Eye Candy ?

There are of course several dozen hotties in bikinis scattered among the extras, but none get showcased all that well, and Courtney Thorne-Smith just doesn't float my boat, so it's a no. Sorry ladies.

Buddha Man Sez:

"Revenge of the Nerds II - the nerds are in paradise - the viewer
is in decent movie land. Good enough."

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Nerd, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Never seen any of the Nerds flicks, and I had absolutely no idea that there are so many of them...

    1. I remember the TV movies when they premiered - watched a bit of one - but all four are in a boxset in the video vault - so I'll give them a thorough watch one of these days!

  2. Craig, the original is one of my favorites, but to be honest, it has been too long since I saw this to fairly comment on it. I remember feeling that a lot was missing of the magic from the first film. I'm due to dive into this one in the coming months, so will see how it goes!

    1. I love sequels - so I give them a lot of leeway - but this one really misses the magic of the first movie - as you say. I look forward to a trip to The Nostalgic Attic to get your thoughts when you've given this a fresh watch!