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Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Poster

Trivia

Because the script didn't have much of a plot (as the interviewed actors and filmmakers have stated), many of the actors were allowed to ad-lib scenes. Timothy Busfield recalls that he ad-libbed Poindexter's painful yell when watching the video of the girls dorm. Robert Carradine remembered that in the scene where he "serviced" Betty in the fun house, his line was originally "All jocks think about is sports. Ever since we're ten, all we nerds ever think about is sex." He didn't like the line and dropped the "Ever since we're ten" part. Curtis Armstrong recalls that it was by pure chance that Booger and Takashi ended up bunked next to each other in the gym and they improvised the running gag of them playing cards and Armstrong's line "What the fruck is a frush?"
Lambda Lambda Lambda - the fraternity depicted in the film, would end up becoming the name of a fraternity in real life. It was founded at the University of Connecticut in 2006.
Although Booger is arguably Curtis Armstrong's most famous character, he initially didn't want the part. According to his comments on the Panty Raid DVD edition, he originally read for the part of Gilbert, but was later asked to read for Booger. He recalls telling fellow actor Bronson Pinchot that if he was offered the role of Booger, "They could just fucking forget it. I'm not picking my nose on camera for anyone."
On the documentary for the Special Edition DVD, it was revealed that many of the actors (including Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong, and Timothy Busfield) initially did not want to do the film but gave in because the movie either paid well or it was a chance for some of them, who were struggling actors, to get into a movie.
These things were ad-libbed: The Coach's "Shit, we forgot to practice"; Takashi's "salad" comment in the locker room scene; Gable's "Do you know karate?"; The Dean saying he has allergies; Poindexter's painful scream during the Pi-watching scene; Poindexter's date grabbing his crotch during the party; Lewis' "We love you when you're mad!"
The Alpha Beta party was filmed at a funeral home.
Poindexter's glasses are so thick that Timothy Busfield couldn't see through them. In scenes where he moves, he is usually guided by a companion.
Robert Carradine moved to the University of Arizona two weeks before shooting to get into character as Lewis Skolnick. He brought only his "nerd" clothes to wear. He couldn't bring himself to leave his hotel room for three days.
The University of Arizona agreed to let the filmmakers shoot at the campus, then revoked permission after reading the script. Eventually they changed their minds and let them shoot. Many students were used as extras.
A scene was removed that revealed jock Stan Gable was a closet nerd. At the end of the movie, where the nerds triumph, Stan Gable wasn't sad for losing to nerds, but was really sad for not having the courage to tell people he is a nerd.
Curtis Armstrong, Michelle Meyrink and Timothy Busfield all play their own musical instruments. Timothy Busfield is not a violin player, and he was told his inept practicing would be overdubbed by a proper violinist. He was dismayed when his discordant screechings made it into the film.
Larry B. Scott showed up for his audition in character as Lamar, with glitter in his hair. According to him, the casting directors "couldn't stop laughing."
20th Century Fox greenlit a remake of the film under it's then-existing Fox Atomic label, with the intent to release it in 2007. Filming began in Atlanta, George in 2006 with a cast including Adam Brody (who also co-produced), Jenna Dewan, Chris Marquette and Efren Ramirez with Kyle Newman directing. The film was originally going to be shot on the Emory College campus until college officials objected to the film's raunchy content. The production experienced difficulties of shooting on the smaller Agnes Scott campus, particularly the outdoor scenes. The film was scrapped early on in production after studio head Peter Rice disliked the dailies. Currently, plans to remake the film have been indefinitely shelved.
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James Cromwell has said that when he came up with the nerd laugh, that the other actors imitated, he realized while driving home from the studio on the first day of production it was his ex wife's laugh.
Robert Carradine says that when he read the script, Lewis' laugh was described as a "goose honk" he wasn't sure how to do it. But by chance, the first scenes shot were of his father dropping Lewis and Gilbert off at college. When actor James Cromwell did the laugh, Carradine mimicked it.
The film deleted a subplot of the Nerds visiting the Tri-Lambda national conference in Las Vegas, in which the Nerds are outcasts and in which Gilbert talks to his uncle at the hotel where the conference is being held. These deleted scenes can be found on the new "panty raid edition" DVD.
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Although many of the actors had reservations about appearing in a movie called Revenge of the Nerds, they had a terrific time filming it. The actors described the filming as a "fraternity atmosphere", and frequently partied with the University of Arizona students, many of whom appear in the film as extras.
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The video game Wormser plays during Dean Ulich's roll call is Space Master X-7.
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The song the Pi's sing to offer themselves as dates to the the Tri-Lambs (Hello Lambdas we're the Pi's/And we're here to say/We think you are special guys/Lambdas all the way...) is sung to the tune of "Aura Lee," an American Civil War song written by W. W. Fosdick (words) and George R. Poulton (music). Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" is a derivative of it, and a version with different lyrics is sung in "Trading Places", as well (sung as "Constance Fry").
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Gilbert's last name is revealed to be Lowe near the end of the movie. When the movie begins, Lewis calls Gilbert's mother "Flo." This means that Gilbert's mother is named "Flo Lowe."
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When Jeff Kanew was interviewed by the producers, they asked what kind of movie he thought he could make given the material. He responded, "One I would be embarrassed to have my name on." They hired him immediately.
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The drug Takashi ingests during the tricycle race is fictitious. So is Lamar's drill silencer.
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To test the effectiveness of their "nerd" makeup and wardrobes, Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards attended a college rush-week, when real fraternities were reviewing prospective pledges (wanna-be members). The fraternity leader of the first house took one look at them both and said, "No way!"
Timothy Busfield ad-libbed Poindexter's painful yelp during the Pi-watching sequence. It was inspired by the sound of a former neighbor having sex. Many crew members had to run away to keep from breaking out in laughter and ruining the take, but the director can be heard snickering just before the camera cuts away to the next scene.
The exterior shots of the Pi sorority house were actually the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house at the University of Arizona. Donald Gibb is a brother of Phi Delta Theta from the University of New Mexico, which helped securing permission from the chapter.
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Larry B. Scott, who plays the homosexual Lamar, claims on the DVD Documentary that he had to over-compensate for his masculinity because people really thought he was gay. Beside this role, his other post-Nerd movies have been either action or drama. For example, he played a communication soldier in Extreme Prejudice and an astronaut in SpaceCamp.
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Donald Gibb shaved his beard to get the part of Ogre. The casting directors thought it made him look too old to be a college student.
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John Goodman's character is never referred to by name verbally by any character in the film. His name, Coach Harris, can only be seen on a door in the locker room and in the end credits.
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Ogre dresses as a viking at the Homecoming Carnival. Appropriately, Donald Gibb, who played Ogre, now plays a viking in Capital One commercials.
A display in the background of Tri-Lambda's performance at the end is provided by a Tandy Color Computer using the Audio Spectrum Analyzer cartridge. One of the nerds carries a board with shoulder straps that has a CoCo attached to it.
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Lewis' name is a play on the name of the famous American physical chemist, Gilbert N. Lewis; who studied acids, bases and photo-phosphorescence. He is credited with coining the term "photon" and was the first to produce pure deuterium oxide, otherwise known as "heavy water".
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Booger's bizarre interaction with a reclusive homeowner through a mail slot was improvised. The scene had originally called for Booger to smear snot on a rude housewife's front door.
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In Spain, the film was translated into "La revancha de los novatos" (Revenge of the Freshmans), because in that time there wasn't an official translation for the word "Nerd", until several years later.
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Lamar's date at the party was a member of the crew. So was the burly homeowner he approaches when house hunting.
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Robert Carradine says that he and Anthony Edwards largely improvised their speeches during the homecoming scene.
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Director Jeff Kanew can be heard sneering the word "nerds" in the opening credits theme song.
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Contrary to the common anecdote, the belching sound was not the sound of two camels mating. Rather, it was the combination of a person's belch with that of a camel (added for resonance and longevity.) The man who donated his belch to the film was a studio craftsman by the name of Bill Livengood (uncredited).
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The song that Poindexter practices on his violin throughout the movie is actually a very slowed down version of his part in the homecoming carnival musical number.
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Jami Gertz, Joan Cusack, and Sarah Jessica Parker all auditioned for the role of Judy.
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In the Tri-Lambda house, a Devo poster can be seen. Devo would later contribute music to the second film in the series.
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The only characters to appear in every film in the series are Lewis, Mr. Skolnick, Lamar, and Booger.
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Lamar accidentally kicks Wormser in the face when he climbs the rope to the Pi house roof.
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While standing in the gym in a queue for food Gilbert, Lewis and Booger have a conversation about Judy. This conversation is quoted in a song called "Computer Camp Love" by the Norwegian band Datarock. The quoted conversation is the following: "Her name is Judy/That's a nice name/Yeah she's a nice girl/Big deal/Did you get in her pants/She's not that kind of a girl booger/Why? Does she have a penis?"
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The version of the title song played over the opening credits is actually shorter than the one on the soundtrack. The original soundtrack version has an entire extra verse omitted from the film.
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The (previously) all-black fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda has the initials LLL, one letter in the alphabet after KKK, the white supremacy group.
The entire sequence from Betty hanging up her robe through the exterior shot of the Tri-Lambda house the next morning is three minutes long.
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The sequence of Alpha Betas roasting marshmallows over the smoldering remains of their frat house was ad-libbed.
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Booger's real name is Dudley Dawson. According to the cast and crew on the DVD commentary, this was the name of the president of the University of Arizona, who was opposed to having the movie being shot there.
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According to the commentary track, the woman who answers the door for Wormser when he is house hunting is a woman that Curtis Armstrong did theater work with in the past.
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On the commentary track, it is revealed that the scenes of renovating and fixing up the Lambda Lambda Lambda house was actually the LAST scene filmed. They had deconstructed things and torn down the interior to make it look like they were fixing it up.
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"The Moper" was played by one of the producers of the film.
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The Greek Council scenes were shot in a Masonic Hall. Earl, the old man who assists with showing the Nerds in, was the caretaker of the Masonic Hall. Additionally, on the commentary, the actors claim that the "extra" Nerds do not appear in this scene because they would have to have paid them.
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The "camera planting" scene was filmed in an old, rat infested house. Only one hallway of the house was actually decorated to look nice for the film.
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The scene of the telephone conversation with UN Jefferson, welcoming the Nerds to Tri-Lambda, was a last minute addition to the film. It was to serve as a "bridge" since a subplot regarding the Nerds going to Las Vegas was removed from the movie (these deleted scenes are bonus features on the "Panty Raid Edition" DVD and the Blu-ray).
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On the DVD commentary, it is revealed that most of the people came to the premiere of the film came in their own cars - but the two minor actors who played the Plaid Brothers in the Homecoming Carnival skit scene showed up in a limo.
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There was a deleted subplot in which Stan Gable had a nerd brother, and a scene was written in which Gable's nerd brother steps in to prevent him from being beaten by the tough Tri-Lambdas near the end of the film.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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