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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Revenge of the Nerds - Panty Raid Edition

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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted March 10 2007 - 03:59 AM


Studio: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 1984
Film Length: 90 min
Genre: Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced
Colour/B&W: Colour

  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Film Rating: R

  • Release Date: March 06, 2007

    Film Rating: /

    Starring: Robert Carradine (Louis Skolnick, Tri-Lam), Anthony Edwards (Gilbert Lowell, Tri-Lam), Julia Montgomery (Betty Childs, Pi-Delta-Pi), Ted McGinley (Stan Gable, Alpha Beta)

    Story by: Tim Metcalfe
    Directed by: Jeff Kanew

    They’ve been laughed at, picked on and put down. But now it’s the time for the odd to get even! Their time has come!

    Nerds! Grab your glasses (if you can find them), stand straight (if you can), and march out that door! (if you don’t trip first) Your time has come to take revenge against the jocks that’ve picked on you and harassed you while teachers have turned a blind eye (and even laughed at your expense). What you do is up to you (as long as you don’t get beat up doing it), but for the nerds at Adams College, they’ll do anything to even the score.

    Revenge of the Nerds is the classic teenage comedy from the ‘80s. Watching it is a guilty pleasure for some (you must have been a nerd) as the nerd filled fraternity Lamda Lamda Lamba gets even with the jocks in Alpha Beta while battling for the hearts (and titty shots) of sorority girls in the skanky Pi Delta Pi and oversized ones in Omega Mu (I love the allusions). They characters are full of humour even though it’s not so hilarious; it’s just that we’ve all known people like Louis, Stan, Betty and Ogre in our high school or college years and that’s what makes this movie so likable.

    Fox has taken the time to provide us with a remaster of this film with new special features. It’s packaged in a keepcase covered by a cardboard slipcase.


    I don’t have an older edition of this title to compare so I’ll tell you what I see. I will let you know that there are no noticeable compression artefacts. The encoding is very good for the material, and edge enhancement hasn’t been applied. The resulting image is slightly soft because of the original elements. I’m much more pleased to see a naturally softer image over an unnaturally sharpened one. Print artefacts are occasionally noticed and never a distraction. For the most part, it’s fairly clean.

    Colours take the look of the era; it’s somewhat desaturated despite the vibrancy of the gawd-aweful clothing of the time (yikes! I’m glad I wasn’t a part of that). Image contrast is surprisingly good. The daylight scenes provide more than adequate light and interior scenes never appear too dim. Black levels are a bit weak though, but I suspect most watching this film won’t be picky about these sorts of things just as long as it’s accurate to the source (but then, how would we ever know?)

    Details are nicely rendered on close-ups. Images in the background aren’t as articulate as some of the best DVDs, but again, this is source related and won’t be improved much until the jump to HD, and even then it’ll have similar characteristics.

    The aspect ratio is slightly under 1.85:1 and is enhanced for widescreen televisions.

    AUDIO QUALITY: 2.5/5

    Go for the mono track, nerd! Even though the stereo version sounds almost identical (every sound is placed centrally and there are no discrete left-right effects, just a bit of artificial spaciousness), the mono soundtrack is a bit heavier sounding and I preferred it. The original mix isn’t all that great. Dialogue has been replaced with overdubs and it’s soooo noticeable it’s bad…ha hah… The ‘80s electronic soundtrack is so nerdy it’s good and decently recorded.



    New special features are included here. For your info (and this is a nice trend to see from Fox), all features are widescreen enhanced 1.78:1 so no resizing of the image is necessary on the consumer’s part).

    The first feature is an audio commentary from director Jeff Kanew who speaks with actors Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield and Curtis Armstrong. The commentary is a bit boring to be honest. There’s a lack of excitement among participants and Kanew runs the show. On the flipside, there’s lots of good information said on the making of this film. This is further enhanced with the featurette.

    I’m a Nerd and Pretty Proud of It (38m35s) is a collection of interview clips from the above commentators plus Julia Montgomery and Ted McGinley (who almost shamefully says he played the person he was during that time in his life). This featurette is Revenge of the Nerds in the making in 35 minutes. It’s a nice piece at a good length.

    The six deleted scenes run at almost nine minutes and are nicely transferred from film and are in good shape. It’s not presented like those horrid video-based ones. These could almost be inserted back into the film if it weren’t for the undersaturated image and lack of completed audio (it’s mostly dialogue with little effects/music).

    Also of interest is the ”Revenge of the Nerds” TV Pilot Episode that never took off. It’s virtually summing the whole movie into a 24-minute sitcom. A laughed at one part, but I can see why it failed…

    What else does this set include? How about the theatrical trailer and a 4 page nerdy insert.

    IN THE END...

    I can’t recommend buying this set for the movie only unless sold for $10-$12 (the price of two rentals), although the added features make it worthwhile for fans to make the upgrade.

    Michael Osadciw
    March 10, 2007.

    Michael Osadciw

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator

    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine

    #2 of 10 OFFLINE   Will_C


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    Posted March 10 2007 - 04:22 AM

    I was always a big fan of this movie, though I had to sneak in to watch it since I was too young when it came out. I picked up the new Atomic Wedgie collection (which includes the Panty Raid edition of Nerds 1) with all four Nerd movies from Target for $20. Couldn't find it at Best Buy or Circuit City, but I believe I got a really good deal. Plan to enjoy the Pi here pretty soon!
    Rick Hunter
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    "If you run, you'll only die tired."

    #3 of 10 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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    Posted March 15 2007 - 07:50 AM

    Thought I'd mention this: some reviewers claim the "Panty Raid" DVD offers the same transfer as the 2001 release, but that's not the case. The 2001 DVD's print was much dirtier than this one's image. The new transfer isn't great, but it's a step up from the old one. I also think the new DVD offers a different 2.0 soundtrack. The "Panty Raid" disc sounds less broad - it's more mono, though the old one wasn't exactly a dynamic soundfield. It sounds a little better, though...
    Colin Jacobson

    #4 of 10 OFFLINE   TonyTone


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    Posted March 19 2007 - 06:26 AM

    Thanks for the review!

    FWIW--Best Buy currently has it on sale this week for $10; Fry's also has it on sale for $10 through this Tuesday. OTOH--$20 at Target for all four Nerds movies (including the Panty Raid edition) is a great bargain IMHO...if you're a ROTN fan, that is. Posted Image

    #5 of 10 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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    Posted March 19 2007 - 08:11 AM

    this was R? clearly my immature self was robbed of the 'full' enjoyment of the movie by the strictures of basic cable so many years ago...

    I may have to watch this on dvd now. Posted Image

    #6 of 10 OFFLINE   Kenneth English

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    Posted March 21 2007 - 03:19 AM

    Just wondering: Wasn't this originally going to be called the "We've Got Bush Edition"?

    I'd have loved to have seen that on store shelves. Posted Image Someone at Fox must have finally spoken up and clued the marketing department in on what exactly "We've got bush" actually means...

    Makes me giggle just thinking about it. Posted Image

    #7 of 10 OFFLINE   AlexF


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    Posted March 21 2007 - 03:32 AM

    Yep. Now, interestingly enough, the actual DVD in the box set version released in Canada is still called the "We've Got Bush Edition", while the box (and slipcover) are the "Panty Raid" edition. Not sure if it's that way with the other versions or releases.

    #8 of 10 OFFLINE   Dave H

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    Posted March 21 2007 - 06:15 AM

    Michael, Has Fox said anything about a Blu-ray version coming out anytime soon?

    #9 of 10 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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    Posted March 26 2007 - 02:09 PM

    I just watched this for the first time ever, and was surprisingly entertained, even if the ending was a bit of a let-down. It's interesting to see Anthony Edwards notable by his absence in the modern-day featurette. What boggles the mind is that this movie was from 1984 and he pulls off the nerd role so well, yet two years later he also successfully plays a hot-shot fighter jock (even if he's a RIO and not the front-seat driver) in Top Gun. Combining the two, I guess that's why he could play Mark Green on ER so well, both nerdy yet cool and good at what he did under fire. And was Julie Montgomery 'separated at birth' from Jessalyn Gilsig? While watching I had the nagging feeling I'd seen Julie in other movies, checking IMDB showed a rather limited CV and nothing after 1994, then I realised that she was nearly the spitting image of Gilsig -- or rather, Gilsig is the spitting image of Montgomery, given that Julie is the elder.

    #10 of 10 OFFLINE   Jonathon M

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    Posted March 28 2007 - 12:23 AM

    Does this version have the brief footage cut between when Lewis finds the house, and when he walks to it. It was cut because the phone number displayed on the signpost was not a 555-xxxx number, and was therefore real.

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