Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
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|Revenge of the Nerds II:
Nerds in Paradise
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joe Roth|
|Produced by||Ted Field
Robert W. Cort
|Written by||Dan Guntzelman
by Tim Metcalfe
|Music by||Mark Mothersbaugh
Gerald V. Casale
|Edited by||Richard Chew|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$30.1 million|
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise is the 1987 sequel to the 1984 comedy Revenge of the Nerds. Its cast featured most of the main actors from the earlier film, including Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards (in a smaller role), Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott, Timothy Busfield, Donald Gibb, and Andrew Cassese. This film also provided an early starring role for Courtney Thorne-Smith. Other cast members include Bradley Whitford, Ed Lauter, and Barry Sobel.
One of the movie trailers parodies the trailer of Poltergeist II: The Other Side where they pan the inside of a house, then the phone rings, and the person sitting in the chair facing away from the camera picks up, then the person turns to reveal its Heather O'Rourke's character, Carol-Ann, who says "They're Back." In the Nerds version, Robert Carradine's character, Lewis, turns and says "We're Back!" and does his infamous nerd laugh. 38 Special provided the title track "Back To Paradise".
The Lambda Lambda Lambdas from Adams College are packing their suitcases to get ready for a national fraternity convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Just before heading to the airport, Lewis' (Robert Carradine) best friend Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) explains to him that he feels stupid that he cannot come, due to breaking his leg (during a chess match).
After the group arrive at Fort Lauderdale and head to the Royal Flamingo Hotel, a trainee named Sunny (Courtney Thorne-Smith) informs Lewis that their reservation is canceled and has been given to the Alpha Betas. The Royal Flamingo acting manager (Ed Lauter) explains to Sunny that they do not want nerds staying in this hotel. The Tri-Lambs also meet Stewart (Barry Sobel), a geeky bellboy at the hotel who is also friends with Sunny. Poindexter finds another (albeit dilapidated) hotel called the Hotel Coral Essex, located in a shady neighborhood, and makes their reservation there. Roger (Bradley Whitford), the president of the local chapter of Alpha Betas (and chairman of the regional conference) is seen planning with his fellow jocks to get rid of the Tri-Lambs by any means necessary. Furthermore, Ogre (Donald Gibb) is revealed to be at the conference, scheming with Roger and the Alphas.
The Lambdas arrive at the Florida swamplands hoping to attend the United Fraternity pre-conference barbecue. They take the wrong way (intentionally given wrong directions by Roger) and see a group of Seminole Indians capture an Indian maiden and throw her into a flame (an act concocted by the Alphas to humiliate the Tri-Lambs into leaving the conference). They are captured and forced to strip to their underwear, until Poindexter (Timothy Busfield) tests their ethnicity by yelling "Bite my crank" at them in Seminole, to which no one responds. They're chased off by Ogre, and forced to make their way across town back to their hotel in their underwear.
The next day, Roger announces a new bylaw to be voted upon by the conference; "Proposition 15", a rule that would require physical as well as academic standards to be met by all members of the conference. Before Lewis can make any argument against the proposition, he is co-opted by a wet-nightie contest happening poolside. The Lambdas decide to beat the Alphas at their own game and throw a party at the Hotel Coral Essex. The neon sign outside the hotel is deliberately broken (so that it reads "HOTel cORAL esSEX"), which draws people for miles. The Tri-Lambs (along with Stewart) perform a rock/rap "No On 15" song outside of the Hotel Coral Essex, winning over the crowd, and Prop 15 is voted down the next morning. At this time, Roger, seemingly sincere, expresses a desire to make peace once and for all with the Tri-Lambs, and to that end he proposes a bylaw stating that any fraternity found to be guilty of a crime will be expelled from the national conference and their charter revoked. The Lambdas, satisfied that the Alphas now cannot attack them without being expelled from the conference, accept their offer of friendship and their luxurious hotel suite at the Royal Flamingo. Roger encourages Sunny to grab a couple of girls and take the Tri-Lambs to the beach in his car. Wormser is able to procure alcohol at a liquor store, despite being under-age, using a fake ID proclaiming he is an admiral in the Navy. While on the beach Sunny and Lewis get to know and like each other. Unfortunately, Roger has reported his car stolen, and the Lambdas are arrested.
Stewart and Sunny bail the Tri-Lambs out of jail. Sunny apologizes and tries to explain that she knew nothing of Roger's plan, but Lewis doesn't believe her. Before she can explain, The Alpha Betas kidnap the Tri-Lambs along with Sunny and dump them on an uninhabited island. Disgusted by Roger's actions, Sunny jumps overboard. When they realize Ogre cannot be trusted to keep his mouth shut, they also throw him into the water, despite the fact that he cannot swim. Upon seeing Ogre drowning, Wormser jumps into the ocean and rescues him, though he is seemingly ungrateful. After smoking some of the weed Booger discovered on the island, Ogre and the others realize he is not so different from them after all. As the group sleeps Lewis has a dream about Gilbert, who explains to him that all is not lost and implores Lewis not to give up. He also points out that Lewis is acting like a jerk to Sunny, who is stranded with him on this island by choice. This helps give Lewis the confidence he needs to apologize to Sunny for his behavior and to try to find a way off the island.
The next morning The Tri-Lambs, using their combined intelligence and ingenuity, find a Cuban military officer's hidden cache of military supplies, including an amphibious vehicle. Meanwhile, at the conference, Roger is presiding over the vote to expel the Tri-Lambs, when, decked out in military gear, they literally crash the conference, driving right through the conference room wall, then chase the attendees out to the pool. Roger is unfazed and tries to continue to have the Lambdas voted out for stealing his car, until Sunny reveals that Roger set them up and kidnapped them. Roger states that it doesn't matter since he will always be cool, popular, and good-looking and the Lambdas will always be weird, different, and pathetic, and that there's nothing they can do or say about it. Lewis takes a moment and quietly agrees with Roger, stating that there's nothing he can say, but that there is "something I've gotta do about it." and punches Roger in the jaw, knocking him into the pool. The fraternity Council favors the nerds, cheer for them and voted Roger and the Alphas out of the fraternity council and their charter for good.
Back at Adams College, in an induction ceremony, Ogre is sworn into Lambda Lambda Lambda as the newest member.
- Robert Carradine as Lewis Skolnick
- Anthony Edwards as Gilbert Lowe
- Curtis Armstrong as Dudley "Booger" Dawson
- Larry B. Scott as Lamar Latrelle
- Timothy Busfield as Arnold Poindexter
- Andrew Cassese as Harold Wormser
- Courtney Thorne-Smith as Sunny Carstairs
- Bradley Whitford as Roger Latimer
- Barry Sobel as Stewart
- James Cromwell as Mr. Skolnick
- Ed Lauter as Buzz
- James Hong as Snotty
- Donald Gibb as Fred "Ogre" Palowakski
- Tom Hodges as Tiny
- Jack Gilpin as Mr. Comstock
- Michael Fitzgerald as Pot Roast
This is the only Nerds film in which Betty does not appear (although a picture of her can be seen at the beginning of the film). Stan Gable, Takashi, and U.N. Jefferson do not appear. This is the last Nerds film to feature Poindexter. Although he is shown on the DVD cover of the fourth film, he is not seen nor mentioned in it. This is also the last Nerds film to include Anthony Edwards as Gilbert and Andrew Cassese as Wormser. Edwards did not like the script and was very reluctant to reprise his role, and only agreed to return when his scenes were scheduled to be filmed very quickly and without any location filming (the script was changed so Gilbert had a broken leg, which enabled Edwards to film almost all of his material in one session, and he spent a few days filming the scene where he appears in Lewis' dream and gets his best friend to focus on being a good guy and a leader of the nerds). They are played by other actors in the third film and stay offscreen in the fourth and final film.
At a 30th anniversary of the original film in 2014, Julia Montgomery (Betty) told that she was originally to have a part in Nerds II but eventually turned it down after learning that her only scene would involve Betty cheating on Lewis in a hotel room with another 'jock'. Montgomery felt that after falling in love with Lewis towards the end of Nerds, that it wasn't right that she would cheat on him with someone who was just like Stan Gable.
The film received a mostly negative reaction from critics. It currently holds a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews with the critical consensus "It reunites most of the original cast and rounds them up for a trip to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, but Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise forgets to pack enough jokes or compelling characters to make it through its 89-minute running time."
Despite the negative reviews, the film was a box office success.
- SF Sketchfest Revenge of the Nerds tribute
- "Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise". Washington Post. 1987-07-11. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. 1987-07-14. Retrieved 2010-12-28.