"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Posts Tagged ‘Curtis Armstrong’

Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation

Monday, August 8th, 2022

“They’re nerds. With their advanced knowledge of computers they can get any information they want!”


REVENGE OF THE NERDS is about as ‘80s of a movie as could exist. Raunchy sex comedy, fraternities, evil preppies, cartoonish nerd characters, gay stereotypes, Asian stereotypes, things that are now recognized as sex crimes played as fun hijinks, a part where they rap very badly. Those things weren’t entirely washed away by the new decade, but they became less common. You weren’t really gonna see many movies like that on the big screen anymore.

But that didn’t stop those vengeance hungry nerds from seeking further retribution on network television! I don’t remember being aware of this at the time, but REVENGE OF THE NERDS III: THE NEXT GENERATION aired at 8 pm July 13, 1992 on Fox. According to tvtango.com it rated lower than its competition: repeats of FBI: The Untold Stories, Evening Shade and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Also its last half hour overlapped with coverage of the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

The director is Roland Mesa, who had only previously directed an interview with Tim Burton about EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and only followed with a 1994 episode of Tales from the Crypt that was the first credit for Ethan Suplee. But it has the same writers as the theatrical movies, Steve Zacharias & Jeff Buhai. Guardians of the REVENGE OF THE NERDS saga. (read the rest of this shit…)

Better Off Dead

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

August 23, 1985

The success of movies like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and SIXTEEN CANDLES kicked off a wave of teen films in the ‘80s, but the ones that came out in the Summer of ’85 were not typical of the genre. Most of the season’s movies about high school kids involved some sort of fantastical element (BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE HEAVENLY KID, WEIRD SCIENCE, MY SCIENCE PROJECT – and I guess the younger GOONIES and EXPLORERS count too). The most straight ahead, down to earth teen movies were THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN and REAL GENIUS, neither of which were exactly standard issue.

And BETTER OFF DEAD is an even odder one. It has a pretty normal premise (high school kid gets depressed when his girlfriend dumps him for the captain of the ski team, thinks he can get her back by defeating said captain in a ski race), but it’s filtered through the distinct humor of first time writer/director Savage Steve Holland. Though I don’t personally hold it in nearly the same reverence, I think it has a little bit in common with PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, in that it’s a comedy with its own distinct tone and deadpan presentation of absurdity brought to us by a rookie whose ignorance about how to make a normal movie works as a strength. On a more superficial level, it uses little bits of animation (including stop motion), and jokingly applies thriller film techniques to silly things (for example, using horror movie synths and atmosphere whenever the paperboy shows up looking for his $2). Burton and Holland are also the same age, both went to CalArts, and both worked as animators before becoming live action directors (in Holland’s case creating the famous “Whammy” animations for the game show Press Your Luck). (read the rest of this shit…)