For fans of the seminal “Revenge of the Nerds,” this threequel is a satifying wrap-up of the nerds’ progress. Telepic unites stars from “Revenge” as well as the original scripters, and although the concept is no longer fresh, it provides some hearty, though rather far between, laughs. “Nerd” devotees will stick it through to the end although the uninitiated may not get past the first hour; or they may not just get it.
The nerds have taken over former jock factory Adams College and turned it into a geek paradise: The gym is now the computer science center and nerd freshmen Harold Skolnick (Gregg Binkley) and Ira Pupos (Richard Israel) revel in the fact that they will never have to take P.E. again.
The new Adams atmosphere is a direct result of Lambda Lambda Lambda’s leadership. In first pic, nerds Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) established fraternity Tri Lam and overcame persecution at the hands of jock house Alpha Beta to become campus leaders.
Now, Lewis is married to former jock g.f./cheerleader Betty and is a rich computer consultant desperately trying to forget his nerd past.
Plot turns on the nerd-framing actions of rich, sleazy alum Orrin Price (an appropriately cast Morton Downey Jr.), who hates what’s become of Adams and teams with Lewis’ college nemesis (and Betty’s ex-b.f.) Stan Gable (Ted McGinley) to overthrow the pacifistic, socially enlightened nerds.
But the nerds unite under Lewis, who re-discovers his true geek self, and save the day.
Scripters Steve Zacharias and Jeff Buhai stick to the themes and jokes that made the first pic fun, and although telefilm is called “The Next Generation,” focus stays on Lewis and his inner struggle : To be a nerd, or not to be.
Many sight gags are particularly hilarious, but script gets bogged down in flatness too many times. Some glaring holes in the plot may be forgiven, as they were in the first couple of pix. Cast, especially Carradine and Curtis Armstrong , reprising his “Booger” role, deliver humorous perfs.
One of the funniest new nerds is Steve Toyota (Henry Cho), a Korean who dresses like Elvis and affects a Southern accent–after all, he is from South Korea.
“Nerds III” is successful in providing light summer entertainment and a break from reruns. Production credits are tops.