So, I’m watching Revenge of the Nerds today at work and things started to pop out at me. I know the movie is full of things that would piss off a film elitist like myself and I have seen the movie literally about 40 times in my life. Its a movie I have always loved, mainly because I grew up as a nerd and it was hella funny.
When I finally went to college I was expecting life to be like it was in this movie. Little did I know that Dead Man On Campus was as close as it came, sans the awesome dorm, good looking-adult-looking friends, endless parties and such. But I digress.
I(f you aren’t familiar with the film…When lovable nerds Gilbert and Lewis embark on their freshman year at Adams College, little do they realize the perils that await them. They’re beset with taunting by the jocks of Alpha Beta fraternity, which only worsens when the jocks accidentally burn down their house and are forced toss the freshmen out of the freshmen dorm. To make matters more problematic, Lewis develops a crush on pretty Betty Childs, popular sorority sister and quarterback’s girlfriend. Joined by the aptly named Booger and the violin-playing Pointdexter, the nerds soon realize they must form their own fraternity in self-defense. Soon the tables are turned as the nerds employ high-tech warfare against the jocks…. but can they really win and make a difference?
Although the film may be a pretty cheesy movie there was some obvious intelligent design going into the creation of logos for the film. Mainly the logo designs for the frat houses the characters belong to in the film. There are three major frat houses in the film: the villain house, Alpha Beta; the hero house, Lambda Lambda Lambda; and the hot chick house, Pi Alpha Pi. Let’s take a look at their logos and see what they represent.
The Villains – Alpha Beta
Pretty simple, right? Alpha Beta. The shirts in the movie was a simple A and B. Why is this awesome?Because the Alpha Beta house is portrayed as dumb jocks who can barely get by without a party, a few kegs, and little thinking. In short, these guys are to be seen as just plain dumb. So why does this type of design work? Because it’s the first two letters in the fucking alphabet…
making it easy enough for anyone to understand. Even Orge.
The Heroes – The Lambdas
Let’s take a quick look at the symbol above. You have three lambda Greek symbols in the shape of a pyramid. The pyramid is the strongest architectural shape known to man. ” The strongest bridge known in architecture is a truss bridge. It is made of triangles. When you push anywhere on a triangle, it either contracts or expands(tries and fails) instead of bending.” This idea gives us the elemental basics of knowing these are the stronger people in the film.
The next symbolizing effect is the 3 arrows, seen in military use through out time.
And finally, something that was not intentional. The symbol of the Lambdas looks awfully similar to something else in geek culture. Doesn’t it remind you of something?
Now, I understand that Revenge of the Nerds came out prior to Zelda. The Legend of Zelda, the first game of the series, was first released in Japan on February 21, 1986, on the Famicom, so this was not a refernce, but it’s pretty hard not to see. Perhaps the developers of Zelda saw Nerds and wanted to give a nod to it. Or perhaps, the design is again, the strongest architectural design known to man.
And playing Legend of Zelda really angers non-nerds. Even though they can read the two button on the original NES controller because it was A and B, simple enough if all you have to do is look down at your shirt and know what those funny symbols mean, but then there’s the whole little people inside your TV moving around shooting things with a sword. This angers the non-nerd.
ARRGGH! It’s dangerous to go alone!! Take this!!
The Hot Chick House – Pi Alpha Pi
These girls started off in the pocket of the Alpha Beta’s, completely siding with them on all accounts against the Lambdas. In short, they were bitches. Here is their logo.
And while the term “Pi” was talked about in a vaginal sense, their logo design only enforces the concept. Look at the logo again… doesn’t that look like two legs with a triangle in the middle?
“That’s my Pi.”