Trailer Park: 300 vs. Revenge of the Nerds or: How To Embrace Your Inner Geek
Category: 300 News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: March 16, 2007 | Publication: Quick Stop Entertainment | Author: Christopher Stipp
Do you consider yourself a geek?
I ask only because there have been moments in the last week that seem to perfectly illustrate the idea of gripping that lingua franca of oddballs and about how some push it away as far as possible.
When you opened your newspaper, or clicked your way through Digg, on Monday morning the one piece of information which should be old news by now is 300's triumphant take at the box office over the weekend. It's success was never in doubt, just how much it was going to pull in was up to debate. I believe even the most aggressive pundits were short a few million in thinking how many people were going to show up to watch a bunch of dudes get all homosocial with one another and then go out to slaughter other humans. The story behind the story here is not so much its financial take but the way in which this movie moved from obscurity to full-on hype by the film's release.
It honestly started back in July of last year when Gerard Butler, Zack Snyder and the rest of the 300 crew showed up to try and create some momentum for the movie. What should have been a Meet-N-Greet turned into a love fest and it was all thanks to the bright lad at WB who thought, "Let's create the kind of preview that will leave people talking."
That was all that had to be thought up in order for this movie to have snowballed into the juggernaut it is today.
Where a lot of people, and by people I mean media hacks who want to lump every marketing campaign that uses the Internet as a means, not as an end, see viral marketing as a failed experiment that ended with the SNAKES ON A PLANE fiasco I can categorically state that the reason why SOAP failed was because it depended on GODZILLA-like ambiguity of its product.
There wasn't any way that those behind 300 did a little shuffle with their feet as the leached out just enough money shots, had those behind the film come out to embrace it and then followed-up with just small bursts of awareness campaigns that kept the movie in front of you, just not in front of every website and blog that would accept the marketing funds of a studio just hoping for a #1 bow.
So, what does this all have to do with REVENGE OF THE NERDS. Apart from the seemingly disparate time in which they were created and the kind of subject matter inherent in them, these movies show the power of support, support of the public variety.
I can understand that there are some actors that believe that participating isn't their bag and that the movie should be all that's important when it comes to the finished product but the funny thing about the Special Panty Raid Edition of NERDS has Curtis Armstrong, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield and the movie's director all providing a commentary track for the new DVD. Noticeably absent is ER's Anthony Edwards who, depending on what really happened, passed on the chance to put his personal stamp on a film that has really defined the nerd experience in the early 80's for a lot of people who grew up on this film. I can understand that Anthony just wants to forget this movie was what helped establish what would eventually become his empire but it's just disconcerting that Edwards would eschew this, being the one real hold-out from a cast that involves dudes who have went on to star in an Academy Award winning movie, a successful syndicated television show, an acclaimed television series that will forever provide a sweet royalty check and a director who, well, he made that one movie with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas that I didn't think completely sucked.
A movie of this comedic resonance deserved a Special Edition if for the only reason that as long as you thought something was funny about it years ago the movie still holds up as something that shouldn't be ashamed of, but embraced for what it is. It's great, real great, to see there were some of the pivotal people for NERDS that thought that, as puerile as it may be, it is what it is and so toss the geeks what they really want.
oint is, you have to admire guys who put on capes, acted in front of blue screens, brought a comic book to life and have no compunction about being proud for a movie that speaks to a large segment of the male population. You don't have to shout from the mountain about every piece of work you do but it's petty in a Sean Penn "I never want to talk about FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH" sort of way that's just glaring to witness. Whenever you take a check from someone you have to internalize it somehow, you obviously thought that trading your time for money was OK, and it was just plain great to see the men of this film just ignore the trappings that go along with what some think makes acceptable work of an actor and what does not.