Do you now, or did you ever, own your own bowling shoes, take accordion lessons, sleep in your socks, win a prize at the science fair or button your collar up to your Adam's apple?
If the answer's yes, then you are part of a new persecuted minority (just when we were about to run out, too). You're a nerd. But now it's time to Save the Nerds, Brake for Nerds, and Honk If You Believe in Nerds.
Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, in their poly pants with static cling, lead the "Revenge of the Nerds," a spirited collegiate comedy pitting a gang of oddballs against an elite fraternity. If you've seen "Porky's," "Animal House," "D.C. Cab," or "Police Academy," you've seen "Nerds." And if you liked the prototypes, you'll like the latest of the genre, low humor and all -- belching, mooning, panty raids, peeping at girls and booger jokes.
The plot is unencumbered by complexity: The nerds are ridiculed by a nerd-baiting fraternity of jocks, so they form their own fraternity. The Tri Lambs triumph, thanks to their national sponsors, a black fraternity, and their newly found spunk.
Besides Carradine and Edwards, two handsome guys extraordinarily effective in real role reversals, there's a 12-year-old computer whiz, a gay black, a befuddled Japanese and a legally-blind genuis who looks like a young Menachem Begin. Curtis Armstrong turns in the strongest performance as Booger, a nasal compulsive. (Last summer, his comedy sparked "Risky Business," in which he played Tom Cruise's best friend and sexual adviser.)
"Nerds" is erratic -- more gags work than don't, but more situations don't work than do. There are some great throwaway lines like, "We arrested him for mopery . . . exposing himself to a blind man."
"Nerds," a first film from Interscope Communications, is definitely summer-weight consumption, but it has a moral that should make a lot of us feel better about ourselves. "We have news for the beautiful people," says Carradine. "There are more of us than you. No one is ever going to be free till nerd persecution ends."
REVENGE OF THE NERDS -- At area theaters.