KILLER NERD is yet another example of a low-budget horror film in which the creativity largely stopped after the title was arrived at and most of the energy was expended on the publicity campaign.
Harold Kunkle (Toby Radloff) is a guy with problems. He's a hopeless nerd who's taunted by a pair of local toughs, Lee and T.J. (Tony Zanoni and Niko DePofi), given usless advice by his mother Helen (Virginia Scott), and haplessly tries to arouse the romantic interest of his co-worker Sally
(Heidi Lohr), who's more taken with the flashy, obnoxious Jeff (Richard Zaynor). A commercial for "Slick Dick's School of Cool" sparks Harold's interest, and he sends away for the series of "How to Be Cool" cassettes. After absorbing their lessons, he goes out for a makeover, then buys flowers for
Sally--but when he goes to her house, Harold is crushed to find that Jeff is already there. Seeking to drown his sorrows at a nearby nightclub, Harold is picked up by a couple of punk girls, Jenny and Lilac (Lori Scarlett and Elizabeth Quinn), who take him to see a couple of their friends.
Unfortunately, these friends turn out to be Lee and T.J., who promptly take him outside and beat him up. Now driven around the bend, Harold goes home, assembles an arsenal of weapons, and sets out for revenge. He decapitates Jeff and disfigures Sally with acid; pours drain cleaner down his
mother's throat and kills her with a clever; murders the two girls and abducts Lee and T.J. In his final act of retribution, Harold straps explosives to their heads, goes into the next room, and pushes down the plunger.
The idea of taking the REVENGE OF THE NERDS concept one step further isn't a bad one, but it's been unimaginatively worked out, and although Radloff (who perfected his nerd character through appearances on MTV) has a deadpan delivery that's different from most screen nerds, it quickly becomes
monotonous. The meager storyline takes forever to get to the gore that is its raison d'etre, and is padded out with lengthy scenes of Harold walking the streets, dancing in the nightclub and having strange hallucinations.
Although there is a fairly effective atmosphere of corrupted suburbia to parts of the film, the filmmaking style that has differentiated some other low-budget horror films is completely lacking here. The cinematography is of the nail-the-camera-to-the-floor variety, and there's no tension to any
of the long-in-coming horrific sequences, which chiefly rely on a collection of sloppy makeup effects. Though unconvincing, the blood and guts scenes are really the only purpose of the movie, which is concerned solely with setting up its human bowling pins and knocking them down. The story is so
empty that it doesn't really end; it just runs out of people to kill. (Violence, profanity, nudity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: NR
- Review: KILLER NERD is yet another example of a low-budget horror film in which the creativity largely stopped after the title was arrived at and most of the energy was expended on the publicity campaign. Harold Kunkle (Toby Radloff) is a guy with problems. He's… (more)