1991 / Director. Mark Steven Bosko & Wayne Alan Harold.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
REVENGE OF THE NERDS was already 7 years old by the time KILLER NERD was made. In fact REVENGE OF THE NERDS 3 was about the only other relevant "nerd" movie at the time (to my knowledge) and the whole nerdy well had all but dried up. But directors Mark Steven Bosko and Wayne Alan Harold weren't going to let that stop them and they gave the world one of the greatest SOV films of all time - KILLER NERD!
Harold Kunkle is a nerdy loner whose life is spent being beaten down by ridicule. With a yearning to be accepted, liked and loved he makes every effort to be good to others. Sadly his personal appearance and repelling personality only further isolate him from other people and when he reaches his breaking point he turns into a psychotic and merciless serial killer.
KILLER NERD is a super fun movie and one that's all too easily dismissed. Of course it's "bad" and unsuspecting movie-goers can be forgiven for ignoring it completely. However, for genre fans with a particular penchant for SOV, it is a witty and entirely deliberate exercise in merf that dishes up gnarly gore with a satirical sensibility. And for viewers who aren't able to identify the comedy as intentional, the movie offers a series of hilarious sketches, which interject and break the narrative into blocks. It is a movie that knows exactly what it wants to be and the onus is on the viewer to "get it".
The film stars Toby Radloff who rode his nerdiness as far as Hollywood where he played a prominent role in AMERICAN SPLENDOR alongside Paul Giamatti and THE OH IN OHIO with Danny Devito, Paul Rudd, Parker Posey and Liza Minelli. Having seen his other performances, as well as his real life persona, it's clear that his role in KILLER NERD was never too far removed from reality. He hams up his nerdiness for the film, understanding the whole el-cheapo nature of SOV, and completely nails it as far as I'm concerned. His wooden delivery and cliched caricature make the movie an obvious pastiche, which will (ironically) resonate more with the savviest of genre fans. This IS cult cinema!
It was followed up the following year with BRIDE OF KILLER NERD, which in the minds of most fans, is an even better movie. You can find them distributed by Troma Entertainment and they're not hard to find.