If you are a geek or a nerd (a title you should wear with pride), it would be foolish to say that movies did not factor into that. Though the geek gene may be strong in many of us from birth, it is the event of seeing certain movies on-screen that help cement that geekdom and make us realize we truly are who we thought we were up to that point.
Though there are hundreds of geek movies to pull from, here are 6 influential geek movies that formed us into the (frankly, awesome) nerds we are today. Keep in mind, the meek inherited the earth, so this is a public declaration of success on our parts, while paying homage to the movies that helped us become this, proudly.
When it comes to geekdom and geek movies, none are quite as cool or as influential as the first three (which is to say, chronologically speaking, the second three) Star Wars films. From the special effects to the unforgettable characters, Star Wars essentially branded many of us as science fiction geeks the first time we saw it because we had never seen space represented so, well, for lack of a better word, badass-ly. 2001 was amazing for this, too, but a little too advanced for many of us, who were wee-children or not yet born when it came out.
Yet Star Wars had bleeping lightsabers. Star Wars had lasers that went PEW PEW PEW. Star Wars had bad guys who made you squirm in terror from the safety of your seat in the theater. It was all these things that had such a profound effect on so many of us.
Plus, robots. Robots always win nerds over.
Lord of the Rings
While it could be said that this film (and the next on the list) came to the party late as many of us were already fans of both series, doesn’t matter. What you need to take into account when you mention the Lord of the Rings series and geek movies is, this original trilogy ushered in a WHOLE NEW generation of nerds, who maybe never read the books and never knew how alluring (and scary) Middle-Earth was. Just the simple moment in the first movie with the Balrog was enough to make all fans drool and realize, the fantasy we imagined in our heads for so long CAN be put to film (which up to that point, seemed impossible).
Sadly, much like Star Wars above, Peter Jackson sucked some of the joy out of this series with the prequels, but that doesn’t make the originals any less important or memorable.
Another entry that came late to the party, we CANNOT undersell just what this book and movies series did for a new generation of nerds. Harry Potter was very much the Star Wars of the 2000’s in the sense that they showed a world to a bunch of young kids who immediately fell in love with, and as a result, were ushered into nerd-dom.
From wizards to spells to animal familiars and a roving cast of fist-shakingly despicable bad guys, the Harry Potter films took the books on step further by showing the world to many who were too lazy or unmotivated enough to pick up the (sometimes massive) books. That, alone, bred another generation of geeks. Basically ensuring the unending timeline of geeks, because we all know when geeks breed, they breed more geeks (which is an awesome thing for the whole world).
There is no single person alive who can say that, if they saw Goonies as a kid, they did not go into their attics afterward and break a picture hoping they would find a map. We ALL did it. That was this movie instilling the belief of the impossible in us. That was this movie showing us the impossible WAS possible. Many would think Indiana Jones would be here, but no. We watched Indiana Jones jealous of his awesome adventures. We watched The Goonies and realized, we could BECOME that adventurer. That changed everything for us.
Granted, none of us went on to actually FIND treasure (or a cool, sweet mutant who we could feed Baby Ruth candy bars to and be best friends with), but it lit that fire in us. And for many of us, and it has yet to go out.
Though this one is more fringe than the others on this list (meaning it is close to being not nerdy), it still makes the list if you really look at the long-reaching impact the film has had on nerd and pop culture overall. First off, its use of science is fun and caters to the way geeks think. Second, every guy in the movie is a geek (minus Bill Murray because he always plays awesome because that is what he is). Third, you have guys who bust ghosts with lasers. Sorry, but that screams geek.
On top of it, it did something really cool for a lot of nerds, too. A big part of being a geek can be getting picked on and being scared. Sad but true, I say this as one. Ghostbusters suddenly made ghosts fun and funny, which shifted how a lot of us felt about shutting off the lights at night.
Curious to see what the two reboots will do to this series. Fingers crossed.
You cannot mention a list of movies that helped form geeks into geeks and mention this anime classic that turned many of us onto a genre that would really change our lives and the lives of many nerds. No matter what you think, shows like Attack of Titan would NOT have the popularity they do worldwide right now if Akira hadn’t shown the world just how remarkable Japanese animation was.
On top of that, it deals with some incredibly lofty themes, and like our first entry, essentially features awesome powers of telekinesis. So, the force, yet again. Somehow, psychic powers always sucked us geeks right in.
So what geek movie helped form YOU into the wonderful nerd you are today? Take to our comments and let us know.