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The quest for the ultimate geek movie

Nicole Bremer Nash considered two films as contenders for her pick as the ultimate geek movie. Find out what movie she thinks every geek must see.

We asked several Geekend contributors to write about the game, book, comic, and movie an aspiring geek must play/read/watch. In the first installment in the series, Edmond Woychowsky shares his pick for the ultimate geek game.

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The question was put to me: What is the ultimate geek movie? It's a rather open question, depending on how you look at it. So, what is the one movie that every self-respecting geek must see? The quest was set before me; I had to find the answer.

Evil Dead II was seriously considered. Every card-carrying geek I know has seen it dozens of times, and who can really argue about Bruce Campbell's nearness to Godliness? Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel pull off a combination of horror and comedy that quickly turned into a cult classic. But this movie lacks a certain I-don't-know-what, and I just couldn't bring myself to give it that most prestigious title.

So the quest continued. I asked every respected geek I know for their opinions. Entire IT departments spent days sidetracked by my quest. Summer turned to fall....

Then I had the answer I sought. My pick for the ultimate geek movie is Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail. As a certain geek I know exclaimed, "Every true geek can have an entire conversation just by quoting it!" Too true. I had pinpointed the ultimate geek movie, and there was much rejoicing.

Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail follows King Arthur and the knights of the round table as they travel on a quest from God to find the Holy Grail. The movie is hilarious, down to small details like knocking coconuts together to make it seem like the characters are riding horses. If you get the DVD, there is even an extra on the second disc with tips on how to mimic horse riding at home, and other uses for any coconuts that you may find lying around.

Added to the general humor is a hearty dose of Monty Python sarcasm and social commentary. In watching, we learn important things, like the idea that "Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a government." We learn the correct answer to the question, "What is the air speed velocity of an un-laden swallow?" (Correct answer: African or European?) We learn to be wary of seemingly harmless bunny rabbits. Perhaps most importantly, we learn the horrors of being told, "Ni."

One of the attributes that makes Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail the ultimate geek movie are all the quotable one-liners. My geeky friends frequently recite these lines, "No you can't, it is too perilous" or "Five is right out!" And what geeky Tim has never introduced himself by saying, "There are some who call me...Tim?"

So, is the quest complete? Is Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail the true ultimate geek movie? Can you possibly argue that this movie's humorous wit, biting sarcasm, and social commentary, combined with a high quotability rate are overshadowed by another film? If so, I suppose I'll have to get my coconuts back out and continue the search for the Holy Grail of geek movies.

(Note: After we publish all installments of the series, we'll feature some members' geek profiles with their "ultimate" selections.)

About

Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conduct...

196 comments
sharrison
sharrison

"come see the violence in the system!"

Belfast12
Belfast12

Yes! I can recite the whole movie and keep myself entertained for hours - my radio programme is called 'And Now for Something Completely Different' opening with the Python's Flying Circus theme music. Mother, father, all I want to do is sing...

One-ness
One-ness

NIRVANA - So few have seen and appreciated this incredible 1997 flick. Get Blade Runner, Matrix and Tron, mix them together and you can get a hint of what Nirvana is all about. An italian bizarre, brilliant director called Gabriele Salvatores and Christopher Lambert, yes, the weird weird Lambert, and some great italian actors make this mind-blower a MUST SEE! ZARDOZ - John Boorman?s fantastic 1970?s flick with a post 007 Sean Connery and Charlott Rampling. What a geek feast to the eyes and mind. Low budget and high creativity. It starts out really "kitschy" but jumps up to the highest imaginative carnival of ideas and sights ever. Another MUST SEE!

cbeez
cbeez

"The Incredible Mr Limpet" starring Don Knotts looking his geekiest is the ultimate "fish out of water" movie. He was a man who always wanted to be a fish. One day he falls into the ocean, transforms into a fish, becomes a World War II hero, and lives happily ever after with Lady Fish. I love this movie.

jtankard
jtankard

Weird Science: "So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?"

fortinw4
fortinw4

hello! come on everyone knows this is the ultimate geek movie.. in fact if you look up the word "geek" in the dictionary there is a picture of Anthony Michael Hall next to it ;)

martin.reading
martin.reading

Im amazed noone has mentioned Lord Of The Rings... Sure I know its mainstream but true geeks will have read the books several times and will dwell on all the subplots and ponder the langauges of the Elves and the entire world created of Middle Earth by Tolkien...

santeewelding
santeewelding

You go down the garden path led by the superintending.

npman5
npman5

I think that there is no single ultimate geek movie but that it is a pantheon, like the Greek gods. The pantheon that I am making is only movies that I have seen and being only 20 there will probably be some gaps. Anyway, here is my list for some of the ultimate geek movies. Tron, and this one is the Zeus of the group in my mind but that is IMHO The Matrix Starwars Army of Darkness Real Genius Space Balls Hitchhiker's Guide Star Trek (11) iRobot and... There are probably a lot of things i have omitted because I am too young. Oh well

fmzamora
fmzamora

I can't believe a waded through all these and came to the end only to find that the Men In Black hadn't been listed.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

that [i]Good Will Hunting[/i] doesn't show up in these threads? All that Math? Gotta be a geek flick.

iheatseekeri
iheatseekeri

... Terry Gilliam. Time Bandits ("Oh, so that's what an invisible barrier looks like.") Brazil ("Mistakes? We don't make mistakes.") Baron Munchausen ("I'm sorry. You must refer to me by my complete title: King of Everything. Rei di Tutto. But you may call me Ray.") Sure not as quotable as Monty Python or Princess Bride, but geek worthy all of them.

steve
steve

"Strange women lying ABOUT in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a SYSTEM OF government."

addinall
addinall

Being a very old geek, and an ex DoD contratcer, I would suggest "Falling Down" as a Geek classic. Some days can just fuck you up. Yanno ;-)

pizrround
pizrround

Don't forget Office Space and Idiocracy.

ugek
ugek

that's a good one!

ugek
ugek

"ummm yeah...I will need thos TPP reports ASAP..."

dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

Revenge of the Nerds -- "Bush, we have bush!" The LotR trilogy. Any of the Harry Potter movies. Animal House -- "Look at me! I'm a pimple!" "Toh-GAH! Toh-GAH!" Ghostbusters -- "Who you gonna call?" Blues Brothers -- "We're on a mission from God." Cannonball Run -- "This is Buford T. Justice..." "This is a job for -- dah, dah, dah -- Captain Chaos!" Along with many others that are too numerous to list in this space.

qzh00k
qzh00k

I disagree with the question, but thanks for the fish. How about ulitmate geek porn? Flesh Gordon

dukethepcdr
dukethepcdr

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is funny in places. It has the misfortune of having been made back in the 70's when so many film makers thought it was a good idea to have long lulls inbetween the funny or exciting parts, especially in European films. Fast forward through those bits and the rest is funny. I like some of the Lego versions I've seen on YouTube too. My pick would be Star Trek The Wrath of Kahn. What true geek doesn't like Star Trek? Especially the movies. Star Trek: The Voyage Home is a close second choice for it's humour, but it's hard to beat the great Ricardo Montablan's portrayal of the madman hell-bent on getting revenge on Kirk. KAAAAAAAHN!!!!!!!!

progan01
progan01

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dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

You know, Sly Stallone firing his machine gun into the crowd yelling, "Frankenstein, I'll give you Frankenstein!" Get that old woman crossing the street, she's worth 100 points!

Desert Rose
Desert Rose

Revenge of the Nerds should definitely be considered.

george.jenkins
george.jenkins

Yes! References to this awesome movie are found everywhere and each new generations geeks are quoting lines from this timeless film. "Black Knight", "bring out your dead", "I'm being oppressed", "I'm not dead yet", "what's your favorite colour", and others are just part of a geek conversation.

gwd3
gwd3

But my second favorite geek movie is Office Space, followed by and this one is should be on every geek's list...drum roll...Galaxina (come on, it's way more geeky than Evil Dead II).

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

There's something seriously wrong with the world.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I'd definitely agree that WS is a geek movie. It opens with two sexless social misfits using a computer to create the woman of their dreams, couldn't get much geekier than that, especially for the 80's! [i]"You know, there's going to be sex, drugs, rock-n-roll... chips, dips, chains, whips... You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I'm not talking candlewax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals. [/i] "From my heart and from my hand Why dont people understand My intentions . . . . oooh, weird . . . . Weird science!!"

mfvinci
mfvinci

Who here would not have loved to have been the first to use the DEATH BLOSSOM?!!! I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you all... The Last Starfighter... made me run for my nearest video game and keep plugging quarters. AND he got the hottie girl, Mags.

aubreylove1962
aubreylove1962

Short Circuit - this one I just like, Hackers - The OS on the computers is so fake and they talk about technology in the 14.4 bps time frame but the hacks are good hacks. You just have to include War Games. I remember having a voice box like that on my Commadore Vic20 back in the day. Say, what ever happened to the Risk OS?

metilley
metilley

The cool thing about this movie is that Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy are still alive and could make a really cool sequel!

SysAn63
SysAn63

...I thought Buford T. Justus was from the Smoky & The Bandit Movies? "Fred? Hold onto yer Azz Son!"

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I know you're looking. I said no text!

madion
madion

War dialing (not "driving"). Back doors. Gaining access to NORAD. Gotta love it.

jyoung
jyoung

Oh Man... I'm feeling the years now.

davids021
davids021

Gamer?!? (I know it s not out yet :P )

dpresley_50201
dpresley_50201

I didn't like that movie because it deviated so much from Robert Heinlein's characters in the book. John Rico (Juan Rico in the book) is Philippine and his love interest is from India who keeps her head clean shaven. Neither are Caucasian as portrayed in the movie. I found a number of other discrepancies as well. the movie didn't hold my interest for very long.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

...you are right. Prophetic movie, that.

Realvdude
Realvdude

If we are going into the realm of Hackers or The Net, then Sneakers would be my pick. Can't argue with the choice for the cast or the image of a blind man driving a panel van via radio instructions.

DNSB
DNSB

My daughter agrees with you on Short Circuit and Hackers but would also like to add The Net. Personally, I viewed The Net as a comedy of errors. I liked Hackers -- how could I dislike a movie with Angelina Jolie? Short Circuit was, well, cold pancakes and no honey, IMHO. Wargames was fun but left me with the desire to purchase a high speed (9600+) acoustic coupled modem. At the time it came out, I was involved with doing some work for a company that had created their own OS (a CP/M clone) running on their Z8000 SBC. The source files were not all that large but copying them back and forth was slower than molasses. Pretty much a dead end product with assembler and Forth as the two programming languages available.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Although Cannonball Run had its own quotable moments: "What about a black trans-am? No, that's been done!" "Well, hello there, Hotpants! Now, you wouldn't happen to have a drivers license tucked down in there, would you? "

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

and Raping Robots. Ow my arse. Great movie!

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

At the time, I thought this movie was one of, if not the, biggest wastes of decent special effects in movie history.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

I have just finished watching the trilogy, and I have to say that this series (ok, you can skip #2, but #1 and 3 are a must see) is one of the geekiest pieces of film I have ever seen. I wish I had found them earlier, but the title put me right off and I somehow missed the Heinlein book. I have heard that the movies are not true to the book, but so what .. take the movies on their own merit. I'm not sure that any book could portray such cheesy, plastic acting, and as for the song 'It's a good day to die', you really need to hear it. I made the mistake of trying to find some intelligence in the original, but soon realised that I was wasting my time. If you like 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', this to me is of similar cult status (plastic characters, nonsensical story background, corny predictable scenes and made for adults), except that it looks like a lot more money was spent on Starship Troopers. A B-Movie film with loads of money splashed out on making it thoroughly enjoyable ride. You don't take your brain to a fairground, you won't need it for this ride either, unless you really want to think about the subtleties behind some of the lines. End of review.