Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fiction's Finest Nerds #37

There are nerds, and then there are über nerds. Elias from Clerks II is one of cinema's finest examples of the über nerd. Elias is played by Trevor Fehrman, an actor with only six acting credits on the IMDb. Clerks II being the last.

Elias is obsessed with the Transformers, and its then upcoming film, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is a virgin and comes from a strict religious background and believes his girlfriend has a "pussy troll" named Pillow-Pants that protects her from men's advances. Elias is Randall Graves' whipping boy, and bears the brunt of that character's misanthropy.

Elias is an excellent example of a nerd-on-nerd violence victim. He is outnumbered by Star Wars fans, and while Transformers and LotR are pretty lame in my book, he takes an extra helping of abuse. Randall and even Dante are at times the worst type of nerds, not noticing that their obsessions are just as stupid as differing obsessions. Ultimately you get the impression that Elias is gay, or is just trying so hard to fit in that he is the only one enjoying Dante's going away performance (if you have not seen the film, I won't spoil it here).

I am not a huge fan of Clerks II. I enjoy parts of it, but really think Kevin Smith was reaching too far into a tired subject here. Maybe he was out of creative gas, or he needed money to keep that not-so attractive wife happy, or maybe it was just ego or a lack of Twinkies®? Who knows? What I can say is that after Clerks II, Trevor Fehrman never appeared in anything else. I don't think it was because the film was panned, but because he pulled the job off too well. Elias was an unfortunately believable character. The most believable in the film, and I imagine he comes to represent a lot of the nerd-abuse that is a prevalent but little discussed part of nerd/geek culture. Perhaps he played it too well to get work as anything but Elias, or maybe the View Askew guys turned him off from doing film work all together? (they were pretty nasty to Linda Fiorentino in Dogma) Frankly, I'd like to see him again, and if I were making a film I'd find him a part.

No comments:

Post a Comment