After years of being stuck in movie purgatory The Knights of Badassdom is finally available on VOD, DVD, and Blu Ray. We first heard about this movie at Comic Con in 2011. The trailer and cast panel got rave reviews, but the release date was shrouded in mystery.
According to a complaint posted on Ripoffreport.com, the movie’s production company was trying to form a shell company to release the film without paying the original financial backers. I guess that’s all been sorted out, because the movie is out now and it’s fantastic.
A comedy horror love letter to the LARPing community, starring Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage, and Summer Glau, The Knights of Badassdom does not disappoint. Ryan Kwanten plays Joe, a down on his luck mechanic/Doom Metal singer who lives with Zahn (Eric) and Dinklage (Hung) in Zahn’s castle. Yeah I said castle, the movie makes reference to Zahn being an accidental millionaire, but never explains the accident. It’s not important. What is important is that after being dumped by his girlfriend Dinklage and Zahn convince him to chug whiskey and do bong rips until he passes out.
Joe wakes up in the Kingdom of Eliphaz just before the Battle of Evermore, or the local state park depending on who you talk to, where Hung and Eric talk him into participating in the game to take his mind off his ex. Jimmi Simpson is forever creepy as Ronny the gamemaster, an uber nerd who has it out for Joe because of a D&D transgression. Summer Glau plays Gwen, the token hot chick who is only there because of her cousin’s incident at Medieval Times. Her “+3 Ass of Perfection” keeps Joe’s mind off of his ex. Dinklage is great as the shroomed out, duel sword wielding knight, Hung. Which is a great name for a dwarf character. The subtle humor in his performance cracks me up.
Even as geek culture has gone mainstream, LARPers remain a scorned group, mocked as being childish. For those who are unfamiliar LARP stands for Live Action Role Play. To paraphrase Steve Zahn’s character it’s live action Dungeons and Dragons. The tongue in cheek way the film handles LARPing is great. It’s funny without making fun of the pastime.
The meat of the story revolves around Zahn’s character wanting to become a level 27 Grand Sorcerer. He finds a book on eBay he thinks is a joke, but is really an ancient book for summoning demons. It’s not the Necronomicon, but a Bruce Campbell cameo would have been sick. While Eric is performing a “spell” he accidently brings a succubus into the world which takes the form of Joe’s ex-girlfriend and goes on a killing spree. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it involves an over the top doom metal song and Hung fighting the demon.
This movie is glorious, all of the actors give great performances and suspension of disbelief is never lost. The special effects are great for an indie film with no budget. At 85 minutes the movie is a little short, but flows really well. It doesn’t seem rushed at all. It’s available on VOD from all the regular sources. I declare if thou watchest this fantasy, thou shalt verily be entertained.