So let's take a poll: Of all of the guys who read this blog, how many of you have pictured the woman who just dumped you as an evil, heart-eating, soul-sucking demon? Have you ever wished for revenge? Have you ever decided to chuck it all and run off and spend some time with your friends and do what they do for a weekend? Yeah, me too. That's why I liked Knights of Badassdom. It doesn't get much closer to that "just got dumped, need some distraction" feeling. If they go a bit further than what was desired then that's where the fun comes in.
Now, if anyone thinks that I base my reviews off of "artistic merit" and "literary quality" then my positive review of this movie will quickly disabuse them of that notion. This movie is an unapolagetic popcorn flick that features LARPers, drinking, blood, gore and some well delivered one liners. They're my favorite kind of one liners too: Guys talking trash to each other. The movie also includes some labeling of things seen on-screen for added humor effect. The "fight" against the ape things is pretty epic as well.
Yes, the movie is about LARPing. No, I've never done the kind of LARPing that is seen in the movie (I have done a bit of something similar based on the old How to Host a Murder games) but I had no trouble at all following the jargon of the LARPers. Anyone who has any experience at all with any type of roleplaying games will pick it up in no time flat. Trust me, watching a +3 mace get run over in a driveway is something that any old-school D+D player will instantly groan over and the story of the syphilitic paladin is one that I really want to know more about. It's a great piece of backstory that had me rolling.
There are a couple of really epic plot twists (one of which I already let out) that keep things moving along well. Things tend to be well foreshadowed without being totally predictable. The special effects are freaking awesome except where they really need to be tacky. Trust me, when you're talking about the kind of special effects that are produced by a couple of guys at a LARP tournament, they NEED to be tacky. Then again, when someone's heart gets ripped out, it looks like a heart being ripped out. My understanding is that this was a low budget film. I was worried that the SFX would be terrible, but they looked sweet. Also, I'm going to give this movie props just for the title: Knights of Badassdom just sounds awesome.
There were a couple of problems with this flick. I honestly could have done without the drug usage. Maybe I'm just being a prude and I will grant that this is a movie that was never intended for children. I still feel like the movie would have worked as well without it. This wasn't a movie about drug dealers/users per se and it wasn't really necessary. There was a monster toward the end that could have looked better. I don't want to give too much away here, but I thought it looked like a fat foam creature. None of that is unforgivable, especially in a low budget film.
I want to take a second to talk about the soundtrack as well. I'm not going to downgrade the score of the movie for this, but the music wasn't really my cup of tea. I'm a hip hop head and the MC in the movie was a Doom Metal singer (as opposed to Death Metal or Black Metal) as described in the movie. Some of you will enjoy the music, some won't. It's not a vital or overdone part of the plot at all, but I thought I'd bring it up as an FYI.
Bottom Line: 4.75 out of 5 massacred LARPers.
Knights of Badassdom
Entertainment One, 2014