Role playing gamers tend to take their games seriously and seriously immerse themselves in the fictional worlds they are involved in. When it comes to Live Action Role Playing (LARPing), the players act out their parts fully and get even further invested when they attend gatherings with other likeminded players. But what would happen if an actual demon invaded one of these medieval war games? That is the premise for the satyrical film Knights of Badassdom.
Knights of Badassdom stars many genre and character actors in the woods to prepare for The Battle of Evermore. Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyer’s Club, That Thing You Do) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) play friends who take their recently dumped friend and doom metal singer Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) to a large LARP to take his mind off it, but Zahn brings along an old book he bought online that summons a demon that the LARPers must battle. At the battleground, they meet such people as Danny Pudi (Community), “the hot chick” Summer Glau (Firefly, Arrow) and the gamemaster Jimmi Simpson (House of Cards, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter).
In the Knights of Badassdom, it becomes very satirical and comedic, but never at the expense of insulting the characters or viewer. Having played role playing games and live action rolepayed years ago, I’m familiar with situations similar to the ones portrayed in the movie (without the fatalities). It is entertaining to see scenarios like ones I played in the past. While the movie does take the piss out of the characters, it’s never done in a mean way or in a way that cruelly mocks those people who choose to partake in these past times.
While Knights of Badassdom will not be among the annals of classic comedies, it is a very funny film that will likely become a cult classic among anyone who has ever played a role playing game or LARPed will definitely enjoy this film. I look forward to sharing it with my geeky RPG friends and showing them the fun contained within.