Monday, April 7, 2014

LARP DVD Double Feature: Lloyd The Conqueror & Knights Of Badassdom

This past week, I bought and watched two movies, both dealing with a very narrow genre: the "live-action-role-playing action film." One movie, "Knights of Badassdom," has been in the works for a while, and is a title I had seen discussed and bandied about on the Interwebs off and on. The other film, "Lloyd the Conqueror," is one I stumbled across quite accidentally and, upon reading the synopsis, immediately grabbed a copy off eBay. ("Badassdom" I picked up at Walmart, of all places.) So let's dive right in with the Sniderman recommendations:

"Lloyd the Conqueror" is about three directionless slackers cruising their way through community college. When they botch their Medieval Lit report on Beowulf, they are in danger of failing the class and losing their financial aid. They beg the professor for extra credit, not knowing that he is the local "Sauron" who rules over the local LARP of Demons & Dwarves. No other players will battle him on the playing field and he's in danger of losing his game standings. So he makes an offer to the three: If they can field a team and win, he'll pass them. So Lloyd and his friends -- with the help of a mighty Amazon (the self-defense for women instructor) and The White Wizard (the FLGS owner and former D&D champion) -- begin their training to fight the Hordes of Chaos. At first reluctant, the slackers began to revel in their fantasy roles, studying more for the game than they ever did for class. As they see the depravity leveled against the other gamers, they set about creating a plan to defeat the evil warlord and bring harmony back to the playfield. (Basically, "LARP LotR.") I really enjoyed this movie a lot. It had a lot of laughs and was a great find. Highly recommended for anyone who likes a good "underdogs come from behind to save the day" film. While wearing cardboard armor. 4 out of 5 foam swords.

"Knights of Badassdom" is a bit darker in tone. In this film, we again have three slacker friends who spend their days drinking and playing D&D. Two of them have been playing the local LARP for years, while the other has dreams of being a death metal singer. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, the two LARPers "kidnap" their friend and takes him along on one of their weekend LARP events. Complications arise when a spell is cast from a very real spellbook (purchased from the Internet), accidentally summoning a blood-thirsty succubus. As the creature begins to slaughter the players throughout the game, the trio is joined by a barbarian warrior, an elven bowman, and the LARP GM. They realize that their combined fighting skill and working spellcraft knowledge is the only hope of sending the monster back to Hell. I picked this up thinking it was a comedy, but once the demon began its rampage, the blood and gore factor went through the roof. Although still humorous, it became more of a comedic horror action film, ala Evil Dead 2. (Although that's a weak comparison.) I really wanted to like it more than I did because I had been waiting for its release for a while. But the movie was only "OK." (Lotta big names in the cast though.) 2.5 out of 5 foam swords.

(And watch for comedian Brian Posehn who appears in both films -- as the White Wizard in Lloyd, and as a garage co-worker in Badassdom!)

1 comment:

  1. 'Knights...' had serious production woes, where it was delayed and then butchered by the producer.

    Rumor has it that it was great on the festival circuit