Knights of Badassdom DVD Review: Thy Time Has Finally Come!

There are few movies that grab your heart and hold onto them, for me, one of my favorites has always been Evil Dead, and from the beginning Knights of Badassdom pays homage to that campy silliness infused with horror. It’s been over two years since the San Diego Comic Con panel, and press room took nerds by storm, and finally Knights of Badassdom comes home, and it is a welcome treat.

Knights of Badassdom stars Ryan Kwanten as wannabe Metal Rock God Joe, who gets dumped but his high school sweetheart, Beth, (Margarita Levieva) for not aspiring to more than being a part-time mechanic. His Live Action Role Play (LARP) obsessed roommates  Eric (Steve Zahn) and Hung (Peter Dinklage)try to get his mind off his woes and have him over indulge in all the things that Beth hated namely whiskey and righteous bong rips.

Joe awakens, dressed in armor and in the midst of a full on LARP event. Although his first instinct is to get the heck out of dodge after much cajoling and a smile from the beautiful and formidable Gwen (Summer Glau) Joe gives the event a chance and joins his friends and their team which includes former D&D rival and Gamemaster  Ronnie (Jimmi Simpson), weaselly Lando (Danny Pudi) and Gwen’s brute cousin who’s never not in game mode and therefore banded from Medieval Times Gunther (Brett Gipson).

When a simple “spells” goes horribly array and Eric accidently summons a real life succubus in the form of Beth, the fun is leached from the games as the hungry she-demons beings picking off LARPers one by one.  It’s up to Joe and the others to send the succubitch back to the hell that she came from.

Knights of Badassdom takes a very meta-horror approach to its outlandish story, and it works to its advantage. While it does poke fun at the medieval-themed activity, from speeches to locations, its clearly done out of love. There is obviously a lot of respect for the LARPers and the community as a whole.
Luckily for the outlandish storyline, the fantastic cast is fully committed both in-character and in-in-character. Some of the best lines come courtesy of a Dinklage and his chemically off balanced Hung. In a lesser actor’s mouth some of his absurd word play would have come off as odd or off putting, but Dinklage has a way of spinning just about anything into gold. Likewise, Kwanten comes off as loveable, and the sort of every guy, that helps the non LARPing audience member feel a connection. Glau’s Gwen embraces her foam padded ass kicking, but of all the characters hers feels the most forced. Real world LARPers were used as extras, and their passion has left fingerprints all over this film.

Still with epic fake battles, and a pretty sweet monster rampage, Knights of Badassdom is as interesting as it is visually pleasing. There are plenty of decent laughs, fun kills, and a pretty intense third act. For low budget comedy-horror flicks this is certainly one of the better ones.

Bottom line: Knights of Badassdom spoke to my nerdy heart and I liked what it had to say.

One the Blue ray there are interviews with Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Ryan Kwanten, director Joe Lynch and the lovely Summer Glau. There is also a Behind the Scenes featurette, but best of all there is the San Diego Comic Con panel in all it's glory.

Knights of Badassdom hits DVD April 1st


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