Knights of Badassdom


Three best friends and dedicated roleplayers take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario as a live action role-playing game. Trouble arises when a prop spellbook purchased from the internet ends up being a genuine grimoire and they unwittingly conjure up a blood-lusting succubus from hell.


Renaissance festivals, role-playing games, and other things in the same vein just don’t appeal to me. They never have and they more than likely never will. However, I will gladly watch something that takes the…I guess the word would be community and portrays them in a different light, be it good or bad. Knights of Badassdom does just that, while also honoring the practice.

What is this about?

Venturing deep into the woods to act out a medieval fantasy scenario, three friends forsake their imaginary roles when they face a real-life struggle for survival after inadvertently conjuring an evil succubus.

What did I like?

Cast. The cast list is a virtual “who’s who” of people who may not be well-known to the general public, but are very well-known to the geek community. Well, I guess Peter Dinklage is a bit more mainstream, thanks to Game of Thrones. With all these geek icons, plus the Renaissance fair setting, it is no wonder geek sites were going crazy about this film almost as soon as it was announced!

LARP. I never got into role-playing games. One of the drawbacks of being a military brat is that you move around a lot, so you don’t really get to gather a close-knit group of friends and foster lifelong friendships. So, the few times I did get to play games with a group of kids and become close to them, it was time to move again. As an adult, it just costs too much! I enjoyed seeing these lovable losers act out the equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons and make it look cool, at least to me.

Writing. The writing in this film isn’t the best, but it is competent enough. At many points in the picture, there could have been that moment when it started to talk down to the audience or assume that everyone is in to LARP and lose the non-geek viewers. Too often screenwriters do this and it totally ruins the film for everyone, when all it took was just a bit of thought to appeal to everyone.

What didn’t I like?

Succubus. The summer before last, I had the chance to watch this anime, Rosario + Vampire. It was quite good, I recommend it, if you’re into the goofier side of anime. At any rate, there was a character on there that was a succubus. She was everything that the traditional definition of succubus is. The so-called succubus in this film, though, was more of a vampire and later, a demon. There just seemed to be a lack of succubusing with this creature, as far as I was concerned.

Effects. Being that this is a cheap, independent picture, I can’t really complain about the effects, but I can’t help but mention the fact that they look like no effort was put into them. As a matter of fact, other than the demonic way they made Peter Dinklage look when he comes back from the dead during the death metal song, the effects look like something you would see in Todd & the Book of Pure Evil.

Stackhouse. Ryan Kwanten is not a bad actor, but as he shows here and in Griff the Invisible, his starring potential is limited to having a strong cast around him. Perhaps that is why he works so well on True Blood and not on his own. He just doesn’t have that special something it takes to be a movie star. Looks and abs can only go so far!

So, what did I ultimately think of Knights of Badassdom? It was a bit of a letdown, to be honest with you. Now, I say that and I’m sure you assume that I think it was a bad film, which it most assuredly was not. However, the bad ass aspect was only present in one scene with Summer Glau, and even that was subdued (I say this after watching her on Arrow about 30 minutes ago). Had there been more of that to go along with the LARPing and this would have been a great flick. Do I recommend it? Yes, but only if you are a fellow geek or a fan of one of the actors in this film, as this film is almost exclusively made for us. If you’re not, then it is best for you to move along to another film, sorry.

3 1/3 out of 5 stars

One Response to “Knights of Badassdom”

  1. […] it’s aboot letting go of being serious and making something fun. If you like Doom Generation, Knights of Badassdom, Zombeavers and the like, you will love this film.” 5 […]

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