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Knights of Badassdom (2013)

  Tags: comedic, Danny Pudi, Douglas Tait, IndieVest Pictures, Joe Lynch, Kevin Dreyfuss, knights, Knights of Badassdom, LARPers, Matt Wall, Peter Dinklage, role playing, Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau

Your rating: None Average: 5.3 (3 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
5

badassknights2.jpg
Rating #: 
5/10
Director: 
Joe Lynch
Runtime: 
86 minutes
Cast: 
Summer Glau, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Danny Pudi, Steve Zahn, Douglas Tait


Director Joe Lynch burst into the scene with Wrong Turn 2: Dead End--a flick that had problems, but was an overall fun B-movie gorefest. I had high hopes for his next feature (Knights of Badassdom) to be yet another fun gory ride from start to finish, but sadly that turned out to be quite the opposite. Shot in 2010, the film apparently had a lengthy post-production process due to Lynch and the producers not seeing eye-to-eye on certain things, ultimately leading the studio to take over editing duties all together. After traveling the festival circuit for a while, it was eventually picked up and what us viewers received is a really chopped up and friendly version of what likely would've been a great campy classic had Lynch remained in control.

The story follows Ryan Kwanten's character "Joe" who's suffering from a recent breakup, while his overzealous LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) roommates gear up for a great battle in the woods. Joe reluctantly joins them in their quest and the land of make believe turns deadly when his great wizard friend (Steve Zahn) recites words from what turns out to be a very real demonic book. The group of unlikely heroes must band together and warn their fellow warriors of the succubus demon that's now roaming the lands and find a way to stop her before their existence comes to an end.

The first act of the movie is pretty tame, naturally just introducing us to the characters and their lifestyle as LARPers. There are a few chuckles here and there, but not much else worth noting. Had it not been for the solid cast of familiar faces, I probably would've found the first 30-or-so minutes quite boring. The pacing picks up in the halfway mark where the succubus starts offing these people who still aren't aware that she's an actual threat. The film gets more ridiculous as time goes on, eventually leading to a climactic battle with a giant demon-beast-creature-thing.

While watching the movie there are parts that definitely seem to be a clash of ideas or scenes that have a little something missing to them. It's clear that it was intended to be a much gorier film than it was, as there are potential gory moments that cut away too quickly or shown away from the camera entirely. In the end it's a movie that had a lot of potential to be campy classic, but sadly became another example of the studio's heavy hand interfering way too much, resulting in a cluttered mix of ideas, pacing issues and lackluster sequences.

Knights of Badassdom is a mixed, but mostly negative bag of cluttered ideas thrown together with very little context. Lots of potential greatness is lost with this thanks to the studio seemingly trying to aim for a broader audience. Had Joe Lynch's vision remained intact this could've been a fun campy gore-filled classic, but as it stands it's simply a mediocre film that tries a little too hard at being something it's not.

Posted on April 1, 2014 - 10:16pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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