Monday, 24 February 2014

Knights of Badassdom (2013)

Well well what have we here? a horror comedy in the same league as the cult Evil Dead franchise or American Werewolf in London?. In all honesty I had no clue this was a horror comedy, I thought it was a silly frat pack type comedy about D&D role playing which would include tits n ass.

The plot is totally wafer thin. A group of dudes who play Dungeons & Dragons-esque real time scenarios with lots of other similar fanboys accidentally conjure up a real demon from hell whilst in the woods. This demon then goes on the rampage killing everyone in gory fashion. Its up to the small band of role playing dweebs to actually use their fantasy skills for real to take down the beast...kinda.

The film is kinda in three acts if you ask me. Firstly it does start off as expected with the main three guys acting like fools, talking shit to each other in stereotypical fashion and eventually dragging one of the trio along to this D&D style real time role play in the woods. The second act is out in the open with all these people playing out their various D&D roles clad in full costumes. This was probably the best part of the film as its quite funny watching these grown adults act and dress like children (to a degree) and literately playing cowboys n indians with plastic weapons. The dialog is witty and sharp and its amusing when the characters break from their role playing to discuss real things, then snap back into their fantasy characters. Jimmi Simpson as the weedy slightly snivelling gamemaster was the most amusing character for me.

The film respects the niche they are messing around with but they do of course mock it at the same time. Its kinda like the fantasy role playing sequences in Role Models. The real twist is the third act when the demon pops up and it does turn into an actual blood fest. At first I didn't really like this turn of events because the film lost its funny adult fantasy role play direction and it turned into a cheesy monster slasher splatter flick.

Its the finale that turned it around for me, the main characters decide to be brave and face the demon. They have been playing fantasy role play games all their lives and now its time to actually do it for real. There is a lot of cool gore flying around and the demon (that gets transformed from human form to something more exciting) is a really nice large man in a rubber suit affair which wouldn't look outta place in a Hellboy flick.

Much of the plot isn't really explained too well though, not overly sure why the demon came to Earth in the form of the main characters girlfriend. The mysterious book that conjures the demon up is a bit haphazard, the explanation is again weak plus the idea is clearly copied from the Evil Dead franchise. Again not too sure how they manage to beat the demon with the musical chants and what that magical gemstone has got to do with anything but...And Dinklage's character comes back from the dead at the end as a spirit? is that what that was?.

The more I thought about it the more I quite liked this quirky horror. Its not as brilliant as the films title suggests but it certainly is a curious little gem, most definitely destined to become a cult methinks.