Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Knights Of Badassdom (2013)

The Pacific Northwest is truly a beautiful place to live. To hear some describe it, it's a cold place of nothing but rain. That's 'cause you don't live here, jerks. It's green, it's beautiful, we have everything from mountains to ski on, rivers to windsurf, and other rivers great for kayaking. We have lots of parks and the trails are so popular, the rescue teams have a really busy season rescuing people who come in from the city and think they can get up a steep mountain just because their StairMaster at home said so (I, of course, do none of those things).

We don't have hurricanes or tornadoes (well, a small funnel or two has been spotted), no earthquakes (maybe a rumble every umpteen years or so) and Mount Saint Helens? Psssh, she's gotten over her lady troubles and hasn't spewed ash since 2008. So we don't mind getting a bit wet now and then.

Hmm? The movie? Sigh, okay if we must. Yes I knew this was a LARP movie - and yes I know what a LARP is, I used to know people who talked to me who were seriously into this kind of thing. Used to. Anywho, I saw the name Peter Dinklage and although I've never seen an episode of Game Of Thrones or read any of the books (It's on HBO which I don't get, and books aren't my friends lately...) I thought this might be good for a larph... umm I mean laugh.

I expected awful and in terms of story and stuff I wasn't disappointed. I was, however, surprised that this movie was not detestable. Although I wanted to hate it for being filmed in Spokane, Washington, I actually kind of enjoyed it. It is silly, it is lacking in clear direction, and those who actually participate in LARP activities may hate it. I laughed a bit, shrugged and took notes.

It was directed by Joe Lynch but don't mention that to him or he'll probably punch you in the face. Apparently things weren't hunky dory in his little kingdom. Pffft. We have three friends who live in one house owned by Eric who's an 'accidental millionaire' (no, they don't explain that) and their house is shaped like a castle, the interior, more of the same. These grown men have been LARPing for years and aren't going to quit anytime soon. Well, at least not for the next 85 minutes.

Now you have to know that this movie, although released in 2013, was actually shot in 2010 so it's been out in the stratosphere for a while. It is interesting to note, however, that the main characters were made to 'train' in the ways of the Force... oops, sorry, the ways of the LARP... no? THEY HAD TO SPEND A DAY PRETENDING THEY WERE REAL MEDIEVAL LARP CHARACTERS IN ORDER TO TRAIN FOR THE MOVIE, OKAY? Wanna guess who the best of them was?

Yup, they said the one who had the best style was Peter Dinklage. So he had a solid resume to continue his career in Game Of Thrones.

So we have the 'millionaire' and full-on nutjob Eric (Steve Zahn) who's frustrated that he's only a 26th level wizard and the 'gamemaster' won't let him advance, Hung (Peter Dinklage) who is well versed with a blade (and the ladies), and Joe (Ryan Kwanten, an Australian actor who starred in True Blood). Of the three it is Joe who is trying to extricate himself from the fantasy and stick to gritty reality - he's a grease monkey, has a girlfriend - whoops, she dumped him, never mind - and his convenient doom metal band (who we never see). Sigh.

Getting, uh, very mellow with his friends, he wakes to find that he is at a LARP gathering and there the movie kind of stalls. Eric brings with him a mystical book he bought on eBay that he uses as a spell book - and finds out it really IS a spell book. With it, he unknowingly raises a succubus. Sigh.

Lame lines that rip off good movie quips plus a lot of bad acting follow ("Excuse me while I whipeth this out.", "There's a fungus among us.") and each group has their own name. They are... uh... do I have to do this? Sigh...

Freakend Warriors
The Medieval Kenevils
Gnomeland Security
Fair-Leather Friends
The Norse Whisperers

I'm beginning to see why Joe Lynch would like to pretend this movie didn't exist.

This is one of those movies I had to watch twice because during my super-funk I watched it, took notes and promptly lost them so let me break down the rest of the movie for you:

The succubus, because Joe had a picture of his ex on him when she was summoned, of course looks exactly like her. She reeks. Uh, I mean she wreaks. Havoc. The first to go (dammit) is Hung, whose heart she shoves through his back and has a hard time trying to get it out through the front again. Ummm, I guess they wanted to really exercise that special effects budget. 

Eric, is told by the 'gamemaster' (Jimmi Simpson) that his book is genuine and written in Enochian...

Okay, don't whine, this will be a short lesson. This has nothing to do with Enoch or The Books of Enoch which are usually accepted as having some historical or theological interest or significance, but they generally regard the Books of Enoch as non-canonical or non-inspired of God. 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness."

Enochian is a name often applied to an occult or angelic language recorded in the private journals of John Dee and his colleague Edward Kelley in late 16th-century England. Kelley was a spirit medium who worked with Dee in his magical investigations. The men claimed that the language was revealed to them by angels. The language is integral to the practice of Enochian magic.

So. If you have half a brain you know that the words "magic" and "angels" shouldn't even be sharing the same sentence, much less have one be attributed to another, right?

The 'spell' must be sung for whatever reason. People start dying right and left when Eric bungles the spell and actually transforms the succubus into full-on demon form (see previous paragraph). He tries but she turns the book to ashes. Only some stone which was embedded in the spine of the book remains - it apparently being the source of the book's (yaaaaaawn... sorry) power. But there's no spell. Well, I guess it's doom metal to the rescue...

The song is decent, because it was performed by Brendan McCreary - check it out, it's not half bad. So Joe, the non-believer, grabs the stone and his very short, uh, foam stick and "sings" this doom metal song (that he *ahem* wrote with his band) and the stone shoots rays into the demon - plus it summons the dead Hung who did some fancy sword work until the beast ends up a steaming pile on the ground. Yeah. I guess we're through now.