Five years ago this week, Joe Lynch’s Knights of Badassdom released in a measly 13 theaters nationwide. If that title (and it’s ridiculously talented cast) is news to you, you’d be forgiven. To say Knights of Badassdom flew under the radar is an understatement. Still, though, five years after the fact, Knights of Badassdom remains a silly, enjoyable LARP adventure that seamlessly blends blood-spattered violence with a weird, sweet-natured sensibility that’s absolutely worth 86 minutes of your time.
The Long Road to the Box Office
Written by a couple of one-timers, directed by Joe Lynch (the guy behind arresting workplace horror flick Mayhem), and financed by IndieVest, a production company that only had one prior film under its belt, Knights of Badassdom didn’t exactly get a big marketing push on its path through production.
The LARP horror comedy was actually shot in 2010; it just took a whopping four years to find a distribution deal. When it finally did see the light of day, Knights of Badassdom went on to gross a dismal $123,854 before being passed between various streaming networks.
When all was said and done, the movie was so profoundly unsuccessful it helped tank IndieVest. Full disclosure: it didn’t help that the production company’s principal was also a con artist, but that’s another story.
The LARP That Gets Really, Really Real
After being decimated by his girlfriend on her way out the door, aspiring doom metal rocker Joe (True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten) is waylaid by his nerd buddies (the always-welcome Steve Zahn and Peter Dinklage doing all the mushrooms) into competing at a live action role play event. What begins as a joke-per-minute look at the world of committed role players quickly descends into blood-soaked anarchy when some accidental sorcery summons a succubus.
The special effects may not be worthy of Michael Bay, but the light-hearted script is silly fun right through the heavy metal soaked ending. Elevating the material even further is a cast which includes Summer Glau, Danny Pudi, Brian Posehn, Joshua Malina, and a scene-stealing Jimmi Simpson.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Knights of Badassdom, the film can be found free to stream on Prime Video. Do yourself a favor and check it out.