Actors: Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau, Danny Pudi
Director: Joe Lynch
Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Entertainment One
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Run Time: 86 minutes
I don’t know if this was a saving grace or fatal flaw, but Knights of Badassdom is such a brief film experience that I never had time to decide whether it was going anywhere before it was done. On one hand, the filmmakers removed the possibility of audiences growing tired of the single-joke premise, but the double-edged sword never allowed anything more than that gag in the 80-some minute running time. We are ultimately left with a film that seems as though it could have either been a lot funnier or a lot worse with fifteen minutes more, but instead feels like the shell of a film that doesn’t satisfy or offend.
Almost like a fantasy film thought up by the kind of socially struggling role players in the world, Knights of Badassdom imagines a demonic succubus being released into the world in the middle of a Live Action Role Players game of medieval fantasy. Among the fake elves, warriors and wizards is a real-live demon with a thirst for blood that outmatches any of the foam swords used as weapons. When Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is dragged to an overnight match with his two geeky roommates (Peter Dinklage and Steve Zahn), he inadvertently brings the image of his recent ex-girlfriend into the demon, allowing him to work through the break-up by slaying his ex’s demonic doppelganger.
There are some fun creature effects amidst the comedy horror of the film, though there is an overwhelming feeling that the cast is largely wasted in an opportunity for far more humor. Towards the end of the film all of the talent is lost in the middle of special effects, but the journey to the climax never feels deserved. The transition from comedy to horror and then to fantasy/action doesn’t allow for any development in any of the individual genres pillaged.
The Blu-ray release includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with cast members that include a Comic-Con panel, and a worthless geek-inspired montage of sci-fi fan favorite Summer Glau.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5.5/10
Historical Significance: 4/10
Special Features: 5/10