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Based on the quality of the cast alone, Knights of Badassdom should be an effortless slam dunk. A spoof of Live Action Roleplay (LARP) culture featuring genre TV veterans Peter Dinklage, Danny Pudi and Jimmi Simpson – how could it fail? Yet fail it does, and spectacularly so. Though alas, not interestingly enough to qualify it for The Room style cult adoration, which is probably why – despite the pedigree of its cast – there’s a fair chance you’ve never heard of this movie.
Knights of Badassdom was filmed in the summer of 2010 – before Game of Thrones had aired and with Community just one season deep. However, it got stuck in development hell and was only released three years later, presumably in hopes of cashing in on the higher profile of its stars. Needless to say, this did not work.
Among the many, many problems Knights of Badassdom has, one of the most egregious is the extent to which it wastes what in retrospect look like the movie’s obvious MVPs. Dinklage and Pudi are both killed off around the movie’s halfway mark, and while the former gets a fair amount of screen time, Pudi’s role is so minor that he barely qualifies as anything more than an extra. The actual leads of the movie are True Blood star Ryan Kwanten and Firefly‘s Summer Glau. Both give stiff, low-energy performances that suggest they’re vaguely embarrassed to be there – as well they might be.
The plot of the movie, such as it is, involves Kwanten getting dumped by his long term girlfriend and accompanying Dinklage and Steve Zahn to a LARP weekender, where his recent ex becomes the chosen form for a hell spawned succubus who spends the latter half of the movie chowing down on random side characters before transforming into a truly pitiful looking goblin creature. In addition to weak performances and terrible effects work, the film is also so poorly edited that it feels like a random collection of barely coherent scenes.
Not one for the ages in other words, but if you have an appreciation for the kind of ill-conceived curios that most successful actors would probably prefer to leave off their CVs, it might not be a total waste of your time. On the other hand, thinking about how this movie ever got off the ground and imagining all the ways we’d like to try to improve it did prove to be quite fertile ground for sequel ideas. Here’s what we came up with…
John’s Pitch | Knights of Badassdom 2: Revenge of the Nordic Nerds
Harry’s Pitch | Knights of Lego Badassdom
You can listen to our full Knights of Badassdom episode on iTunes, Stitcher, aCast and most other popular podcasting platforms. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe and rate us, it really boosts our visibility. We also want to hear your sequel, prequel or reboot ideas for this movie, so get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and the best pitches may get an on-air shout out in a future episode.