Review: Oh, the meta-horror of ‘Knights of Badassdom’
A monster flick set amid a medieval festival, “Knights of Badassdom” appears to pay homage to the Troma brand of comedic horror.
When stuck-up Beth (Margarita Levieva) dumps ne’er-do-well Joe (Ryan Kwanten), his roommates Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn) promptly pass him a bottle of whiskey and a bong to help nurse his heartbreak. He awakens in full armor at a campsite that medieval reenactors have descended upon for a cosplay extravaganza.
While chanting magical poppycock during a wizard ritual, Eric unwittingly summons a demon that takes the shape of Beth and snacks on the hearts of unsuspecting players.
VIRTUAL TOUR: Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
Even without the characteristic self-reflexive meta-ness, “Knights” could have fit comfortably on the Dimension Films slate during the late 1990s horror renaissance. More than a decade later, though, it seems more like a marketing nightmare for Entertainment One Films — as evidenced by its two-year delay and by-request-only release outside Los Angeles. Guess that “Game of Thrones” selling point — Dinklage — wasn’t enough.
“Knights of Badassdom” actually delivers everything the 2011 Danny McBride-James Franco comedy “Your Highness” purported to be but fell short on. The film is “This Is the End” festooned with Middle Ages accouterments. In spite of its B-movie low-tech effects, the cheesiness does not attenuate the gruesomeness quotient.
“Knights of Badassdom.” MPAA rating: R for horror violence, language, drug use and sexuality. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes. At Arena Cinema, Hollywood.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.