After my disappointment with Knights Of Badassdom, +Tim Snider suggested I take a look at Lloyd The Conqueror, a 2011 comedy about Live Action Role Play, that he said was a much better take on the genre.
Despite its provocatively misleading cover (see above) that Rachel mistook as softcore porn when it was sitting beside our TV, Lloyd The Conqueror is a light and simple comedy (with some adult humour along the way) about a trio of slacker video gamers talked into enrolling in a local LARP league to boost their grades.
Lloyd (Evan Williams), Patrick (Jesse Reid) and Oswald (Scott Patey) are in danger of losing their funding to attend community college and thus get blackmailed into joining the Demons & Dwarves League by their sinister Medieval Literature professor, Derek (Mike Smith) - whose dominance of the game, along with his legions of orc acolytes - has been driving people away.
Lloyd manages to enlist the aid of a self-defence instructor with anger issues that he has a crush on, Cassandra (Tegan Moss), and dead-pan game shop owner Andy (Brian Posehn) aka The White Wizard (a former champion of the Demons & Dwarves League). As Tim Snider points out in his review, while a major player in this, Posehn also has a minor role in Knights Of Badassdom.
Likeable leads, solid scripting and consistent comedy make Lloyd The Conqueror a good mix of romcom and student comedy with a fair amount of geek wit thrown in that reminded me of Knights Of The Dinner Table every now and again.
With the central characters coming to LARPing as complete neophytes, the audience doesn't need to have any advanced knowledge of that world to enjoy the humour. Lloyd certainly isn't mocking the LARPing community - or gamers as a whole - but instead takes a self-deprecating approach that any level-headed enthusiast might to his own passions.
This is a film about power battles in a sub-culture that just happens to be LARP, which does provide a light-hearted physical counterpoint to the participants' personal stakes.