Directed by Michael Peterson
Featuring Evan Williams, Jesse Reid, Scott Pately, Tegan Moss, Mike Smith, Brian Posehn, Harland Williams
Three college students (Lloyd, Patrick & Oswald) are flunking out of community college. In a desperate attempt to make up some extra credit they are roped into taking part in their first Live Action Role-Playing tournament (known as LARPing) by their principal (Mike Smith). Little do they realize is that their principal is actually Derek the Unholy. Derek the Unholy has been defeating the other teams so severely that tournament is in danger of being cancelled. So Lloyd and his friends are brought in to keep the tournament alive so Derek can keep his title. Once Lloyd realizes this, he and his friends bring on a former wizard champ to teach and train them (in somewhat of a Jedi fashion). Along the way Lloyd enlists a female self-defense instructor (Tegan Moss) that he has a crush on again the dark forces.
Lloyd The Conqueror works despite its problems with casting. Evan Williams as Lloyd is just not right for the part. He's a “pretty boy” who could never be any kind of outcast. This affects the love story; a guy like this that would clearly get the girl. Also as Lloyd becomes the “conqueror” over the rival team, it’s the popular kid beating up the nerds. Certainly he could be attractive and still play the part, but between the script and his performance there isn’t much to make you think Lloyd is really an outsider at all.
The supporting cast is spot on, though. Brian Posehn (Sarah Silverman Program) is the biggest cast name in the film, with his deadpan manner as their elder instructor. You also get an amazing cameo from Harland Williams (Dumb and Dumber, Something about Mary) as the Vulcan running the signup desk at the LARPing event. It is amazing to me that Harland Williams isn’t a box office superstar.
Mike Smith as Derek the Unholy completely steals the show. Best known as “Bubbles” from the Trailer Park Boys TV series and films, he is virtually unrecognizable as the evil villain. Smith never plays it for laughs with his serious performance; it's Derek’s complete evil conviction that makes the film all the more funny.
Co-written and directed by Michael Peterson, the story takes on an oddball subject matter, both making fun of the ridiculousness of LARPing and also embracing the community as well. Lloyd The Conqueror is a film that might even make you want to draw swords with your friends afterwards…at least the plastic ones anyway.