At long last Lloyd

Conqueror finally gets a DVD release

Have you ever seen an army of LARPers dressed in homemade armour brandishing foam rubber swords led by a centaur and a unicorn charging down the hills of Calgary to do battle?

If you have it’s probably because you’ve seen Lloyd the Conqueror the outrageous comedy about Live Action Role Players or LARPers set and filmed right here in Calgary. It’s the tale of a brave college student who must pick up a Nerf sword and do battle with geeks in fake armour in order to get a passing grade from his douchebag Medieval Literature professor.

The film has been entertaining film festival audiences around the world with many real LARPers showing up to the screenings wearing genuine chainmail. Finally March 11 marks the long-awaited DVD release for this cult favourite and the new box art contains 100 per cent more chainmail bikini than the film’s original poster. (Will the film’s sexy new look be a hit with the nerd crowd the film is aimed at? Only time will tell….)

One of the wildest aspects about LARPing both in the film and in real life are the costumes. They’re made by the players themselves and run the gamut from threadbare Halloween costumes to incredibly detailed metal helmets and tabards. You’ll see one guy wearing authentic medieval garb accompanied by a first-timer friend who has a faux-fur bathmat draped over his shoulders. Then they’ll start swinging weapons at teenage “goblins” wearing Yoda masks. It’s quite a sight.

Calgarians will get a kick out of seeing local geek-mecca The Sentry Box used as a primary location and will probably chuckle at seeing our hometown depicted on a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy map as well. (Beware! Ye must cross the Trail of Blackfoot!)

LARPing is a pretty funny film topic to begin with but Lloyd also fills its cast with extremely funny people such as Brian Posehn Harland Williams and Mike Smith (“Bubbles” from Trailer Park Boys ). Williams apparently ad-libbed up a storm while playing a grouchy Spock-eared “Vulcan.”

“He’s a wild man!” enthuses writer/director Michael Peterson. “He was basically doing his standup show in character. We only had him for one day so we kept rolling and rolling!”

The experience of shooting Lloyd the Conqueror has not dulled Peterson’s enthusiasm for epic fantasy. In fact he says his dream project would be to stage a rock opera musical version of cheesy sword and sorcery epic The Beastmaster (1982). Okay that sounds both ridiculous and amazing. Go out and buy his DVD so he can make it happen.