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Darkon (2008)

Skip Lipman , Kenyon Wells , Andrew Neel , Luke Meyer  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Skip Lipman, Kenyon Wells, Rebecca Thurmond, Daniel McCarthur
  • Directors: Andrew Neel, Luke Meyer
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: PorchLight Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XULOGQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Insightful, moving and often funny, Darkon is a theatrical documentary feature about a unique realm within the extraordinary worldwide phenomenon of live action role playing (LARP).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By Gamers, About Gamers, and Ultimately for Gamers November 14, 2007
Format:DVD
One of the few non-comedic movies by gamers, about gamers, and ultimately for gamers, Darkon (Ovie Productions/Seethink Productions, 2006) is a documentary that focuses on the activities of the Darkon Wargaming Club, a fantasy live-action role-playing (LARP) group in Baltimore, Maryland.

Moreso than movies of any sort by non-gamers about role-playing gaming (e.g., the execrable Mazes and Monsters), Darkon explores the purposes, positive aspects, and benefits of the hobby and the motives people have for participating in it. While it also hints at the all-consuming effect RPGs can have on their participants, it is ultimately more of an apologia for the hobby than an examination of it.

From a technical point of view, Darkon is well filmed, excellently scored, and structurally sound. One thing it does not do, however, is explain what a LARP is. Naturally, this does not matter much as far as gamers are concerned, but the absence of such explanation severely limits the value this film could have had as a tool for telling the non-gaming world about something about which it has limited awareness and little understanding. It is also a little on the long side, with multiple, interchangeable battle scenes, some of which could have been cut in lieu of some interviews with some third parties who could have helped put LARPing and RPGing in context.

A product of its times, Darkon draws as much on the genre of reality television as it does on that of documentary, with asides to the camera by its various subjects that shed light on their motivations and relationships in and out of the game. Depending on whether one likes reality TV or not, this could be seen as either a benefit or a detriment.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Look at Live-Action Role-Playing February 29, 2008
Format:DVD
Being a fan of documentaries first and foremost, and knowing very little about live-action role-playing games, I have to say that the very subject itself was surprisingly unique and portrayed in a straight-forward non-judgmental fashion. For that, I enjoyed Darkon tremendously. I am partially familiar with the same sub-culture that quotes Monty Python incessantly and throws around multi-sided die. In fact, at some stages in my life I've been among them with great enthusiasm. Let me just say that I do believe the filmmakers behind Darkon to be genuinely interested and respectful of their documentary's subject, but that doesn't automatically make the scenes of grown men stumbling about through a soccer field in suits of armor, taunting one another in melodramatic accents, any less comical. To me, the way the action is framed here in this film shows that the creators take it as seriously as the live-action role-players themselves. I wouldn't want to be introduced to this subject in any other way, so good for them.

Darkon is a Wargaming Club in Baltimore, Maryland. By this, I mean that it is a group of people who go away for the weekend to role-play with one another while dressing up in the traditional RPG medieval garb. The documentary goes over several in-game conflicts in great detail and features some closer looks at some relevant players, both in the game and outside of the game. Darkon isn't just a bunch of people running around hitting each other with sword-shaped pillows either, there are very specific rules in Darkon and how seriously the players seem to take these rules is remarkable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which is Better - Reality or Fantasy? July 14, 2009
Format:DVD
This is a documentary about a group of "Dungeons-and-Dragons" type gamers in Baltimore. I've caught bits and bobs of it a few times on IFC, never from the beginning though, but I was home from work sick, there was nothing else on and it was just starting, so I tuned in. Well, what a fascinating surprise this turned out to be. Although I wasn't sure where they were going with it until nearly the end of the film, I'm glad I stuck it out. Kudos to the filmmakers.

I've always been interested in "nerd" culture. Primarily because I consider myself an honorary member of a few geeky fandom sub-cultures - The Avengers, Star Trek (a wee bit - due to my sister), Rocky Horror, The Prisoner, Renaissance Faires, slash fiction in general......you get the idea. In the past, documentaries I've seen about geeks seemed to lack a strong point of view - "Trekkies" and "Trekkies II" sent out the vague message that not all geeks are losers and that the Star Trek fandom spawned some successful tech-heads with futuristic ideas. Big deal. "Goth Cruise" proved to be even more formless. I couldn't figure out the point of it at all, except perhaps to show the world that Goths are just really nice people in weird outfits. Well, all righty then.

In brief, "Darkon" follows the leaders of two separate counties in the "kingdom" Darkon - an anachronistic fantasy realm that has its boundaries in modern day Baltimore. In addition to chronicling the events that lead up to the epic battle between the two counties, we are also given glimpses into the real lives of the two main players. Bannor of Laconia (Skip Lipman) is a short and paunchy stay-at-home Dad who, in his spare time, plots an uprising against the powerful Lord Keldar of Mordum (Kenyon Wells) a tall, blonde and successful IT Manager.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars HAIL LACONIA!
Great insight into LARPing for beginners and the medly of people who play the game, and why they do it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dani Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars SWEET!
Great movie, real awesome! I am a teenager and it was very fun to watch! By far the coolest documentary I have ever seen!
Published 4 months ago by Brendan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film!
This movies is excellent! It provides a glimpse into non-normative modes of human experience, and does so in an empathetic and energetic capacity.
Published 14 months ago by joe Kohlburn
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly fascinating look in to a growing subculture
This surprisingly well shot and edited documentary takes a fair and serious look at LARPers (Live Action Role Players), their real lives, and their motivations for putting so much... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Beardyjin
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY INTERESTING DOCUMENTARY!
LOVE THE STRANGE FOLKS IN THIS MOVIE! ... COOLY WEIRD FILM!!! ... WILL MAKE YOU UNCOMFORABLE IN SOME PARTS ... BUT, THAT'S A GOOD THING!
Published on February 12, 2012 by FLOYD'S POP
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Geek Documentary!
As of right now there are only 11 reviews of this film?!?!? I absolutely LOVED this documentary, at times I felt pity for the characters, at times I did nothing but laugh at what... Read more
Published on February 13, 2010 by William
5.0 out of 5 stars Games Without Borders
"Darkon" is a fun,fascinating look at the world of wargaming. The movie opens with Dark Elves intoning chants as they prepare for a sacrifice. It begins with the game... Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by Amaranth
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious and fascinating
I realize that the intention of the filmmakers isn't necessarily to make fun of the gamers, but I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. This movie is fantastic! Read more
Published on May 28, 2008 by dawg
2.0 out of 5 stars Tooooooo looooooooooooong................
There is no reason for this documentary to be as long as it is. An hour would have been sufficiently to covered the topic.
Published on March 15, 2008 by Capt. McPl0x
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Worlds of Massively Multiplayer Outdoor Role-Players
Darkon follows the drama of a live action fantasy role playing game (LARP) with a sword and sorcery setting. Read more
Published on March 13, 2008 by James John Bell
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