Geek Girls Rule! #113 – The Wild Hunt… Are you kidding?

The Wild Hunt comes out this year, and I, for one, will be skipping it.

A friend of mine posted the trailer in his Livejournal, and I’m sure if you really want to you could track it down.  The tagline for the movie is “It’s no longer a game.”  Yes, you guessed it, a Medieval Re-enactment/LARP goes horribly awry because us Nerds, we’re all just one vaguely annoying incident away from a psychotic break.  As a group.  All of us.  Together.  My only consolation is that SCA-ers can share some of the angst and woe this time, instead of just roleplayers/LARPers.

The premise according to the trailer, and what I’ve been able to suss out, is that one of the players’ boyfriend comes looking for her, gets into a fight with her and a scuffle with some of the other players and suddenly NERDS GONE WILD!!!!!  There’s real killin’ and rapin’ and sacrificin’ because, as I said before, we’re all one annoying encounter from sociopathy here in Nerdville.

Can you tell I am displeased?  I knew you could.

Mostly I am displeased because after decades of dealing with the bullshit caused by THIS movie, and also working on a concom both the year that a young man who had at one time played roleplaying games killed the family of a girl he had a crush on, and the following year when it went to trial, I am full up on bullshit Nerdist tropes like this.  Seriously.  The year the kid killed that family, the press were all over Rustycon like flies on poop.  We actually had to eject the reporter and cameras for one local station for trying to crash the Pagan Drum Circle at midnight after we had asked them to please respect people’s spiritual beliefs and leave them the hell alone.  They wanted to know “what we were hiding.”  The next year was only marginally better.  I don’t believe I have ever said “No” quite so many times to so many clueless mundanes.

And believe me, if THAT didn’t push me over the edge into becoming a whirling machine of death, nothing will.

Ok, look, I can see one of two motivations for this movie.  The first, and most likely, is that it was made by a couple of clueless dickheads who buy into “NerdRage” being more than just frothing at the comic shop over the new Enterprise schematics.  The second, and infinitely more annoying one, is that it’s a couple of nerds themselves who see this as a revenge fantasy.  In either case, knock it the fuck off, assholes.  Because I’m one of the people who are going to have to field the plethora of idiotic questions and assumptions engendered by your “masterpiece,” and I’m already sick of it.

Although, I think the SCA people are probably going to get it worse when people who’ve seen the movie start asking why events don’t look like the scenes in that movie.  The nerds in that film had a WAY better costuming budget than most of my SCA friends anyway.

Anyone want to get in on a betting pool as to when local “newsmagazine shows” start doing specials on the dangers of D&D and the SCA?

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17 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #113 – The Wild Hunt… Are you kidding?

  1. After a bit of searching, I found the movie’s website and trailer. You’re right; it is going to get the mundies all in an uproar cause well, real LARP ain’t that cool. I’ve heard that there are total immersion games like that in Europe, but as a long time LARPer (White Wolf) we spend most of our time in dusty college classrooms and hotel convention centers. And people that pretty don’t LARP. There’s some sort of corillary between hotness and smarts. I think I’ll wait for DVD if at all. I did watch Mazes & Monsters just to see what it was about. It’s gonna bring back the “Is RP evil?” crowd and that’s gonna make it tough, again. *sigh*

  2. Oh jeez, and let’s don’t forget what the Wicker Man and The 13th Warrior did for pagans as well, we’re either rolling about in the mud looking for ways to kill the good guys or burning up our babies daddies! And Nicholas Cage, whom I like (d), is going to be in yet another call Season of the Witch where a hapless village girl accused of being a witch is *gasp* really a witch in league with the devil and causing the black plague. OMG if you roleplay AND you’re a pagan, well lock us up NOW before it’s too late and we sacrifice our babies daddies while covered in mud, spreading the plague and unleashing nerd rage on unsuspecting tourists!

    Ya know, most “nerds” get laid way to much to carry around that kind of anger, at least the ones *I* know!

  3. That seems to be an MO with this: I take it nobody remembers TAG: The Assassination Game, most noted as being Linda Hamilton’s big debut? Same MO: unstable guy gets involved in a first-generation “Killer” LARP, accidentally gets shot by a dweeb in the shower, gets a real gun, kills the dweeb, and then goes out and picks off all of his fellow players. (Interestingly, the only hope of stopping this guy is the lone journalism major who has a thing for Hamilton’s character. I’ve never bothered to research the whys and wherefores of the film, but I’ve always figured that our journalism major was a Mary Sue.)

    If there’s any bright side, it’s that local television news has imploded to the point where the only people watching it are the shut-ins already terrified of the outside world anyway. When Mazes and Monsters came out, as with the Bink Pulling suicide, you had all of three networks, and everyone got their news from television news reports. Now, about the only people who give a damn about the local newspaper or the local TV news are the little old ladies who sent their grandkids out to fight Sherman and Grant.

  4. If you don’t mind me asking: What’s a concom?

    It’s strange. I looked up the trailer for this movie, and at first it seemed like a comedy. There were all these guys talking about sacrifice and kingdoms and so on. Two of them start fighting with foam swords, then they get into an argument. “I hit you five times. You’re dead, dude.” “No, you only hit me once!” “Guys, can we keep this in character?”

    It actually looked a little promising as a comedy. Then it went downhill…fast/i>. The classic tropes are there, of course: “Roleplayers don’t know the difference between fantasy and reality” combined with a dash of “roleplaying is a death/suicide/Satanic cult”. I highly doubt I’ll see it.

    As for LARPs taking place in college classrooms, I did see one movie portraying that. It was called Shakma. Yes, it was a horror movie, but the danger came from an escaped, bloodthirsty baboon (named Shakma, of course) rather than psychotic roleplayers. Why the people were all locked in a building with the baboon and couldn’t just escape, I don’t remember. I hope they didn’t deliberately lock themselves in for the game. That would be one absurd message: “LARPing will get you locked in a research building with a rabid baboon!” Oy.

  5. It’s interesting and sad to me that in a culture where people so idolize actors that they will stalk them for an autograph, that they will, on the other hand, find it so unusual that some people like to role play. I describe LARP to non-gamers as being a bit like improvisational theater. People don’t find it weird that actors will play roles for years on broadway or for weeks in smaller local theaters but still find those of us who do role play as a hobby weird. I really don’t get that.

    I get so tired of this culture where people prop themselves up by putting others down. This is just so ridiculous…

  6. This is kind of a tangent, but you reminded me of something that’s been bugging me…

    Phi Theta Kappa, “the honors society of the two-year college,” has a pretty strong presence on the Seattle Central campus, and after my 4.0 average my first quarter, I was invited to pay the $60 lifetime dues and join. Supposedly they provide leads on scholarships and generally look good on your transcript, so I went ahead and did it. I have felt pretty neutral about it; they send me some junk mail, and I haven’t gotten anything concrete from it except the notation on my transcript, but whatever.

    This quarter, though, they have some new posters up. One of them features a smiling thin black girl in a PTK sweatshirt and the slogan, “We speak Greek, not geek.”

    This slogan makes me feel really othered, and really regretful that I gave them my money two years ago, and I want to do something about it, but I’m not sure what to do. (I get tempted to make analogies like, “We’re frat, not fat,” but I think that might be construed as hysterical.) Any suggestions?

  7. Please don’t diss it until you’ve seen it. It’s just a film…
    Fiction is usually about drama and things going bad. Think of all the films where drama happens with a particular profession or group (school dramas, Air traffic controller dramas like Pushing Tin) we still don’t think all cops, teachers, lawyers, doctors are corrupt because of them.

    Anyways, being a D&D adept myself, I soon realized that if people want to give a bad rap to Larping, they will. Regardless of films or books about it. No “positive” documentaries about D&D and medieval re-enactment will not change negative minds. People who don’t like what we do will never be convinced.

    Anyway, to do this film, we partnered with the Duché de Bicolline a Medieval Co-op in Quebec. They read the script and saw the film and actually quite liked it.

    I was tired of seeing these pseudo-heroic tales with heroes with perfect teeth and super powers. I was tired of seeing kids waving magic wands and frowning to conjure up spells or miracles. I wanted to create a modern Icelandic saga with flawed heroes, humor and horror. Something closer to the human experience–which is what myth should be about. Our story happens in the world of Medieval Re-enactors but it is not about it.

    Anyway, I probably won’t convince you to try our film; as you probably will never convince people who dislike Larping to ever try it or even like it. Such is the power of pre-conceived ideas.

    But it never hurts to try and change people’s minds.

    Alexandre
    Director of The Wild Hunt
    http://www.wildhuntfilm.com

  8. Look, I’m sorry I’m dissing your film, but I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with the stupid fallout from films like this, and Mazes and Monsters, and TAG. I’ve also spent a lifetime dealing with bullshit from the fundies, who when they get wind of stuff like this use it as more ammunition in their D&D/RPGs are from the devil.

    I’m glad you meant well and had a great time making it. But the fact remains that this is going to mean I field a lot more stupid questions about my favorite hobby, and that is something of which I have already grown incredibly tired, as have most nerds.

  9. Okay, I just saw the end of the film.

    It was listed on my cable provider as a ‘dark comedy’. It started out OK. I was digging it and the comedy was alright. You can’t ever really take LARPing too terribly seriously, just as you can’t take D&D too terribly seriously. The story was alright. It really wasn’t too bad.

    Then it got to the end, and the movie wrecked for me. I will not support this tripe.

    The guy gets his head smashed in with a hammer. You see it. You see his brains splash everywhere. It wasn’t even SUGGESTION. You just SHOW IT. Girls are assaulted in preparation for rape. The one main chick kills herself, after stabbing another guy. The one brother dies after getting his FACE smashed in. And yes I’m spoiling it. Gladly.

    How is that NOT slapping a label on people who LARP? Do you not think it will reflect on people who play D&D too?

    I did not want to see that crap. I wanted to continue to enjoy the movie as it was from the beginning. You are not challenging your audience’s intelligence and emotions by switching moods like a bipolar kid on heroin. You’re f***ing with them.

    The reason why your film can’t be labeled with a genre, as you noted on one website (http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=114840342538&topic=13312), is because it has no genre. There’s no applicable market you can sell it to. You’re trying to do a comedy, drama, and horror all in one, and you’re not doing it with the grace of Shakespeare. No one cares about your intellectual insight into your movie. You’re doing it with shock value. And that sucks.

    You’re quoted on the Toronto Sun saying you’re not “One of them.” I’m assuming the LARP-ers. So I think it may be on the mark when this article talks about some form of nerd-hatred, whether conscious or subconscious.

    All in all, you had something pretty good going in the beginning there. Then you sh** on it. It wasn’t even good horror. It’s contrived gore. There’s no message there, really. None that I want to look at.

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