I had heard about the documentary Monster Camp last year and wanted to check it out but was never able to due to it's such limited release. I happened to stumble upon it last night and was pretty excited to check it out, and man was it entertaining.
Monster Camp is about a unique group of individuals who get together and do what they refer to as "LARP" which stands for live action role playing. The game that they play is called NERO. It's in the vein of World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons. These people young and old get together on the weekends for 30-60 bucks, dress up like wizards, demons, zombies, witches, dwarfs, etc, and go into all out battles on camp like grounds that are surrounded by woody areas. This is a true fantasy camp for people to escape their lives from reality and do what they love to do. Even though at times it looks a bit stressful.
I was really surprised at how serious these games get. These people prepare their own wardrobes, weapons, magic powders, and medicine to rebound from such attacks as a "triple sleeper hit". They remember what seems to be hundreds upon hundred of rules, sayings, and plot-lines and they somehow all seem to abide by those rules, sayings, and plot-lines. There's scenes in the film where one of them is getting attacked by several others and everyone is swinging their weapon over and over spitting out NERO jargon so quickly I found it to be unreal how these people even understand what the hell is going on, but they do. They stay up until 5am in the morning and have battles in zero degree weather.
This subject matter of role playing fascinates me because I've always been a bit envious of these people who can just say f u to the world and go get lost in a "LARP" game or a World of Warcraft (W.O.W) game, and have fun while doing it. I remember when I was in high school these are the types of kids that everyone made fun of. A kid in the film is at one point referred to as a "Coke head" due to the massive amounts of Coke he drinks. But these kids and these people don't deserve that. This is just what they love to do. Instead of watching football or heading to the beach on the weekends they play video games or LARP. It's their lives and who's to tell them it's wrong if it makes them happy. Are some of them "goofy" or "nerdy"?? Hell fucking yes. But I actually think that's cool, it's cool to be different. I praise these people.
Monster Camp is pretty much your basic documentary. It doesn't have too much cinematic style to it or anything groundbreaking like that, but for me, just observing these people was entertainment enough. Monster Camp gets 4 outa 5.