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Bro, Do You Even Understand THAC0? "Zero Charisma" Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 17, 2013 | Comments ()


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Sigh. I thought we were done with this sort of crap. Here’s the trailer for “Zero Charisma”, which totes itself as a dark comedy lampooning role playing game nerds. From the trailer, it appears to be doing that about as competently as “Big Bang Theory” lampoons scientists.

Here’s the obligatory plot summary:

As the strict Game Master of a fantasy role-playing game, Scott (Sam Eidson) leads his friends in a weekly quest through mysterious lands from the safety of his grandmother’s kitchen. But his mastery of his own domain starts to slip—along with everything else in his life—when neo-nerd hipster Miles (Garrett Graham) joins the game, winning over the group with his confident charm and dethroning Scott with an unexpected coup. Caught in delusions of grandeur, Scott must roll the dice and risk everything to expose Miles as the fraud he believes him to be. A darkly comedic fable of epic proportions, Zero Charisma is an ode to nerds from every realm.

Oh my god, that’s so funny and true to life. Role playing game nerds are incapable of understanding the difference between fantasy and reality, live in their grandma’s basement, and are overweight anti-social slobs. Thank god someone finally had the courage to point out these now obvious patterns that have been sitting in front of us all this time.

I could trot out all the usual citations. Vin Diesel and Curt Schilling play D&D. People who play games tend to actually be less anti-social because, you know, they sit around a fucking table and socialize with other people as a hobby. Blah, blah. The jackasses making movies like this aren’t listening anyway. They’ve got a stereotype and they’re going to run with it until the money dries up.

Are there RPG nerds like this? Of course there are. Just like there are people who fulfill every stereotype that has ever existed. But when the only story you tell is the same one populated by the same stereotype, then the targets of that stereotype tend to not take you seriously anymore.

How about this, oh directors and producers and such. Every movie for the next twenty years that features a character who makes movies, make that character exactly like Woody Allen. Year after year after year. Nothing but the neuroses and the tics representing something you enjoy in every film. Then you can make another film featuring the anti-social loser nerd cliche.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Belphebe

    Table top gamers aren't that weird. LARPers are the fucked up ones. Nice people, usually, but they have gone so deep into Nerdlandia that they left a part of themselves behind. Awesome costumes though.

  • Andy

    As an avid role-player, this looks fantastic. If you paid attention to the trailer you will have noticed that out of the entire party only one was a terrible person, and the 'nerd black-face' that is the Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, this is how groups are made up. There is one person, in a group of normal, well adjusted, socially responsible people. There is just the one guy, and the rest, though a little quiet, all seem normal. The main character looks to be mocked by the creator, for being too over the top. There is always the one, but only one.

    I for one disagree with Mr. Wilson, and have to ask, how much do you know about this world?

  • foolsage

    It's possible, as others have posted in the comments, that the movie isn't much like the trailer. The trailer seems to exist only to mock something it doesn't understand, and, hey, I've seen enough of that. Really, I have. Yes, gamers are all overweight, with bad complexions, and they all lack social skills. All of us! Even the attractive, successful, married ones agree (just kidding, there couldn't possibly be any of those). No, we all live in basements. Really!

    Based solely on the trailer, my response can be summarized thusly:

    Fuck this overplayed stereotypical nonsense. Bring out "Knights of Badassdom" already.

  • Guest

    Ummmmm.... it's THAC0. With a zero. ;D

  • foolsage

    Don't hide that light under a guest login! Come, be a geek, and be proud about it.

    Good catch.

  • I double checked that a well-intended editor didn't change the zero in the title, and they in fact did not. That's a zero, it's just renders a bit like a lower case 'o' in this font.

  • George Tarleton

    Thanks, but I'll stick to Brian Posehn's Nerd Poker podcast (which is fucking outstanding).

  • Carniverous Ruminant

    From Devin Faraci's review over at Badass Digest:

    "Zero Charisma is nothing like Freaks and Geeks except for the way it completely and totally ‘gets’ being a nerd; it is, almost certainly, the best film ever made about nerds (as we understand them today). It’s hilarious, it’s sweet, and in the end it’s just a little bit heartbreaking."

    So maybe next time don't throw a hissy fit over a trailer.

  • Miss Jane

    Interesting...the review says that the movie was financed by a Kickstarter campaign.

  • Eddie

    I understand the vitriol, but they're making a comedy here. Of course they have to take extreme stereotypes. For someone who writes for a website that has "Mock" predominantly shown you sure don't take mockery well. What should they do, make a boring movie about regular people who are playing Role Playing games, or Card Based Combat games?
    "Here's a movie about 4 socially competent guys who are playing Magic". The movie would be 15 minutes long.

  • Dragonchild

    Right, 'cuz if there's one thing that makes people laugh, it's 30-year-old stereotypes.

  • Fabius_Maximus
  • Jiffylush

    15 minutes? You need a better deck ;)

    I played back in the mid 90s with my friends and we have a lot less in common with the stereotypical overweight nerd than with the stereotypical casual drug using blue collar college dropouts.

  • Eddie

    Hahaha, I meant the movie. I'd pan in, show some regular conversation, some ribbing, then cut to black. Besides, some prick could play Desolation AND JUST GRIND THE DAMN GAME TO A HALT JESUS CHRIST FUCK THAT CARD.

    Of course I can't complain much because I've played it myself running a red/black/neutral deck. It's the MtG equivalent of flipping the Monopoly board over because you're losing.

  • kirivinokur

    Sinus supremus?

  • AvaLehra

    I tip my hat to you!

  • I believe this can best be answered with this:

    http://youtu.be/Ir3v5yDk9Ws

    ETA: So after watching the trailer, I'm left a bit confused. It's produced by the Nerdist guys, but clearly the trailer was cut by Hollywood types who disapprove of nerdculture.

  • From what I've read about this, this particular trailer doesn't do a good job of portraying the movie (and comes off a lot more "mock-y" and a lot less "inside joke-y, we all know this person").

    Also, it's being distributed by Nerdist Productions, so I'll hold out judgment on how "nerd-bashing" it is.

  • NateMan

    Yeah, I can't get worked up about this one. I've met so many people exactly like this in real life that making a movie about them seems pretty legitimate to me.

  • Dragonchild

    I have the opposite problem. I've been a gamer for over 20 years so presumably this movie is aimed at me. But when the party druid was also the nose tackle on the school football team (just to name one example), I have a hard time relating to what others tell me the world of nerds is like.

    For that matter, we never did just one thing anyway. Out of my first gaming group of six (the longest-running one), five of us played some sort of musical instrument, four were involved in sports, three were in the HS drama club. Yeah, that means we had a few polymaths in the group.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Oooooh. Kitty Lloyd Wilson is scratchy and bitey this morning. Me like.

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