If you're geeky enough to already know what LARP (Live Action Role Playing) is, then you probably don't need to see this documentary. However, for the rest of us, Monster Camp is an interesting trip into the heads of everyday Joes who engage in fantasy combat in a wooded Washington state park.
Director Cullen Hoback takes viewers on a trip to NERO (New England Role Playing Organization) Seattle, where an Office Depot employee runs a camp devoted to providing fantasy fans an opportunity to briefly escape their lives in favor of the fantastic. Some players, usually newcomers, are cast as monsters to act as combatants for those who design their own characters. Other more experienced players go to camp in makeup and homemade costumes and names. All are governed by an encyclopedic-thick book of rules and guidelines, and all share a common desire: to escape.
The story weaves between the goings-on at the camp and its participants' and proprietors' real lives. By real lives, I mostly mean boring day jobs and playing lots and lots of video games.
While this title will probably not enthrall the masses, it might appeal to folks who'd like to see how the other half—er, 1 percent—lives. These guys and gals may have been geeks in high school, but they're vampires, dwarves, sprites and all sorts of other things now. And whether you agree with their choices of pastime or not, you can't help but watch as they temporarily step outside of reality.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.