Staff Pick: Nerds can convene around D&D comedy “Zero Charisma”

By Columbus Alive
From the October 31, 2013 edition

The nerds, it seems, continue to get their revenge. The subculture has become its own culture, as evidenced by movies like “Zero Charisma.”

That’s right, it’s a feature-length movie centered on the grand master of a tabletop role-playing fantasy game (the Dungeonmaster of Dungeons & Dragons, obviously) — played to perfection by Sam Eidson.

“Charisma,” from co-directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews lovingly sends up the weird nerd hierarchy that creates what I am dubbing the “Alpha Nerd” — the kind who judges those who do not meet his standards of obsessiveness.

The film — distributed by comedian/podcaster Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries — is a solid comedy no matter who you were in high school. The low-budget doesn’t show with a talented and natural cast.

It’s evocative of the work of nerd royalty Kevin Smith — Eidson even reminds of Smith collaborator Ethan Suplee — with a twist of the counter-culture celebrations of John Waters.

This all makes for a fun communal experience on the big screen — made all the more communal by the fact that there is only one showing at the Gateway.

Nerd brethren, unite. We shall overcome.