Michael Paul Stephenson is on a roll. Once a trivia answer amongst cult film buffs thanks to his childhood acting role in Troll 2
- considered by many to be the worst movie ever made - Stephenson turned that notoriety into an asset when he made his directorial debut in 2009 with Best Worst Movie
, a documentary about Troll 2
's enduring cult. And then last year he proved it was no fluke, returning to screens as director of acclaimed documentary The American Scream
. And now Stephenson is diversifying, serving as producer on SXSW selected comedy Zero Charisma
, a picture co-directed by Best Worst Movie
and The American Scream
cinematographer Katie Graham and editor Andrew Matthews.
Metal-loving gamer geek Scott Weidemeyer lives with his ornery grandmother and works a lousy job at a donut shop. But every Tuesday night, he is the omnipotent Game Master, guiding his role-players through a tabletop journey of fantasy and adventure. However, when neo-nerd hipster Miles joins his game, Scott begins to resent the admiration Miles receives from the other players. To make matters worse, the health of his grandmother begins to falter, and his estranged mother visits town, reminding Scott of a childhood he'd just as soon forget. Caught in a spiral of rage and delusion, Scott is forced to take drastic steps to reclaim his honor, and his identity as the Game Master.
Three films into their existence it is already abundantly clear that Stephenson's Magic Stone Productions label has a special affinity for the outsider, an approach that is equal parts bemusement and genuine affection that recognizes that while the subjects of their films may be rather odd to outside eyes they have very good reasons for being so.
The first trailer for Zero Charisma
has arrived online and its hard to imagine that Graham, Matthews and Stephenson will have anything less than an audience favorite on their hands here. Take a look below.
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