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Please allow me to alleviate any concerns you have. The game is yet to officially begin. It is not a quiz, or a trivia contest, nor is it a test of brute strength or athleticism. I would wager that some of you have played "Would You Rather" at some point. So, how do we play? In each round, each player will be given a choice between A and B, and usually, neither choice is very attractive.
~ Shepard Lambrick explaining his twisted version of Would You Rather

Shepard Lambrick is a millionaire, philanthropist, and the main antagonist of the 2012 film Would You Rather.

He is the head of the Lambrick Foundation, a humanitarian group that runs hospitals and schools throughout the world. Unbeknownst to the public, Shepard is a charismatic psychopath that hosts deadly games of Would You Rather. He holds Darwinist-like views and claims his games show what people are truly like under pressure.

He was portrayed by Jeffrey Combs, who also played Herbert West in Re-Animator, and The Scarecrow in The New Batman Adventures.

Biography

In 1986, Shepard Lambrick founded the Lambrick Foundation, funding the building of hospitals and schools in third world countries such as Haiti and Afghanistan. At some point in the past, he married and had a son, Julian. However, his wife died, leaving Shepard in charge of the family.

A few years prior to the movie, Shepard hosted one of his deadly Would You Rather games. The winner, Dr. Barden, was given a massive sum of money that allowed him to continue his failing medical business. Dr. Barden would go on to thank Shepard for saving his life.

Meeting Iris

I refuse to accept that you don't have a price
~ Shepard to Iris, concerning his offer for her to eat his steak

Dr. Barden introduces Shepard to Iris, a financially-struggling student whose brother Raleigh is dying from leukemia. Shepard tells her that he will be hosting a "dinner party," which will culminate in a "game" that will reward the winner with what she desperately wants - marrow donor for Raleigh and the money to pay for it. At first, Iris is hesitant, but she ultimately accepts.

Shepard is later shown talking to Julian about the upcoming game. He warns him to be on his best behavior and not to touch any of the guests. Julian complies, although his father remains wary about his uncontrollable temper.

Iris arrives at Shepard's mansion and meets the other 7 contestants. After being introduced to the Lambrick butler, Bevans, and Julian Lambrick, the guests enjoy an extravagant steak dinner. Iris, a vegetarian, is offered $10,000 by Shepard if she eats the steak. She eventually caves in; Shepard uses this as an example of how everyone has a price. He later repeats the same thing on Conway, a recovering alcoholic- after being given $50,000, Conway drinks a whole decanter.

Hosting the Game

Shepard explains the rules of Would You Rather to the guests. After making sure everyone wants to play, he has Bevans roll in an electric torture machine. Conway realizes Shepard's true intentions and tries to leave, but is shot dead by Bevans. Shepard has each guest choose whether to shock the person in front of them or shock themselves.

"Decision making in its rawest form!"

After this round finishes, Shepard has the guests choose between stabbing another person with an ice pick in the thigh or whipping Travis (a war veteran guest) 3 times with a sjambok whip. This round eliminates the elderly Linda, and Travis (who is implied to die from his wounds). Iris is wounded from getting stabbed in the side with the pick, but survives.

Before the next rounds starts, Lucas leads an escape plan by tackling Bevans. Iris and the others attempt to escape as Cal uses the sjambok to take out Shepard's guards. Cal then charges at Shepard with the whip but Shepard kills him before he can strike. Iris, however, managed to escape; Shepard sends Bevans and Julian after her.

The Final Rounds

Bevans brings Iris back to the game. He tells his master that Julian found Iris and attempted to rape her, but Iris had stabbed him in the leg with the ice pick. Shepard "apologizes" to Iris about his son's behavior. The next round has players choose between holding your breath in a water barrel for 2 minutes or a random choice on a card. This round kills Peter (who has to hold a stick of dynamite as it explodes) and Amy (who is drowned for 4 minutes). Iris survives the 2-minute barrel of water, leaving her and Lucas as the only players left.

Shepard enjoying tea and torture.

Shepard wishes the two good luck on the final round. They have the choice of either leaving the game empty-handed or shooting the other with a pistol with one bullet. Iris is given first choice. Lucas tells her his story, and how they are not that different in the end (he, in fact, is playing to win for his 3 sisters). Iris then shoots him and breaks down in tears as Shepard and Bevans clap and congratulate her.

As a shell-shocked Iris leaves, Shepard promises her with the bag full of money to pay for the operation, pay off all the debt her parents left behind as well as enable her to go back to finish her secondary education and that a marrow donor for Raleigh has been found in Romania. Iris says "thank you, Mr. Lambrick," but Shepard says, "please, call me Shep."

Personality

Shepard Lambrick is a very evil person, and part of this is the fact no backstory or reason is given to why he hosts such sadistic games in the first place. Behind the scenes interviews imply that the Lambricks have passed down this “tradition” for generations, and Shepard is a product of his father doing the same thing.

He sees people lower than him as simply for his own amusement under the guise of “helping” them. Despite this, he keeps his promise to reward what the winner of the game desires in the end.

Murder and psychological torture are simply games for him, and he sees himself as a Social Darwinist-Game Master, leaving the turmoil to the guests themselves.

He is a charismatic host and can easily convince people to do things they normally wouldn’t. To the public, he is an affable and caring philanthropist.

Henchmen

Shepard is carefully protected at all times during his Would You Rather games, as the guests could overpower and kill him if they attempted to rebel. His butler Bevans acts as a Heavy who both enforces the game rules and acts as security. It is implied that Bevans also is in charge of ensuring that escaped guests are either recaptured or killed before they can leave the mansion.

Shepard also has two nameless “mooks”, listed in the credits as Steward 1 (Bobby C. King) and Steward 2 (Adam Mayfield). During the escape attempt, Steward 1 grabs Lucas, but Cal whips him in the knees, taking him down. Steward 2 guards the door and grabs Iris, but she stabs him in the arm with an ice pick; he then tries to shoot her but is whipped in the back by Cal. After Shepard kills Cal, Steward 2 is shown getting up and holding the guests at gunpoint. It is unknown what happened to Steward 1 (although it is unlikely he died from getting his knees broken).

In case of extreme measures, Shepard carries a chrome-plated pistol literally up his sleeve (as Cal discovered too late).

Trivia

  • The couple of Colin and Violet from the movie Cheap Thrills are based on Shepard Lambrick as they also make people do mess up things for their entertainment and reward them for it in the end.
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