Do you see this writing?
Do you know what it means?
And you can’t piss on hospitality!
I won’t allow it!
So after reviewing Sharknado 2, for me August is now Bad Film Month and while Best Worst Movie does not fall into that category it is based on a very, very bad movie.
In 1990 an unofficial sequel to Troll (1986) was released and it was bad. Once holding a score of 0% (at time of writing it is 6%) on Rotten Tomatoes and being the lowest ranked film on IMDB this was as bad as it could get.
Almost 20 years later child star of the original film Michael Stephenson decided to make a documentary on the films revival and cult status following star of the first film and dentist George Hardy who played the father to Michael Stephenson’s character as he travels America going to special Troll 2 showings.
The documentary starts by focusing on George with family, friends, patients and even his ex-wife saying how great and wonderful this man is and you can see why. Always happy and willing to embrace not only his new found cult status but also Troll 2’s status as the worst movie ever. When asked about the likeable Georges acting performance however they are no longer as full of praise for him.
I liked this. I have wondered in the past what the friends and family of bad actors in bad films think of their performances and now we get to see it. The film follows George as he travels to convention or cinema showing (which I don’t believe the film got when first released) and the cult factor that’s grown around Troll 2. We see fans that have paid tribute to the film by making their own Gauntlet style computer game to the makers of Guitar Hero 2 setting one of their stages at “Nilbog High”
Not only about George and the fans the film catches up with the rest of the cast who remember the film fondly though some more than others with Connie Young (the daughter) refusing to add it to her résumé and Margo Prey (the mother) comparing it to Casablanca when she states
“You compare our movie to a Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart movie and it fits in. Because our movie was all about people and the experiences those people are experiencing. Just as Casablanca and those movies are about people and the experiences they are experiencing.”
Some of the former cast members stories are quite sad like Robert Ormsby’s (the granddad) who talks about never marrying or having children and says
“I always thought I had potential, but I never did use it. More or less, I’ve frittered my life away. But then, what else is there to do with a life but fritter it away?”
But it is when they catch up with Margo that is the most sad. A recluse who looks after her elderly mother convinced she will soon go back to acting, at times this can be difficult to watch.
There are some more heart warming stories too, particularly Don Packard who played the store owner who tells us he had to sneak out of the local mental institution to film his scenes and sits in the crowd in one of the showings, after refusing to join the cast on stage, until a young woman recognises him and compliments his performance which gives him enough courage to join them.
Receiving big applause and thoroughly enjoying himself he states later that he never felt that good in his life and never was thrilled at being who he is until that night.
With the growing popularity of the film director Claudio Fragasso go to the showings and at first loves the attention as he’s clearly proud of his film. Quickly he realises that people are laughing at the film and do not hold it in the same light as he does which starts to test his patience. Regaled by stories from cast members about making Troll 2 including an amusing tale with Claudio being adamant that he knows how American teenagers talk better than the American Teenagers in the film you see he’s not a man to back down easily and who knows his own mind and nothing has changed in the last 20 years.
The cast recreate scenes from Troll 2 directed by Claudio who becomes increasingly annoyed by their performances and as well as their stories of making this film so starts referring to them as dogs which comes to a head at a Q&A in which he heckles the cast members from the crowd. Very funny to see.
As the many showings George attends start to wear on him and exasperated by appearances at conventions where he is almost disgusted by modern horror (aren’t we all) the once permanent smile starts to fade which is understandable, there is only so many times you can sit through the worst film ever before it has an effect so fair play to George, the documentary ends with George enthusiastically saying he would appear in Troll 3 and mentions Claudio along with Troll 2 writer Rossella Drudi (also his his wife) are writing the script for Troll 2: part 2.
One amusing titbit from Rossella Drudi is the reason the Goblins are vegetarian and turn their victims into plants to eat them is because at that time her friends were becoming vegetarians and it pissed her off.
As good a reason as any
Very engrossing and fun to watch I would recommend this but try to sit through Troll 2 first. On a side note Best Worst Movie holds a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes