Sunday, February 27, 2011

Best Worst Movie (capsule review) /Troll 2 (retro review) by The DarkSider

The Best Worst Movie (capsule review): Many years ago I took on the film Troll 2 on my old Geocities review site. In the hundreds of films I've reviewed, there have only been three I've written "I Hate This F*cking Movie" in big letters. Troll 2 was indeed one of them.

Recently (as of this writing) I picked up the documentary Best Worst Film. I found it to be an immensely charming look at the 1989 crime to decent cinema. Michael Stephenson (the lead child actor of Troll 2) boldly directs this and has no problem accepting (along with a good percent of the cast) how much of a cinematic atrocity Troll 2 was. The documentary dives head first into exploring the cause and effect of how something so terrible has garnished such an immense cult following. It also garnishes a lot of captivating stories of what went on behind the scenes during the film's production.

The shining beacon of light throughout proves to be George Hardy who played the father in Troll 2. His humor about the film is captivating and his acceptance of his role in the film is more the admirable. Hardy is never seen without a smile and a good nature towards fan's of the film. He comes off as the guy you wouldn't mind shooting the breeze with over a beer.

Perhaps a bit of an unintentional funny bit (especially for fans of B-movies) is the reaction of director Claudio Fragrasso to the film's cult status. Though I can't prove it he seems to think throughout that people like it for it's good points which we all know are few if any. He comes off as that kid in school who tries so hard to fit in but fails on all levels. Still, in his heart he believes he has done something epic. The emotional response tol the film he speaks of is there but on a completely different level of understanding. Instead of a serious reaction, he is left with unintentionally laughter. Either way, one feels he has a sense of some accomplishment seeing so many have enjoyed Troll 2 for whatever reason they may have.

The documentary isn't necessarily all laughs. There are some moments where you feel downright awful for some of the cast members. Several never acted again and others have struggled for roles thanks to having this film on their resume. (Parts me of me was reminded of the documentary of the 80s metal group Anvil.) Perhaps at one point many of the cast members thought this was the role that would land them bigger things. However due to multiple circumstances, the film obviously fell flat on it's face.

Best Worst Movie truly captures a message I find pertinent in life. Never take yourself too seriously and laugh with others at the goofy things you have done. Otherwise you'll never truly have fun in life.

Now, I give to you my original review of Troll 2 from years ago. I still hate the movie but like the cast all the more after watching Best Worst Film.

TITLE: Troll 2



REVIEWED BY: The DarkSider

THE PLOT: Some movies know they are going to suck and play with that idea making the film enjoyable. Then there is a movie like Troll 2 that tries to be taken seriously as a valid scary film. Oh and when that happens...hell hath no fury from The DarkSider. So buckle up we go again with more fantasy creatures...yea... just what we needed. If there is one thing I've learned from watching the crap I do, whenever a movie starts with an old man reading from a story book, you're generally doomed plot wise.

The story begins with the ballad of Peter...some lame Robin Hood looking dude traveling in the forest. He is immediately chased by a bunch of Goblins that look like they purchased their costumes from a store at post Halloween close out prices. Peter knocks himself out after a fall and when he comes to he sees some chick with painted on freckles. She offers him a bowl of guacamole looking stuff which makes him sweat antifreeze and turns him into some kind of creature made of tree/human parts. This apparently is fine dinning for the goblins. All of this is part of the charming bed time story Grandma Seth is telling his grandson Josh.

Wait a minute though...when his mother Diana comes in to the room we find out the recently deceased Grandpa isn't there. Diana commands her son to remove Grandpa Seth from his mind. Hey how bout giving the kid a little f*cking Ritalin mom? He is seeing more dead people than Haley Joe Osment.

Onward...Diana checks on daughter Holly who is pumping iron. Then we get introduced to father Michael who is talking about the big family get away. Apparently they are taking the troop up to some deserted town that live very much like the Amish. 'Yeah dad, this is soooo much better than Hawaii...asshole...' Oddly enough they are swapping houses for a month with residents in the town. To avoid an in depth look at plot stupidity lets just assume it was part of a really bad reality show.

Well anyhow, before the night closes Holly gets a visit from her boyfriend Elliot. He is accompanied by his 'friends' Arnold, Drew, and Brent. Holly apparently doesn't like them much because he goes everywhere with them. Aside from smelling Vaseline when these guys are around, I'm sure you might be able to get a faint scent of killing fodder as well...stay tuned.

The next day, the family take off for the country while a rip off of Smokey and The Bandit's East Five and Dime song plays. Thats just in case you didn't know they are supposed to in the be country. Holly is devastated that Elliot isn't with them but fear not, him and the boys apparently picked up an RV somewhere and are heading to the country. During the drive Josh has a nightmare about Goblins and wakes up to see Grandpa Seth on the side of the road. Apparently even in the afterlife you have to hitchhike if your car breaks down. He asks to stop so he can talk to Grandpa Seth who warns him to turn back from the town in to which they are heading.

Well with over an hour of plot time to fill we know that won't happen and the family chugs on. They finally reach the small town named Nilbog which is very much like Children Of The Cornville. Michael reassures the gang that farmers aren't around because they go to bed early. Ohhhh yes Michael good silly of us not to realize that all farmers have a bed time of 4 in the afternoon. It turns out the farmers are indeed around and appear as the family drives to their final destination. They give the car a good "they're coming to get you Barbara" stare.

The family arrives just in time to get a moody response from their house trade off people. The family go in and find out dinner is awaiting them. Only problem is there is a bunch of the guacamole stuff on the food. Grandpa Seth arrives again and with a snap of his fingers he tells Josh that he has 30 seconds to stop them from eating. F*cking lazy undead guides piss me off.

This is where things get really stupid. The family is frozen in time just about to eat or drink the food. Well actually it is the actors trying hard not to flinch. Oddly this is the one time their acting is tolerable. Does Josh run and rip the food out of their Does he throw out the food where no one can find it...not exactly. He does something that any young lad would do in his situation...piss on the table. Please don't laugh...I'm telling the truth.

Josh is punished for his deeds so for now the movie switches to the glory hole mobile with Elliot and his friends. Arnold heads out for a cig and spots a chick running from the Goblins. He confronts them only to get a spear in his chest. They run to some church looking place and immediately are introduced to a chick named Creedence. She is of Druid decent...OH NO...NOT THE DRUIDS...ANYTHING BUT THE DRUIDS. Her ancestors came from Stonehenge...I guess she is a distant relative to Conal Cochran or something. She serves up some nasty bubbling stuff to the kids which they drink up. Good f*cking move....the chick becomes green jello. We also find out that Creedence is the mother for all the Goblins.

Meanwhile back in the family's house, Holly is doing the white person shuffle to some real gut wrenching music. The dance style is a mix of um...the robot...vogue...and a touch of the Morris Day And The Time shuffle. While gloating in the mirror, Grandpa Seth appears to her saying Josh's name. Oh sorry Holly...wrong mirror number. Anyhow after the family pulls the 'theres nothing here' bullsh*t, Josh decides to sleep in her room. Josh calls upon Grandpa Seth who's head appears in the mirror. I had a hard time holding back with Superman 'Jor-El' references while watching this by the way. Grandpa Seth says the house is filled with evil and will return...same mirror time...same mirror channel.

Cut to the Richard Simmons fan club in the RV. Drew complains to Elliot, who is laying unfavorably close to Brent in bed, that there is no food. Drew heads out for a jog into town to find some food. Across town the family is just waking up to no breakfast either so Michael and Josh head out. Meanwhile, Drew gets a lift into town by Sheriff Freak. You know in the Rick James song with the word 'super' attached. He gets offered a sandwich with the green substance and immediately he starts sweating antifreeze.

When he gets into town he gets offered some milk by the general store and is sent to Creedence's house by the townsfolk. Creedence is tending to Arnold who is blooming quite nicely. I'm guessing Brent and Arnold became lunch for the gobllins. Across town Josh and Michael are at the empty general store. Michael does some educational reading on vegetables while Joshua discovers...oh can't be...IT CAN'T BE...the town Nilbog is spelled Goblins backward in the car's rear view mirror!!!!!!!!


Yeah if Creedence's ridiculous wide eyed over acting didn't frighten your ass, the director was hoping this would. Yeah, thats some real groundbreaking scary sh*t there isn't it? Well anyhow, Josh runs away and heads into a barn with a hole in the floor. I've always said any place in a sh*tty movie that has a hole in the wall/floor, it is an unwritten rule that something sinister is going down one room over.

Of corse this movie doesn't stray from that rule. There is an evil minister in mid sermon talking about how humans are yucky creatures...blah blah blah. Josh is discovered and is almost fed some of the evil food but Michael rescues him. The group claim they were trying to feed him ice cream. Michael, not convinced there is something foul going on especially when all they were doing was holding Josh's arms down while trying to force feed him, buys into it and heads home. Meanwhile, Creedence pays a visit to Diane who is home alone and gives her an evil cake. She assures Diane it is made from an old ha ha ha ha ha ha...yeah whatever. Before making it home, Michael and Josh pick up Elliot and Holly who are in the middle of a dispute over friends again. This leaves Brent alone in the RV to dream of Tom Selleck or something.

When they finally make it home sweet home they find out its party time. The residents have arrived to throw a huge gala event in their house complete with food. Josh freaks out calling them goblins and is sent to his room. This leaves the rest of the group to get egged on into eating the yummy food. Josh speaks into the mirror for Grandpa Seth over and over again. Unfortunately he keeps getting busy mirror signals and eventually is greeted by Creedence in goblin form.

When all hope may be lost, Grandpa Seth finally arrives and hacks Creedence's arm off with an axe. With a fine spiritual guide like Grandpa Seth on his side, finally Josh can take on the Goblins in a fair fight. Why...well Grandpa Seth brings with him the weapon of mass destruction...a moltov cocktail. Wait a minute...a moltov cocktail? Apparently the afterlife has access to weapons so why didn't he grab an AK47 or perhaps a rocket launcher. No...the asshole brings a moltov cocktail and an axe.

This movie is re-f*cking-diculous...

Trying to move on...ok...Josh and Grandpa Seth head out of the house and the evil minister takes the moltov cocktail from Josh. He says some gibberish and tries to send Grandpa Seth's soul to hell. Grandpa Seth fires back and lights the moltov coctail in the minister's hand. As the minister cooks, Grandpa Seth tells Josh he must face the goblins alone. Yeah thanks a lot Grandpa Conan would say...Da hell wit you.

The minister is extinguished to reveal...gasp...the body of a goblin. The family get yelled at by the townsfolk and run into the house. While they set up camp in the house, Creedence is at work on strategy in her own home. She talks to the foam walls of Stonehenge in her house which answers with smoke from a machine. She demands retribution for her pain so Stonehenge turns her that Stevie Nicks? I think it is...anyhow she heads out to pay Brent a visit in the RV. ?Why...uh...I don't know exactly but just go with it. While watching the television, it changes the channel to Creedence outside. A really bad instrumental rip off of You Can Leave Your Hat On plays as Creedence starts to seduce Brent with corn on the cob. Yes...corn on the cob...

Sigh...back to the house where the locals are surrounding the family. The family complains of having no weapons...can't they improvise something in the kitchen? Oh who gives a sh*t...anyhow Josh suggests the family do a seance to contact Grandpa Seth. They light 100 white candles or so and do this. Grandpa Seth informs them he only has ten minutes until the clock (which read 5:55 to be technical) rings six. After it rings he will disappear forever and ever. Josh is snatched away by some unseen force to Creedence's pad. He is attacked by goblins until Grandpa Seth comes to his rescue. He instructs Josh that only the power of good can stop the power of Stonehenge.

Let me take a break...what the f*ck has Grandpa Seth done so far to make him so important. He answers vaguely on top of constantly disappearing. I don't even f*cking care anymore...I'm so worn out by this film.

Josh and Grandpa Seth put their hands on Stonehenge and Grandpa Seth leaves one last time for the afterlife. Before he leaves, he gives Josh a backpack with the ultimate weapon which should only be used if all else is lost. Meanwhile the family is battling goblins in the house. They chuck a few down the stairs until they find themselves cornered. Creedence and the rest of the goblins feels a disturbance in the force and spiritually transports themselves back to her place. She and the goblins snatch Josh away from Stonehenge.

Josh being cornered reaches into the backpack to find the object Grandpa Seth has bestowed him. Is it a special medallion that zaps the goblins back to the hell from which they is literally a double bologna sandwich that makes the goblins disperse because of the cholesterol they fear in it...excuse me...


Thank you...well to wrap things up the family and Elliot make it to Creedence's place in time to help Josh put an end to the evil by touching Stonehenge. Well that is until the family gets home and Josh witnesses his mother getting eaten by goblins in a twist ending. Its official now, the whole movie was pointless and theres the final proof. I have nothing left to say.

ITS THE INNARDS THAT COUNT (most gruesome/odd moments)
1.) Got Wood - The victims of the goblin guacamole turn into part tree/human. Gives a whole new meaning to having a stick up your ass doesn't it?

2.) Pop Goes The World - Brent is smothered when Creedence turns the corn she is eating into popcorn. Brent should never have trusted that corn hole b*tch.

3.) Dancing Queen - Holly's have to see it to know what I mean.

YOU'RE A GRAND OLD A-HOLE (the A-Holes of the film get their moment)
1.) Creedence - This chick is no Suzie Q. If you ever come across her you know theres A Bad Moon Rising. Her Travelin' Band of goblins is no better either...ok...that will be enough for now.

2.) Goblins - I can only hope the people that brought us this film realized way late in filming that this film was supposed to be about trolls. Aw f*ck it...from the look of things it probably only took three days to shoot the stupid movie anyhow.

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