Monday, May 02, 2011

“They're eating her... and then they're going to eat me... OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!”

What is this I don’t even?

Well, it was bound to happen. 1990’s Troll 2. The so-called “worst movie ever made.” Let’s get this over with. To paraphrase, it has nothing to do with trolls, it has nothing to do with 2’s. It has everything to do with hurting.

Oh where do I begin?

Joshua Waits (Michael Stephenson), Michael Waits (George Hardy), Diana Waits (Margo Prey), and Holly Waits (Connie McFarland). Elliot Cooper (Jason Wright) is Holly’s boyfriend, though she spends most of the early part of the movie ball busting him. For some reason, she also invites him on the family road trip, but he wants to bring his friends along, misses the car ride and they follow along in an RV for no good reason other than to provide a bunch of bland friends to kill off.

Now, Joshua’s been having visions of his dearly departed Grandpa Seth (Robert Ormsby), except Joshua isn’t two jokers short of a full deck and Seth is a ghost trying to warn him about the threat of goblins. Vegetarian goblins that want to feed humans some green goo that will transform them into plant matter so that they can eat them. Sounds like an overly complicated plan, but I guess goblins are just assholes that way. Anyway, the goblins are all capable of disguising themselves as humans and the town is effectively led by the druid-like sorceress (I mean “druid” in the D&D sense, not in the ancient Celtic sense) Creedence Leonore Gielgud (Deborah Reed) who’s actually kind of hot in a crazy-eyed, overacting-community-theater sort of way.

So, uh, where were we? Oh, yeah. So it boils down to “can Joshua save his family from being turned into goo and eaten by goblins and escape from the small town in Utah where they live?”

Directed by Italian director Claudio Fragasso (as Drake Floyd) who actually made a fair amount of movies before filming this one, so I’m not entirely sure what the excuse is. Lack of budget is certainly a valid one, as the goblins look silly, the makeup is unconvincing and the less said about Grandpa Seth’s “lightning bolt attack” the better. As for the cinematography, budget constraints doesn’t really excuse it.

As a completely unnecessary tangent to justify a bit of useless trivia, the costume designer of the film was Laura Gemser, who in the 70s and 80s, starred in a very large number of, shall we say “naughty” exploitation films. The writer of one of these films? Claudio Fragasso. She’s actually quite important as she would act as translator between the English-speaking actors and the Italian-speaking crew (according to the trivia page on IMDB).

Speaking of writing! Screenplay by Rossella Drudi and “Drake Floyd” and let’s not mince words. The script is by far the absolute worst part of this movie. The dialogue is painfully unconvincing and, coupled with the fact that the writers were not native English speakers and expressly told the native English speaking cast to say their lines word-for-word. If you’ve seen this movie, you can see just how well that worked out.

Now, I do have to admit that the idea of making the villainous goblins militantly vegetarian is a reasonably novel idea. It’s something you legitimately don’t see frequently. The execution here probably never helped that trope catch on.

Original music by Carlo Maria Cordio and its full of synthesized badness. Let’s just move on to the end.

So yeah. Troll 2. Troll 2, man. Troll 2. Its status as infamous trainwreck is well documented by now and there’s little I can add to the discussion other than “Yep. It’s a bad movie.” Certainly not the objectively “worst” movie ever made. Nor is it even the worst movie I’ve ever seen (it didn’t even make me mad or anything). What elevates it to Ed Wood levels of bad moviedom is the sheer ineptitude of the execution that makes it absolutely hilarious when watched with friends because this movie needs to be seen by several people who can stare at each other in slack-jawed shock when the credits roll.

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