Sunday, April 18, 2010

Best Worst Movie

Guy and I watched the movie Troll 2 on Friday night. It was really good, and by that I mean, really bad in a really good way. Guy had read about it online; it is beloved for its legendary badness.

Every now and then, it's palate cleansing to watch a really, really bad movie. It's easy to forget (until a movie like this reminds you) just how bad acting, writing, and directing can be. Watching Troll 2 is a magical cinematic experience, what with the completely non-spooky ghost of "Grandpa Seth," the wooden line readings, the community theater quality costumes, and the plot and character motivations that make absolutely no logical sense. Also great: the fact that there is not a single troll in this movie--it's all about goblins. I haven't seen the documentary about it yet, but now I really want to. Here's more from Wikipedia:

Troll 2 is a 1990 horror film, directed by Claudio Fragasso, under the pseudonym Drake Floyd. During production, the film was known as Goblin, and some foreign releases of the movie were labeled as such, but upon release in the United States, the title was changed to Troll 2 in an attempt to help sell the film by connecting it to an established horror movie, the 1986 Empire Pictures film Troll. The two films, however, have no connection apart from the title. In fact, despite the title, no actual trolls appear in Troll 2.

The plot concerns an American family, the Waits family, who are taking a trip to the country to visit a small town called "Nilbog" (goblin spelled backwards), but are plunged into a nightmare as they are relentlessly pursued by vegetarian goblins, who turn people into plants before they eat them.

The cast includes Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie Young (here credited with her maiden name, Connie McFarland) and Jason F. Wright.

Troll 2 is widely considered to be of poor quality. In fact, for a time the film was rated as the worst film of all time by The goblins' costumes, designed by cult erotic actress Laura Gemser, consist of burlap clothes stuffed with foam rubber, and latex masks, only one of which featured a movable mouth; the musical score consists of only a few synthesized themes repeated numerous times. In addition, the acting and dialogue have become notorious for their camp value. The scene where Darren Ewing's character states that he will be eaten next has become an internet meme, often appearing in videos alongside the "Garbage Day" meme from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2.

Troll 2 was recently given RiffTrax treatment by Michael J. Nelson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame) and special guest Richard Kyanka from Something Awful.

The movie was filmed in Morgan, Utah and Porterville, Utah, in the summer of 1989. In 2007, A major Troll 2 event took place in Morgan called Nilbog Invasion. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Rolling Roadshow turned Morgan into "Nilbog" again for a weekend, and screened the film for an audience of fans from around the world. Much of the cast attended and appeared in a panel discussion, as well as the writers and director of the film. Director Claudio Fragasso was presented with the key to the city by the Mayor of Morgan.

At the event, Fragasso and writer Rossella Drudi announced plans for a sequel to Troll II, and the audience was polled for their opinion on what the film should be called. The winning title was Troll II: Part II.

In December 2009, late-night host Conan O'Brien recommended Troll II to his list of DVDs and books in his "New Oprah" segment.

The child star of Troll 2, Michael Stephenson, directed a feature-length documentary about Troll 2 titled Best Worst Movie. The film debuted March 14, 2009, at the Alamo Lamar Draft house in Austin, Texas, as part of the Spotlight Features for the SXSW Film Festival. Several cast members from Troll 2 attended the premiere. The screening was followed by a showing of Troll 2. The documentary is currently screening at major film festivals across the world, the most recent being the American Film Institute Festival. The film has also screened at SxSW, HotDocs and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

The film won Best Feature Documentary (as voted by the official jury), as well as the Audience Choice for Best Documentary Feature at the 11th Annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in September 2009. It will release in spring 2010 and is distributed by Area 23 A. It is set for an limited theatrical release begins on 23 April in Alamo Drafthouse and ends on 23 July 2010 in the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.

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