Dir: Claudio Fragasso (as Drake Floyd)
Often regarded as the worst horror film ever made – “Troll 2” has a cast of unknowns who mostly went on to never act again. Is it really that bad?
When you press “Play” on your DVD player and sit down to watch a film that you’ve been told is the worst ever, you’re left with that nagging thought at the back of your head that if this movie doesn’t reach expectations, then it was a waste of time.
I remember how disappointed I felt when after more than 3 years of looking for the DVD on a friend’s recommendation that it was “hilariously bad”, “Primal Species” turned out to be only average in terms of bad movies.
Needless to say, it was with great trepidation that I pressed “Play” and sat down to watch “Troll 2”.
I was not disappointed.
“Troll 2” has earned its reputation and cult following similar to Cannibal, because if movies that were so bad they’re good were an island, “Troll 2” would be situated at the point furthest from any coast. To give you an idea of how enjoyable I found “Troll 2” to be, the island of movies that are so bad they’re good in this metaphor is a vast continent. The inhabitants of “Troll 2” have no knowledge of the vast oceans of averageness surrounding them. They don’t even have a word for “boat” – that’s how thoroughly enjoyable this movie is.
Unlike “Primal Species”, “Troll 2” really is “hilariously bad”. This was the first movie that any of the cast had worked on, and for all but one it was their last. Every single line in this movie is overacted. Not least by Deborah Reed (not the one married to Ving Rhames) who plays the evil Creedence Leonore Gielgud. Her unintentionally hilarious performance in this movie makes all Restoration farces look like they’re performed straight-faced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Darren Ewing plays Arnold, whose cry of “Oh my God!” has become the flagship clip to show just how bad and cheesy this movie really is. Capitalizing on his cheesy fame, his Twitter username is @ArnoldOMG.
I found “Troll 2” to be thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. The characters are all entirely stupid, the dialogue hilariously unrealistic (“Have you been smoking pot again?”) and everything is signposted (“I’m his daughter” etc). The plot’s “twist” where we find out that the town of “Nilbog” is “Goblin” spelt backwards couldn’t be more literally signposted.
By the end of this movie, I couldn’t help but add my own soundtrack á la “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. As a stand-up comedian, watching this movie without making at least one wry remark at its expense would be like missing an open goal. You don’t need to be a comedian to be missing an open goal by keeping schtum – I’m sure that if you watched this with your family, your Granny would be leading the verbal assault on this fine example of celluloid stillbirth.
Having said that, whilst heckling my screen, I was pleasantly surprised by an absolutely terrifying moment in the film. Whether it was intentional or not, this bad horror movie actually contains a moment that scared me to the point that the hairs on my arms were stood on end.
A documentary, “Best Worst Movie”, was made about “Troll 2” by its child star, Michael Stephenson. Usually claims that movies are “the best” are pushing it – they’re a USP for an engineered “cult classic”. But “Troll 2” is different – it really is the “best worst movie” in my opinion. And instead of being an engineered cult classic, it was a sincere attempt at legitimate filmmaking.
If this movie was deliberately as bad as it is, then it would be without charm (I’m looking at you “Dead and Breakfast“). But it’s the filmmakers’ sincerity in trying to make something worth watching (and failing spectacularly in doing so) that makes “Troll 2” such a brilliant bad movie. You have to do anything in your power to see this film. It’s easily one of my favourite movies (not just bad movies either).