Best Worst Movie
It’s easy to make a bad film. But to make the worst of all time? That takes ambition.
Troll 2 certainly has ambition. Too bad it lacks everything else.
Michael Stephenson’s — Troll 2 character Joshua — documentary, Best Worst Movie, annals the abhorrent horror film’s 1990 flop and subsequent cult status. Both films star George Hardy, a less handsome clone of Craig T. Nelson.
Here’s a synopsis of the “plot”: Joshua’s grandfather warns him that his family will be visited by goblins and eat his family. The family takes a vacation to Nilbog, where the grandfather warns Joshua against eating any of the town’s food. Turns out, it’s spiked with a substance that turns people into vegetables. Not the catatonic sort, actual vegetables. Because, you see, the goblins from Nilbog (get it?) are vegetarians. Once they’ve vegetable-ized you, they scarf you down.
Hardy’s infamous line, “You can’t piss on hospitality! I won’t allow it!” is quoted endlessly by his fans and himself at screenings. Fans are absolutely enamored with Hardy, and he’s enamored with the undeserved attention.
Best Worst Movie attempts to balance these two views on Hardy — the affable tooth puller and the reserved cult genius. Hardy is hilarious at times — at one horror movie meet-n-greet he notes, “There’s tons of gingivitis around here. Tons of it!” — but his character doesn’t offer much depth.
What Stephensen misses out on is more from Troll 2‘s director, Claudio Fragasso. The Italian filmmaker has convinced himself he’s made a serious piece of art, “a ferocious analysis of today’s society,” as he puts it.
Hardy, Stephensen and Fragasso return to the original house where they shot the film to replay a few scenes. Hardy and Stephensen can’t control their laughter through most of the dialogue, which irks Fragrasso. He doesn’t see how ludicrous his wife’s script actually is. But maybe, as the doc points out, that’s what makes Troll 2 such a cult hit. There’s not a tinge of irony felt from behind the camera lens. There’s no winking. It’s an uninhibited horror film.
Sure, it’s terrible. But being terrible is at least better than being boring.
As far as the documentary goes, it doesn’t dig deep enough into Troll 2‘s cult following and how they actually came to love the film, other than saying they watched it and loved it. The only parts of Best Worst Movie that convinced me to see Troll 2 were scenes from the original film.
During the documentary’s filming, Troll 2 was listed as the lowest rated selection on IMDB. But since that movie and this documentary have achieved more recognition, Troll 2 now sits at #63 with a 2/10 ranking. Bad? Yes. Worst ever? Probably not.
For those wondering, Baby Geniuses 2: Superbabies currently holds IMDB’s best worst title, but let’s hope we don’t see that documentary soon.
Best Worst Movie screens tonight at the Oriental Theatre at 10:15 p.m., followed by a Midnight showing of Troll 2. Both films also screen on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Ridge Cinema, also at 10:15 p.m. and Midnight. For tickets and additional info, click here.