Monday, June 29, 2015

Troll

I have written in the past about bad, bad movies.  A few weeks ago, I took the time to watch a movie that was just that sort of bad that you have to watch it: Troll 2.

Troll 2  is a singularly abject disaster. So much so that a documentary was made about it, The Best Worst Movie. At one point it had the lowest rating on IMDB, although sadly that's no longer the case.

Where to start? Well, let's start with the title: Despite being called Troll 2, it has little to do with the original Troll. In fact, there is famously not a single troll in the entire movie--the monsters they encounter are goblins. The word "troll" is never mentioned once.

That should tell you all you need to know, but you need to know a lot more.

The acting is bad. Some of the actors are capable enough, although none of them had ever really done anything of consequence before or since. The guy who plays the father isn't horrible, but everyone else either comes across as flat and lifeless or hammy to the point of cringeworthiness. The only one who seems to understand the train wreck of the movie is the main evil lady, Creedance, whose over-the-top absurdness is delivered with a barely visible wink.

The special effects are bad. The trolls themselves are little more than puppets, and the green vegetation is clearly just a greenish syrup. At least they put off a person burning in a fire jacket capably well.

The plot...well, the plot makes no sense. Aside from "small child is trying to tell all the responsible adults that something weird is going on but no one listens," most of the plot  involves stuff that doesn't make sense. A ghost of a grandpa who appears and disappears with no sense of logic, and moves the story along with mysterious bits and pieces that have no discernible logic aside from "we need conflict in the plot but we need to move it along". A ritual that has no basis on any sort of background or known consequence. An arrested relationship plot about the teenage daughter goes nowhere. A completely absurd scene near the end involves seduction via popcorn (yes, you read that right) not only makes zero sense, but does absolutely nothing to advance the plot. Hell, the trolls goblins only show up close towards the end of the movie, and their only function is to eat green syrup in the fakest way possible.

If this sounds like a disaster, it's because you're right. But it's a watchable disaster. You can tell that everyone involved is trying really, really hard to do...something, but there isn't anyone stringing it all together in a coherent manner. (The director, it should be noted, was not a native English speaker.)

I have to recommend that you not only watch this movie, but then watch the documentary I have linked above. It's a bad movie, to be sure, but it's the exact sort of thing one can enjoy without blatant irony.

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