If the ambition is to provide two hours of instantly forgettable, popcorn-munching escapism, it succeeds.
Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.
Best Worst Movie is surprisingly deep for a documentary about Troll 2. This film is very humorous at times, but it also delves into serious drama. It's probably better if you have seen Troll 2, but if you haven't seen it, this documentary will stir a desire in you to watch one of the worst movies ever made.
A documentary about the infamous "Troll 2", this is a very entertaining look at the film's legacy and the nature of fandom in general. It is directed by Michael Stephenson, who played the lead role of Joshua Waits. He explains that he first saw the film when he received a copy of it on VHS for Christmas 1991 and that it was pretty soul destroying experience since it was just so awful. He spent years trying to forget that it even existed but he eventually decided to embrace it, which is why he made the documentary. However, the fact that he is behind the camera for most of the film means that this is about as much as we learn about the film's impact on his life, which is a shame. The documentary interviews some of the most die-hard fans of "Troll 2" and there are a few excellent descriptions of the film and its appeal. One fan claims that it is as if an alien picked up broadcasts of Earth films and then tried to make one of their own. Another fan compares it to a religion which keeps growing as more and more people introduce their friends to the film. The horror film journalist M.J. Simpson says that the reason that people love the film so much is that it may be complete trash but the filmmakers were honestly trying to make it good, comparing the complete lack of cynicism on display to Ed Wood's films. I think that this is a pretty apt description.The main focus of the documentary is Stephenson's on screen father George Hardy, a dentist in Alexander City, Utah. He is an extremely nice man who is basically beloved by everyone. Even his ex-wife Merry says that she could not imagine anyone disliking him. Although he harboured dreams of becoming an actor, he did not pursue them as his parents convinced him that it was not exactly a stable income. His mother thought that "Troll 2" was so dreadful that she left halfway through the screening! The film shows Hardy attending a good 10 or 15 screenings of the film all over the US where he is treated like a rock star by the fans. He really laps it up! There is a very bittersweet moment though when he and several other castmembers go to a convention in Birmingham and the Q&A panel is only attended by seven or eight people, some of whom I am convinced were there by mistake from their expressions. From what we see in the documentary, no one went to the signing. This would not have been so bad if it were the comparatively close Birmingham in Alabama but, no, it was the rather more distant Birmingham in England. Hardly anyone there has even heard of "Troll 2". John Schneider says that he has but I am convinced that he was just being polite. Hardy finds it hilarious that they have come so far and no one is interested but another castmember Darren Ewing (of "Oh my GOOOOOOOOOODDDD!" fame) is clearly furious to have wasted so much of his time. It later shows them at a horror convention in Dallas but there is only slightly more interest there. In an extremely funny moment, Hardy comments that many of the attendees have gingivitis and estimates that only 5% floss regularly.In contrast to Hardy, however, the director Claudio Fragasso does not come across very well. He is short-tempered, incredibly rude and aggressive, often referring to the actors as "dogs." There were a few times where I would have thought that he was going to hit someone if I hadn't already seen the documentary about five years ago. He attends several of the screenings but he resents the fact that "Troll 2" is considered by many people to be the worst film ever made. On the other hand, he also thinks that it is almost as big a compliment to be the director of the worst film ever made as it is to be the director of the best film ever made. None of the castmembers really have a kind word to say about him and he is clearly not enamoured of them either. His English is far from fluent but it is seemingly much better than it was when they made "Troll 2" in 1989. His wife Rossella Drudi explains that they made the goblins vegetarians as the fact that so many of her friends were vegetarians made her angry (for some reason). She describes the film as a "ferocious examination of today's society." Right...Connie Young (formerly Connie McFarland) probably had the most negative reaction to the film of any of the castmembers since she realised that her performance as Holly was abysmal from the moment that she saw it. She is still working as an actress, albeit with limited success, and "Troll 2" does not have pride of her place on her résumé. Imagine that. She says that several times people have recognised her from the film at auditions and she knew that her name would be crossed off the list the moment that she left the room. She also admits that she does not understand the fascination that people have with "Troll 2". Don Packard, who played the Nilbog store owner, tells us that he was institutionalised due to serious psychological problems in the late 1980s and he was released for several days in order to work on the film. When he finally saw it after almost 20 years, he said that he was seriously troubled at the time as opposed to acting as if he were troubled as the store owner.Overall, this is a great documentary on the impact that cult films can have on people's lives, for better and for worse.
We get nice interviews from the actors all admitting that they hated Troll 2 when they first saw it. But grew to love it after the movie gained a cult status.Claudio is clearly a guy who cannot take criticism. When someone tries to correct him about anything, he gets annoyed. There's a scene near the end when the cast do a Q and A and he is in the audience. Anytime somebody says the movie is bad, he would shout at them and get angry. He's like a child who can't understand that you can't have everything you want. He also gets annoyed when people laugh at the movie for how bad it is. We have interviews with random people explaining why they love this movie and we have screenings of them showing the movie.The biggest focus on this doc is George Hardy. Shot in his home town, everyone is like "George is so great" and "George is amazing".....The focus is no longer on Troll 2, but about fecking George. We see him go over the moon when he is at screenings of this movie. Not just in his hometown, but all around the States too.He is on top of the world and nothing can spoil his enjoyment.That is until he goes to a convention in Birmingham.He's sitting by the stalls, wondering why the hell aren't people asking for his autograph. "Hey, I was in Troll 2!"(Silence)You just want to say "Take that, George! Serves you right for your attention seeking."But it get worse when he goes to the convention in Texas and the same thing happens again.Also, he is not found of the other Horror movies being promoted."I don't know this movie. This one neither. Oh boy." Despite his attention seeking, you do feel a tad bit sorry not just for him, but for the other actors who starred in movies about 20 years ago and haven't done anything since.This is why being an actor or actress sucks big time.But then George goes back to his hometown and it is all "George is so great" again.You're famous in your hometown, but not everywhere.Claudio also gets one last word. "I make movies that emote me and this movie emotes the audience too."Yeah, cos I clearly remember how emotional this movie made me.You poor bastard, Claudio.Still, it is a nice doc and worth watching if you liked (or even didn't like) Troll 2.
Mismarketed as a documentary that seeks to deduce how bad movies get made, "Best Worst Movie" spotlights the cultural impact of "Troll 2", widely considered the worst movie ever made. The principal cast of "Troll 2" were either too young or too inexperienced to realize they were making such a hilariously bad flick. And you can't help but feel sorry for these people as they describe having to come to grips with their involvement in said debacle, back in 1989. But that sympathy doesn't last ling, as they grow to embrace their ironic fame. The funniest parts of "Best Worst Movie" (aside from clips of "Troll 2") are the raucous crowds at the revival screenings, and the cast's own reenactments of the best (worst) scenes from the movie. What's staggering is that the director has no idea he made a terrifically terrible movie. To him, it's a parable that examines the important everyday issues (life, death, food, family). Even when attending a midnight screening, the guys has no idea the movie is celebrated for being so awful.The documentary loses its way in the second half, as it focuses on the lead actor, George Hardy (a small-town dentist) and his time spent languishing at various fan and horror conventions where few have heard of "Troll 2". But the good definitely outweighs the bad here, as this is a thoroughly enjoyable film.I have never seen "Troll 2", and we simply need to fix that.7/10