Chances are good that if you are a frequent viewer of internet videos, then you probably know this scene, perhaps one of the best examples of how to be a bad actor while not noticing the fly on your face in cinema history. The video comes from the cheap horror film Troll 2, which has no trolls, but plenty of vegetarian goblins. Today, Troll 2 has developed a decent cult following thanks to being so bad it’s hilarious. I recently purchased this film at Vintage Stock (For only 10 dollars) and after viewing it, I can say that its unofficial title of “Best Worst Film” (Also the title for a Troll 2 documentary that I now must see) is very well deserved. Troll isn’t just so bad it’s good; it’s so bad that it made me roll out of my chair with laughter.
Troll 2 starts like any other classic horror film: A man wearing lederhosen and a pointy hat being chased through the woods by a pack of rabid trolls goblins. This scene alone lets the viewer know just how insane the movie is going to be. In just the first five minutes, we get the main character (A little kid named Joshua that really likes to show off his duck-face) being edited into the scene, which is a story being told by his grandpa. Oh, and one of the lines is “chlorophyll blood”. Oh, and we soon find out that Joshua’s grandpa is actually a vision; he’s been dead for 6 months, and it’s high time that Joshua “banish his grandfather from his mind”.
We also meet up with the rest of the family, including a mother that provides almost nothing more than a blank expression, and the father, Michael Waits, a dude that loves half-buttoned shirts, popped collars, and generally being the most badass movie dad of all time. I could put all the great things about this guy in an entirely different post, but if you’re going to see this film, see it for him. It’s my favorite part of the film.
The only other character of note is Joshua’s sister, Holly, who I guess is supposed to be the sexy chick in the film, which is probably why there are so many scenes of here working out and dancing in tights. Holly is the basis for the film’s “sub-plot”, which is essentially about her punching her boyfriend in the dick and telling him to stop hanging out with his friends and being a “homo”.
The Waits family, trailed by Holly’s pussy boyfriend and his “boys”, travel to Nilbog (Yes, I get it) for a nice vacation in the countryside. Meanwhile, Joshua continues to get visions of his dead grandpa (Including one fabulous scene in which it turns out to be a hobo), who keeps telling him that he and his family will be in grave danger if they stay in Nilbog.
Almost immediately, things start to get fishy. The family that originally invited Joshua and company over in the first place begin acting strangely, and Joshua becomes tipped at their evil intentions when one of the kids throws him a baseball with a subtle message: Eat before we eat you. Joshua soon pieces together that Nilbog is the kingdom of the goblins, led by a grammatically incorrect preacher and an evil witch, Creedence Leonore Gielgud, who uses Stonehenge’s Magic Stone to give her army of goblins power. The rest of the film chronicles the Waits family’s fight for survival, while the goblins also pick off Elliot (The boyfriend) and his boys, one by one.
From start to finish, Troll 2 had me laughing obnoxiously loud. Everything about the movie is too bad to be taken seriously, and I find it hard to believe that director Drake Floyd thought this film would be a genuinely scary film. The acting is some of the worst I have ever seen, but the majority of the actors have many qualities about them that only make it more of a hoot to watch. From Joshua’s duck-face screaming, to Michael’s hilarious attire and accent, the movie never fails to show its true colors as a schlocky comedy.
While the acting is hilarious enough to constitute watching Goblin 1 Troll 2, it isn’t the only thing that makes this one of my new favorite bad movies of all time. An underrated aspect that makes the film awesomely bad is the editing, script, and soundtrack. The film moves around faster than a game of hot potato, quickly moving from a scene where the family consoles a pissed off Holly to a random montage of road-trip shots while hoedown music plays. In another scene, Joshua accidentally rolls his skateboard through a hole in the ceiling. A few milliseconds later, two hands shoot through the hole and shake Joshua by his face, but that scene is abruptly ended and we then see Holly walk up to the area where her boyfriend and The Boys are staying, and punch him in the face for having friends. These scenes are all good enough by themselves, but the frantic pace that the editing gives it make the move that much more enjoyable and hard to follow.
As for the script, let’s just say it’s pretty obvious that the guy who wrote the script probably wasn’t American… as it turns out, director Drake Floyd is not only an Italian originally named Claudio Fragasso, but he (a) also wrote the script, and (b) insisted that his screenplay be acted out word for word, despite many protests from the actors that many of the lines sounded pretty broken. My personal favorite? “We need time for some things to happen.” uttered by the evil preacher, complete with dramatic zoom in, after Michael saves Joshua from the goblins. Random, awful, glorious.
The soundtrack? If you’ve ever played a Sonic the Hedgehog game, then you’ve heard the soundtrack.
Even though I’ve been drooling all over this film for the last 1000 words, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some things about the movie that I didn’t like. For all the great moments in Troll 2, it still runs a little long at 1 hour and 30 minutes, and this in part due to some 5-7 minute stretches of film that aren’t funny bad, just bad. The other complaint I have is about the Waits family mother, who has literally no redeeming qualities in the whatsoever, outside of her line about telling Joshua to banish his dead grandfather from his mind. It’s a touching moment.
Despite some lulls here and there, and a tragically bad mother, Troll 2 managed to pull me and my friends (including James Fischer, who really needs to write a f*cking post for this site) back in by being absolutely, ridiculously hilarious when we needed it the most. No matter how awesome the video from above is, there are plenty of other scenes from the movies that I think are ten times funnier, including things like popcorn sex, cloverleaf moles, and an epic lancing scene that involves the same guy from the “OH MY GOOOOOD” video.
To sum it all up, Troll 2 is a ridiculously entertaining film that may actually deserve the title of best worst movie. It’s that damn good. The only thing I suggest is that you watch it with friends. No matter how funny it is alone, Troll 2 is a film that deserves to be made fun of in the company of others. Find this film and watch, as soon as you possibly can.
Grade: A-, or 4.5 cloverleaf moles out of 5