MARCH 18, 2009
Here’s a weird thing: Those who follow my Twitter know I planned on watching Troll 2 yesterday, because I had to work all day and needed something PG-13 (and thus work safe). But I got out early and decided to save Troll 2 for today, opting for, as I joked, “something with tits”. But as it turned out, the movie I watched (Scourge) had no nudity whatsoever, and Troll 2 actually DID* - in the most wonderfully gruesome ending I’ve ever seen in a “kid’s horror movie”, our plucky hero watches a group of Goblins devour his mother before his eyes, with her (green slime covered) breasts in plain view. Huh.
But that’s just part of the nearly indescribable weird charm that Troll 2 oozes throughout its never coherent 95 minute running time. Plot points involve bologna sandwiches, the ghost of a grandfather (one that gives the one in Silent Night Deadly Night a run for his money in the “batshit and terrifying old loon” department), people turning into trees, a Winnebago filled with bisexual nerds, something called “brarkfarst”, and lots and lots of milk (some of which is stored on decidedly non-refrigerated shelves). And of course, Stonehenge, patron saint of nonsensical 80s horror movies. At one point the grandfather says “I’ll create some confusion to distract them”, as if the movie needed any more at that point.
One thing it doesn’t have, of course, is Trolls. Filmed as a movie simply called Goblins, you can’t fault the filmmakers for not having them in there, but you gotta wonder why the producer didn’t pony up 10-15 bucks to simply dub in the word “trolls” over “goblins”. It would still take place in Nilbog, but hey, at least it would show some effort. However, to be fair, it actually DOES have some thematic similarities, strangely enough. Both feature people being turned into trees, have a young hero talking to elderly folks in order to know what’s going on, a jaw-droppingly insane soundtrack, and don’t make a lick of sense. I think the original Troll had a scene where a ball rolls down some stairs too. Way more in common than any of the Dark Harvest movies offer anyway.
And for a PG-13 movie, it’s actually pretty harsh. The hero is bloodily turned into a tree during one of the film’s innumerous hallucination sequences, and another girl melts away into green goo. The woman playing the mother is also pretty terrifying in her own right; the spooky stare she offers throughout pretty much every scene in the film is the stuff of nightmares. And again, the film’s finale finds our 8-9 year old kid screaming in horror as his nude mother is devoured. Unlike the “original”, at least I have no trouble qualifying it as a horror movie.
But my God is it awful. The special kind of awful that makes it lovable, sure, but even amongst those films it stands out as particularly dreadful. The plot doesn’t make a word of sense (not to mention the fact that it manages to make villains out of vegetarians), the acting is sub-porn across the board, the dialogue sounds like it was written by a translator (and it’s also repeated - count how many “Good night, dears” there are in the first scene with the kid and his mom), etc. The climax of the film revolves around some people pushing on a rock while the goblins (midgets in potato sacks) leak more green goo and fall over (these shots are all repeated at least twice). Also, in order for the movie to work, every single character, even the villains, need to be functionally retarded.
So in other words, it’s amazing.
I’ve been hearing about this movie for years. My friend Kolleen has been bugging me to watch it since I started HMAD (actually even longer), it frequently pops up on “Worst Movies Ever Made” lists... there’s even a new documentary about it called Best Worst Movie, which focuses on the phenomenon its awfulness has created. You would think that all of the “hype” would result in an underwhelming experience, but while I have certainly seen more inept movies (I refer you to Dark Fields), everyone is right: this movie simply must be seen to be believed. Highly recommended.
What say you?
*It also had a subplot about four leaf clovers, which means it would have also been a fitting movie for St. Patrick's Day. Oh well.