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The Potter family has just moved to a rented apartment in San Francisco. Harry Potter Sr. and his wife Anne are bringing the packages to the apartment and their son Harry Jr. and their little daughter Wendy Anne stays on the sidewalk. Wendy goes to the laundry room, she meets the wicked troll Torok that uses his magic ring to possess Wendy and to use her form to transform the dwellers and their apartment into other trolls and his kingdom. Harry Jr. feels that something is wrong with his sister and seeks out help with the good witch Eunice St. Clair that lives in the building. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Watching TROLL, sooner or later viewers will ask, "Who was this movie made for?" It's too simple-minded and dopey for adults, and most teenagers and kids will probably think that as well. Younger and less desensitized kids will probably be freaked out by sights of people turning into trees and ugly creatures, and parents may not be comfortable with the kids also seeing nudity and hearing foul words.
Though it runs about 83 minutes, it feels a lot longer. There's almost no plot. Scenes go by where nothing happens except time being wasted, like that scene where Michael Moriarty humiliates himself by dancing to Blue Cheer's rendition of "Summertime Blues". The little plot there is raises way too many unanswered questions. Like: Why was the troll in the apartment complex in the first place? Or: Why didn't the character of the witch bother to get seriously involved in the crisis until near the end of the movie?
There's a weird feeling to everything. Though set in San Francisco, it sure doesn't feel like it. The indoor sets have a surreal artificiality to them (and I swear the stairway set was also used for CRAWLSPACE, another Empire movie!), and even the limited view outside looks decidedly non-American. (Actually, it was filmed in Italy.)
Almost all the cast completely embarrasses themselves, though they should feel lucky that most of them only appear for a few minutes. Their characters are hollow and as simple-minded as the rest of the script. There are two exceptions; June Lockhart is very fun, putting spunk and a sense of enjoyment in her role. And Phil Fondacaro is warm and sympathetic as the little person in the apartment complex. Interestingly, both roles were written with way more care so that they are actually characters, not essentially stock figures like the rest of the players. So the movie's not a total disaster... but it's close.
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