Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
An original documentary which follows three families in a small seaside town in Massachusetts as they prepare for their annual home made haunted houses. This story highlights their long ... See full summary »
Michael Paul Stephenson
Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.
In 1989, unwitting Utah actors starred in the undisputed Worst Movie in History: TROLL 2. Two decades later, the legendarily inept film's child star unravels the improbable, heartfelt story of an Alabama dentist-turned-cult movie icon and an Italian filmmaker who come to terms with this genuine, internationally revered cinematic failure. Written by
"Best Worst Movie" is the best movie you'll find about one of the worst...
Oh, "Troll 2", how I love thee! Yes, the 1990 "horror" film that doesn't even have trolls in it is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever created. (Even holding the #1 worst spot on this site at one time) It's one of those "so-bad-that-it's-good" movies- the film is just so fundamentally flawed in every way that it becomes strangely watchable and enjoyable. It ranks up there with "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "The Room" as some of the Best-Worst movies. (Hence, this hilarious documentary's title.)
"Best Worst Movie" is directed by the child "star" of "Troll 2", Michael Stephenson, as he analyzes the impact the film has made, and gives us glimpses at the lives of the principal actors involved.
And it is a heart-felt, nostalgic ride, filled with great real-life "characters" and some touching moments. We mainly follow George Hardy, who played Stephenson's father in the film. He is a decent, divorced father with a teenaged daughter, a nice house and a successful dentist office. He's your small-town, friendly guy. Everyone loves him- even his ex-wife, who appears in the movie to speak on his behalf. We also meet a good portion of the other actors, and learn about the troubled production of "Troll 2" (including shooting with a foreign crew that didn't speak English, and working with a director whom doesn't seem too open to criticism or suggestions), and how many of the actors tried to forget about it. Of course, films like these never die, and the film became a cult classic for its unintentional awfulness and hilarious acting. The YouTube generation especially has made it into a sort of Holy Bible of Bad Movies.
So we follow George and the others, as they slowly reclaim "Troll 2", and enjoy the success it has found. It's a lot of fun seeing George in particular, who you can tell actually enjoys acting, running around and giddily telling people about how he was in the "worst movie ever" with a smile. He's so happy to have been part in something so notable, and it's quite touching how much joy he can make out of it, when such a thing would jade most other people.
There isn't a whole lot that happens in this documentary, to be honest. No real underlying theme or message, per say. But it is still a fun analysis of a pop-culture, cult icon, and those involved with it. There is also some extremely unexpected emotion in a few key scenes, including a sequence where Stephenson and George track down the actress who portrayed the mother in the film- only to learn that she has become reclusive, delusional and is clearly "out of touch." It added a weight to the film that I quite admired.
I really enjoyed this. It's not the strongest documentary, but it's one of the "funnest" (I know that's not a word), and is a joy to watch. I give it a great 9 out of 10.
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