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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
As a fan notes in "Best Worst Movie", the worst movies are never made that way on purpose but inherit their serious badness from the sincerity with which they were made. Thus was the case with Troll 2, which the director Claudio Fragasso inconceivably insists was an earnest work of art. This documentary, put together by the actor who played the son in the 1990 film, catches up with Fragasso as well as the writer (Fragasso's wife) and cast of Troll 2.
Many terrible films have acquired cult followings--most notably of recent times Tommy Wiseau's The Room--but to my knowledge, Troll 2 is the only one which is itself a subject of a documentary. Michael Stephenson does an excellent job in conveying not only Troll 2's infamy but also the general "it's all in fun" attitude of fans who love truly bad movies. Even if you haven't seen Troll 2 (although I highly recommend you do!), I think you'll find this documentary interesting, hilarious, and even touching. Even my 14 year old son, who's as yet too young to appreciate epic badness in movie making, wandered into the room while I was viewing this and ended up sitting and watching it with me.
Much of the documentary centers around George Hardy, who played the dad in Troll 2, and his attending of conventions and Troll 2 screenings as well as his efforts in trying to get the other actors to participate in a Troll 2 reunion. The jovial Hardy is impossible to dislike and without his cooperation "Best Worst Movie" wouldn't have worked nearly as well. His upbeat attitude lends a balance to the proceedings as we discover that many of the other actors involved in Troll 2 are these days embarrassed, bitter, depressed, or in at least two cases clinically insane.
Fragasso, by turns astounded and angry that so many people laugh at his film, is a dour presence throughout, but in the end offers the most relevant wisdom. Movies, he says, are about moving the audience, and Troll 2 is by those standards a great success. Fortunately, the same can be said about "Best Worst Movie", which is well worth a look.
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