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Leprechaun 2 (1994)
"I like this movie" -me, someone who hates low-rent horror trash
This movie is a marvel to say the least. The first Leprechaun was such a horrible movie that I went into this without any trace of hope. I've seen Children of the Corn sequels okay? I know what I'm in for. This seemed like something I would loathe being on my screen. No one is more shocked than me that I actually consider this a... good movie. Not a guilty pleasure but a... GOOD MOVIE?
This is a movie that fixes 90% of the problems from the first movie. The pacing is miraculously improved, the acting is improved, the humor is improved, Warwick Davis is better, it is more creative, it does a better job exploring and parodying Irish myth and lore, and it has... wait for it... likable characters!!! Imagine that!!!
Sure, finding a wife is no better a premise than finding gold, and wrought iron as kryptonite makes as much sense as a four leaf clover. Also some things in general don't really make sense and you get a bad line reading here and there. But good god, I was actually not annoyed this time! How refreshing.
If I caught a Leprechaun and received wishes, one would be that they just released this in place of the first movie. Jennifer Anniston didn't need that film. I didn't need that film. It is a complete waste of time and should be skipped at all costs. This one, however, is actually entertaining and stands on its own as a fun horror comedy. I can only hope that the later sequels can hold on to this quality.
A Bad Movie I Have Trouble Calling Bad
This film is a mess from minute 1 to 82.
From half of its actors seemingly not knowing how to act like humans to a very poorly thought out siege plan on the troll's part, this is a movie that seems to be begging to be made fun of. And when I come in contact with a mess like this, there are usually two ways to approaching it:
One way is the rational way by hating or at least disliking it. Plenty of messy films are in no way enjoyable to watch, leaving me unsatisfied.
The second way is the "so bad it's good" routine. Troll 2 certainly falls in this category.
To me it's neither. People often shoehorn the two Troll movies together as enjoyably bad films, yet I have trouble saying that this first one is uproariously bad.
Why? Truly, there is something so innocent about the movie that making fun of it would seem cruel. After all, it's less nasty than your usual horror movie, besides Sonny Bono having foreplay with a woman half his age. The Troll himself is the least threatening thing in the movie. Don't believe me? Google search this movie and see the Troll and his constant smile for yourself. Now imagine that for the whole movie! And as the killer! And it's not a creepy Alex-from-Clockwork- Orange smile either. Instead we get the cutest possible sad Muppet smile. This will be disappointing if you're looking for a horror movie, but infinitely endearing if you want a fantasy film.
There are also some genuinely good performances. June Lockhart and Phil Fondacaro are so warm in their parts and Julie Louis Dreyfuss shows screen presence in her three scenes. Also Jenny Beck's performance as a Troll-turned-girl, while over-the-top certainly, shows a lot of commitment that was respectable. What also showed commitment was Michael Moriarty's dancing.
This movie also has better effects than I expected. The Troll costumes and puppets are convincing along with all of the practical effects with only a few missteps. It actually feels like talented people are doing a dumb movie, which is usually better than hacks doing a dumb movie. Then you get Troll 2.
That's why calling this movie "so bad it's good" is unfair to me. It's like making fun of a four year old making you a sandwich. It's trying it's best and is so innocent that even when it fails, you can't help but appreciate the effort.
So I enjoy Troll. Is it a bad movie? Probably. Is it a good movie? Probably that too. Is it either one definitively? That, I can't say. All I can say is that you should "shut the door!" sit back, and enjoy innocently quirky junk.