Troll (1986) Poster

(1986)

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7/10
The origins of Harry Potter...whether you like it or not
kclipper4 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best of the 1980's Empire Pictures movies by Charles Band to grace the VHS and cable TV generation of that time. As campy, goofy and downright fantastical as that era has to offer, this combines elements of witches, magicians and mystical forests with the eccentricities of a downtown New York apartment and its out-of-the-ordinary tenants.

Harry Potter Jr. (obviously an inspiration for J.K Rowling's groundbreaking novels) is a young boy that just moved into said apartment building with dad (Michael Moriarty in his usual crazy role). Apparently, Potter's younger sister is possessed by the "Troll", Torok, who is actually a cursed warlock that is trying to create a fantasy garden environment of elves and creatures out of the apartment and its tenants, all with the power of a magical ring. As the disappearances of the occupants grows, Harry befriends Eunice St. Claire, who is actually an ex-princess turned good witch that was once acquainted with the evil Torok. Now, young Harry Potter must team up with St. Claire to save his sister and the world as we know it from Torok and his sinister plan.

This is your typical 80's cheesy movie weirdness from Empire Pictures who's rubbery creature effects mimic the "Ghoulies" films, but is on a completely different level, incorporating many comedic elements along with charming, funny characters, fairy-like worlds and an exciting climax involving the young Harry Potter Jr., the fair-haired maiden and the Princess. This little movie embedded itself into history not only with the "Harry Potter" aspect, but its delightfully energetic performances from June Lockhart (Lost In Space), Julia-Louis Dreyfuss (Seinfeld), Moriarty, and not to mention Sonny Bono's transformation into a giant green sprouting turd. Enjoy it for what it is, a mixture of Tolken-like themes and the type fantasy-adventure cheesiness that put film-making of the 1980's in a class by itself.
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6/10
This is a pretty comedy/horror movie!
vortexrider22 September 2006
I have to give this movie a 6/10 because this is a very decent film that deserves praise. I don't know why so many people hate it. For one the little evil character, Troll, has a personality. The kids have personality as well and they're not some stupid one-sided characters. There are funny jokes inserted in the dialogue and the people who occupy the apartment are funny too. Unlike some movies from the same era this one actually has pretty good special effects that are pretty scary too. Just wait till you see a guy turn into a bunch of plants! Thats gross, but its also good effects. Check this movie out and remember it has nothing to do with the really crappy movie Troll 2.
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8/10
Harry Potter Junior . . . .
AdrienneNaylor15 February 2004
I'm more biased toward liking this movie because I kinda grew up on it. As pathetic as it is to say now, certain scenes were too scary for me to even watch.

Anyway, it's a really cute and fanciful movie full of imaginative whatnot. I mean, come on! An ancient troll takes over a modern apartment building, transforming it into a faerie tale wilderness, complete with a chorus of singing trolls. Wonderful.
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6/10
Watch as a creature systematically takes over an apartment complex.
Aaron137511 February 2004
I rather liked this one a bit, though I can see from its score that I am in the minority in my opinion. Though at least most can agree this one is a lot better than the sequel. This movie has a family moving into a new apartment complex. Very quickly the little girl is taken by the title character and he takes her place. Throughout the movie the troll disguised as the little girl moves from one apartment to the next turning each room into a seemingly new dimension or something. The girl's brother has his suspicious and teams with this old woman to figure things out. The old woman seems to know a lot and she looks a lot better with her hair down. Soon the entire apartment becomes part of this world the troll is creating and the boy must finish it off because the old lady just is not in the position to help at the end. Rather fanciful and interesting...nothing to take to seriously, but I thought it was a rather good story and movie.
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6/10
Worthy as a ridiculous 80's creature flick
xordu116 June 2004
This movie is not that great, but not as awful as you might hear. It's mostly a fantasy/horror/comedy that isn't too ambitious yet was weird enough to make a good midnight cult movie. The short eighty minutes weren't unbearable, and there was plenty of things that didn't make too much sense. 1: If everything in the fairy land was completely evil, how come the witch had the talking mushroom? 2: How come the troll didn't want the girl to die. Yes, the ending was pretty anti-climatic and some of the jokes missed, though some hit straight on. But this movie is worthy as its genre: a ridiculous 80's creature flick. Although, there is one very awesome musical number as the trolls are partying, which is just greatly scored and edited, other than that, nothing special unless you like creature/Full Moon flicks. 6/10
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6/10
Lame but Cult
claudio_carvalho17 March 2014
The Potter family has just moved to a rented apartment in San Francisco. Harry Potter Sr. (Michael Moriarty) and his wife Anne (Shelley Hack) are bringing the packages to the apartment and their son Harry Jr. (Noah Hathaway) and their little daughter Wendy Anne (Jenny Beck) stays on the sidewalk. Wendy goes to the laundry room, she meets the wicked troll Torok (Phil Fondacaro) 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 (June Lockhart) that lives in the building.

"Troll" is another lame movie of creatures in the 80's but also a cult- movie. Michael Moriarty in the role of Harry Potter Sr. is so ridiculous that becomes funny. The symphony of the creatures singing in troll language is one of the best moments of this movie. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Troll"
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3/10
Absolutely the funniest horror film ever !!
D_ROCK198619 June 2005
A couple of friends and I got into a craze of watching cheesy old horror films on the weekends because there is nothing else to do in a small town... But anyway, we rented this one and laughed like never before, it is so insane! We love the "Creature Symphony" part where all of the troll creatures start singing some gibberish song, it is hilarious. We still laugh about it randomly to this day. This movie has maybe half a minute worth of scariness, unless you are afraid of midgets. By the way, the little man in the movie is superb LOL with his little story that he tells. I recommend this film to everyone to see once, because once is all it takes and once is all you really could take. It is a crappy horror film, but a great comedy!!
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9/10
Troll - Pure ridiculous 80's nostalgia fun and weirdness
senormonkeyrock23 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw Troll when it first came out on video and all I could remember was that it had a slightly gross bit and an apartment that turns into a forest, as a child I thought it was OK.

As an adult I think this is AWESOME! I watched it the other night with my girlfriend and best bud (I'd been threatening him that next time he came over we'd watch Troll and see just how awful it was). We laughed the whole way through. The plot is just bonkers and so are pretty much all of the characters, not to mention the plethora of weird fantasy creatures that appear. It's great fun and I recommend to anyone that's in the mood for something weird and slightly crappy.

As a movie i'd probably give it 3/10 if I was feeling particularly generous. As an entertainment experience definitely a big 9 out of 10.
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10/10
That'll Give Those Little Buggers Something to Talk About!
shanerittersbach8 June 2017
Another great film the mind of Charles Band and Empire Pictures!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The film Troll was made in 1986. The film is directed by well known effects maestro John Carl Beauchler. Beauchler is known for his work on other cult favorites like Re-Animator (1985), Ghoulies (1984), From beyond (1986), etc. Troll also isn't the only time Beauchler has dabbled in directing, he also directed genre favorites like Ghoulies go to College (1990) and Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988).

The film stars a very talented cast. Once child star Noah Hathaway of Never Ending Story fame. Hathaway plays young harry Potter Jr., a teenage boy obsessed with horror films and comic books. Then we have Michael Moriarty playing Harry Potter Sr., the father of Hathaway character. Moriarty is known as a genre favorite, he has been in such cult classics as Q: The Winged Serpent (1978) and The Stuff (1983). Then we have Shelley Hack as the mother, Anne Potter. Hack is well known for her work in Tales from the Crypt (TV-Show) and The Stepfather (1988). The film also stars young child actress Jenny Beck as harry's creepy young sister. Beck is known for her work on V: The Final Battle. We also have another genre alumni, Phil Fondacaro of Ghoulies and Meridian fame. He plays duel roles. Fondacaro plays a professor living in the films apartment complex and the title role, the troll.

The film also features the late great Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher and surprisingly very young Julie Louis Dreyfus in her feature film debut.

Along with a troop of great actors the film features some really good practical creature effects. The effects were accomplished by Magical Media Industries, a special effect company operated by the director John Carl Beauchler. The team included such legend as Gino Nonaligned, Bart Mixon, Cleve Hall, Gabe Bartalos, etc. The effects within the film are fantastic. The troll itself is a mix between animatronic and performer, the performer in the suit being Phil Fondacaro. The film is also full of other creatures and odd ghoulies. At one point there is a talking tree trunk! The effects in Troll are some of the best this reviewer has ever seen. If my word isn't good enough take this snippet form a review of the film by the Daily-News, "A Special Effects Pig Out!".

Troll also features a wonderful orchestral score form legendary composer Richard Band. The score has a magical, almost childlike creepiness about. It rings Danny Elfman in many scenes. The score overall is great and very effective.

The overall film is an underrated good time. I remember buying this film on double-feature DVD, the other film included was its awful, and i mean god awful not-so sequel Troll 2. I remember watching Troll and loving it. Its the perfect movie to start a child or small kid on. Its not too scary and its not too raunchy. It's PG-13, now wait i know what your thinking, "A PG-13 horror film, that isn't going to work!", well listen, this film does work on every silly and peculiar level. Its a wonderful movie that will always have a special place in my heart.

Two-Claws Up!
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7/10
Not as Bad as A lot of people say
epatters-33 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I thought that this movie was a good film. I think the people who say it sucks have never Seen the sequel, Troll 2(Man, that movie is awful). I thought this movie was interesting. In some parts, it drags a bit, but It was still not bad. I would not call this a masterpiece in anyway at all. But totally not awful. If you thought this movie sucked, then watch Troll 2 and then you will know what sucks. Trivia: There are 2 Characters named Harry Potter in this movie. Weird, Huh? I give this movie 7 out of 10 trolls. Enjoy the movie. A lot of people think that this is a Gremlins Rip-Off. I don't think it copies Gremlins at all. I thought this movie was a decent film. Not the best movie ever, but still fine. You can watch it on you-tube, Enjoy the film.
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9/10
Clever Charles Band Creature Fest
lordzedd-324 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Charles Band has created some memorable monsters in his history of film making. But Torok the Troll is one of the most memorable. The cast does a great job, the creature effects are effective and the dialog works. The plot is cool and the realms he creates within the confines of an apartment is incredible. My only complaint is if they went for the R rating we could have seen more of that naked little Pixie. But what can you you do, what's perfect. Very few things. Also, if you aren't into little monsters running around and Trolls turning people into fairy creatures then this isn't the movie for you. So another worth edition to your Charles Band library, but try to get it without TROLL 2, which you learn all about why it sucks when I review next month. 9 STARS for TROLL 1.
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9/10
Not that bad!!
robbytara26 May 2001
It seems that hardly anyone likes this movie! When I first seen it in 1987 I really liked it. I already knew before I saw it that it was a fantasy & was prepared. It is not a scary/horror flick. I actually got more laughs than scares! I have always liked fantasy movies and this one did not let me down at all; I bought the video! I am sure that most persons that rated this movie bad dislike all fantasy movies, so why did they watch it in the first place? I would give it 3 out of four stars.
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So bad you almost HAVE to watch
mamamiasweetpeaches13 January 2004
They play TROLL on TV every once and awhile and like a train wreck, its hard to look away. Its so bad its almost good. Almost. But not quite. What can you really say about an '80s film that boasts both Sonny Bono and Julia "Elaine from Seinfeld" Louis Dreyfuss??? The casting here is so strange that it reels the mind. Noah "NeverEnding Story" Hathaway?? Shelly Hack?? In short, a boy finds a mysterious land o' TROLLs in the basement of his new apartment building. The TROLLS are cheesy to be sure and the whole thing is silly,I guess. But there is something endearing about watching a little boy rescue his cute little sister who suddenly growls and bites people, something weird about watching June Lockhart play with her pet singing mushroom right before she morphs into a total blonde, buxom she-babe. I even love the friendly little dwarf man! TROLL is cheesy but in an inoffensive fun way, unlike it's sequel TROLL 2 which is a terrible cult classic that is painful to watch.
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more corny than scary
vchimpanzee26 October 2003
I don't like scary movies, so when I saw they Shelley Hack was going to be in this one, I figured it was going to be a good choice. I was right. She looked good, and that was about all.

On the Witches' Sabbath, Harry and Anne Potter and their children Wendy and Harry Jr. move into an apartment building where a number of quirky people live. Wendy goes into the laundry room and meets Torok, an evil-looking creature. Harry Jr. goes into the same laundry room but doesn't see Torok because, using a green ring, he has the ability to change his appearance.

The experience of running into Torok is apparently very traumatic for Wendy. While not exactly Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist' (I've only seen clips from that one, and that's all I want to see), she does worry her parents quite a bit. Meanwhile, residents of the building start disappearing mysteriously.

Jenny Beck was wonderful as Wendy, and she appeared to be having a good time acting in a way kids can only fantasize about behaving. Phil Fondacaro also gave a very good performance as Malcolm, an English professor who was shorter than young Wendy and became her friend. The movie's most memorable scene is one between the two of them that seemed out of place in a movie like this but made sense later. Fondacaro also appeared in the credits as the troll, who was more adorable than scary, a quality you could see in his eyes (which must have been Fondacaro's). Anne Lockhart also did well as the mysterious Eunice, who lived upstairs and became Harry Jr.'s friend. As for Sonny Bono's performance as a not-so-suave ladies man, I think he made the right choice going into politics, because his talents in government are well-documented (though I liked him a lot when he performed with Cher and in many other TV appearances).

This movie may be a little too scary for young children, but the various monsters still had a cartoonish quality about them. Overall, the movie was more comedy than horror, though toward the end horror would describe it better.

It's not a bad movie, really.
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7/10
A funny, quirky and genuinely good film
arcticcarrot24 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Troll is not a bad movie. It's not. But for some reason a lot of people think it is. As of tonight (10-24-10), it has a 3.6 on IMDb. That's ridiculous. This movie has so much going for it.

First of all, it's hilarious - and intentionally so. I laughed out loud many times while watching it. The scene with Michael Moriarty dancing around to Blue Cheer's version of "Summertime Blues" is wonderful. Really, it's worth watching the movie just for that scene.

But then you get to watch Sonny Bono turn into a jungle. Seriously.

Besides that, Gary Sandy is in this movie, and he's wonderful. If you're having trouble placing the name, think W.K.R.P - he's the guy that moved from town to town, up and down the dial.

Then you have Julia Louis-Dreyfus as some warped version of Titania. And her fellow SNL pal, Brad Hall, plays her boyfriend.

On top of that, June Lockhart is the sexiest older woman ever, and she has a talking mushroom. And clearly there's some attraction between her and the boy.

And the boy... his name is Harry Potter, Jr. That's right. Michael Moriarty is Harry Potter. Noah Hathaway is Harry Potter, Jr. And Harry Potter, Jr. - get this - wants to be a wizard. Some crazy woman totally ripped this movie off and wrote seven books. But Troll is the original Harry Potter movie. (In fact, we should start a movement - when the new Harry Potter film is released in theatres, stay home and watch Troll on DVD instead.)

I don't want to spoil this movie for you, so i don't think i want to tell you any more about it. No, one more thing: there is a scene with monsters singing. Okay, is that enough to make you want to see it? Seriously, Troll is a really good movie. I'm not kidding.
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6/10
Not great; but a nice movie
Hellraiser-130 December 2001
Empire Pictures was a great company which made very good B-movies such as "Re-animator", "From Beyond" or "Ghoulies" apart from this I´m going to comment and that I watched when I was a child.Then, I felt it was great and for a long time I wished to watch it again but it was never shown at TV and it was impossible to find it in videos any longer so I had to ask for it and someone found miraculously a copy for me and in good conditions. Now that I have seen it again I have to say that it was not such a great movie as I thought when I saw it for the first time but it is a nice fantastic movie with some interesting cinematic references and with quite good special effects and the boy is called Harry Potter, a long time before that character was created, what a coincidence!. It is not so gory as other Empire productions(much less, in fact) but there is a great bloody scene in which a guy is transformed in a kind of tree and a whole forest emerges from him, it is a curious aspect of the movie and the ghoulies appeared here for the first time(You can see them in the forest singing strange songs).So, if you like fantasy movies this is a quite acceptable B fantastic movie.The only pitiful aspect is that the infamous Italian director Joe D'amato made a pretended sequel with the title of "Troll 2" which it seems is bad as hell, and I am sure it has nothing to do with the original although it has been impossible for me to watch it because it has never been edited in Spain, but I will get a copy if I can, even if it is only to burn it.Note: If in the USA you still can find forgotten movies like this in video, you don´t know how lucky you are!, here they are really difficult to find.
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Many Little Creatures...
XFA16 September 2004
This movie is good.;) Yeah... - different , interesting Sarcastic , dark comedy...And... I like how the little girl always has this really evil smirk on her face.But she faked me out a bit when she was eating....(huh, ew) The parts with Sonny Bono - those are so silly. All the little earth wandering trolls keep coming out of the woodwork... And they look hilariously silly putty - ish. Freaky , funny stuff. Oh - '86...
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10/10
The Best Of Empire Pictures Vol 4
jamesbourke5910 August 2010
When Empire Pictures were at the height of their respective producing powers, the conveyor belt was churning out one classic straight after another.

If it was 'Zone Troopers', 'Terrorvision' or even 'Eliminators' it was this cool little fantasy yarn directed by their in house special effects maestro John Carl Buechler and ably scripted by Ed Naha(who also penned another Empire great in the shape of 'Dolls'.

As with the vast majority of Empire's output, the emphasis is on good old fashioned storytelling, and once again if the budget dictated the time constraints, we were never left scratching our heads in boredom waiting for something decent to happen.

From the onset we meet the Potter family, who have just about to settled themselves into their new surroundings, but before you can say 'rat-burgers' the story ratchets up the action.

Young Wendy Potter is a curious child, whilst bouncing her ball around the boiler room, her ball disappears into the unknown, she goes to retrieve it but is suddenly accosted by a troll, now suddenly at this part you might just be thinking to yourself, is this going to get ugly now! well as this movie is all about releasing the child within and embracing the fantasy elements that surround, fear not, as this little scene that unfolds more or less sets up the entire structure of the movie.

Plus in doing so, we find ourselves introduced to our on screen hero, young Harry Potter Jnr essayed by Noah Hathaway(who not too long prior to this movie revved up his action chops in the first and best of the series, 'The Neverending Story'.

It really is too bad these days, that people seem to think that this movie somehow has some sort of link to J.K. Rowling's fantasy universe, as in truth this movie predates her take on young Harry Potter, of course what's not to say, that Miss Rowling had perhaps just viewed 'Troll' and whilst sitting in that infamous coffee shop she decided to take some poetic license, I guess we will never know.

Needless to say, this movie rocks on every level, from some expert direction, lets just be honest for a second here, Mr Buechler's directing career has been somewhat checkered, when he gets the chance, he shines, just check out 'Friday The 13th Part 7 - The New Blood' of course when he has an off day, he sleepwalks through dross like 'Ghoulies 3 - Ghoulies Go To College' but as already mentioned, all the right buttons are pressed here.

As for the script, it's bright, it's breezy and more importantly it doesn't hang around, scriptwriter Ed Naha, much like Buechler has found himself involved in some curious projects, none more so than the dire 'C.H.U.D 2 - Bud The Chud' that being said, as he was presented with a story in place, how could he go wrong.

When it comes to Empire productions, you can always rely on the casting being nothing short of inspired, the mere presence of Michael Moriarty as Harry Potter Snr is worth the price of admission alone, having already watched the man strut his stuff in numerous Larry Cohen movies, he can always be relied upon to the deliver the goods, no matter how big or small his participation is.

If you were to pick your favourite Empire movie, and someone asked you to choose your favourite scene, well every Empire movie has it's highlights and with 'Troll' it just has to be the scene were Sonny Bono mutates into a miniature troll, while his whole apartment manifests itself into a fairy universe.

Mr Bono, although you may have departed this world way before your time, this must surely be a screen career highlight, and that I truly mean.

Yes Indeed, for a good night in, grab yourself a six pack of your favourite alcoholic beverage, sit back and relax and enjoy this groovy little Empire fun packed yarn.....Oh just one more thing, don't forget the rat-burgers!.

Without hesitation, this movie gets 10 out of 10
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10/10
You've seen the box, now see the movie.
mcassatt22 July 2002
Troll is one of those movies whose box I see on almost every trip to the horror section of any given video store, but I had never seen it...until now. First off the movie wastes no time, the title is in the first shot and within the first 5 minutes a little girl is abducted by trolls. Also the list of stars in the opening credit was amazing including, but not limited to Sonny Bono, Lassie's June Lockheart, and Seinfeld's Julia Louis Dreyfuss. The low budget feel of this film makes it a classic 80's horror masterpiece and the nonsensical plot makes it a pleasure to watch and make jokes to your friends about. A particularly amazing scene is when all of the goblin/ troll creatures sing this completely incoherent yet amazingly catchy little song/chant and a talking mushroom covers the falsetto part. Anyway next time you have 86 minutes to kill give this diamond in the rough a try. I haven't been this impressed with an old horror movie since the Stuff.
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10/10
Pure entertainment
gothicgoblin133415 May 2006
I absolutely love this film, a true cult-classic, such fantasy and imagination and creativity, anyone who hates this film just hates horror films...It's also darkly humorous and sickly sweet. The only Trolls are the people who hate this film, seriously! Rat Burgers!! Heh, I love that line in this film. It is very original, I wish people had paid more attention to it, though; I can't believe that a character (two, actually) are named Harry Potter! Honestly, you gotta love that! Plus you can see the stars from The Neverending Story, Seinfeld and Charlies Angles (The TV show) shine in this film! Great low-budget effects! It's pretty funny too, something I didn't really expect from a film with such good qualities to have.
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10/10
One of Cinemas Great Original Fairy Tales - a Must for all Jungians
peter-mcluskie29 July 2003
Thank the gods for Troll, to remind us that the cinema can be used to create intelligent fairy tales. The '80s were not a good time for the fairy tale format. Hollywood proved its ability to destroy good children's literature through its appalling adaptation of The Never Ending Story. Cute epic sagas like Labyrinth, The Princess Bride and Willow appeared - entertaining sagas to be sure, but well wide of the psychological elements that create a true fairy tale. On the other hand the cute monster movie became all the rage (Ghoulies, Critters) offering cheap forgettable one-liner thrills. And in the midst of all this Troll was created.

As soon as I saw Troll I knew it had that additional x-factor that makes a classic fairy tale. In it the tensions between the known and unknown; conscious and sub-conscious are held in a fine balance. The Troll, through the changeling child, spreads the unknown into the world. The balance between the natural and supernatural order is out of kilter, and the traditional heroic fool is called upon to restore the balance. Note how the Troll passes a form of judgment on the inhabitants of the apartment block - the transformation of essential nature into one's magical essence proceeding very differently according to the fundamental qualities of compassion and imagination displayed by each inhabitant (and Sonny Bono's transformation into a giant plant is a great SFX set-piece).

Eventually the balance is restored and the unknown recedes (triggered by the unknown's eventual recognition of the value of human love). Thus it is our essence, not actions, that provides the ultimate salvation. The unknown recedes, but the door is still ajar, for it is the balance of the duality of the conscious and subconscious that is the basis of our existence.

Jungian scholar will have a field day viewing this film. it has (unwittingly perhaps) captured the essence of fairy tales far more closely than any other offerings. Add to that excellent special effects, and solid competent acting (with child stars who are actually bearable to watch without being cloyingly cute) and Troll becomes a highly competent film that unfortunately suffered through its ridiculous classification as "horror" (and subsequent association with dross like Critters). If you like quality fantasy then Troll is a must-see movie.
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7/10
"Your sister isn't an alien, she's something much worse." Strangely entertaining in a bad sort of way.
poolandrews3 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Troll is set in San Francisco where Harry (Michael Moriarty) his wife Anne (Shelley Hack) & their two young children Harry Potter Jr. (Noah Hathaway) & Wendy (Jenny Beck) move into a new apartment building. Wendy decides to go play in the basement & is kidnapped by Torok the Troll (Phil Fondacaro) who takes her physical form, Torok the Troll was once a prince who was turned into a Troll & is now using his magical powers to flood the Earth will Trolls in an attempt to rule it...

This Canadian American co-production was directed by John Carl Buechler who is also credited with the special effects & was another cheap horror film that Empire Pictures specialised in during the home video boom of the 80's before they went belly up in the 90's, founded by Charles & Albert Band they would rip-off various well known films & make cheap horror flicks out of them. With Troll they seem to almost rip themselves off & one of their previous films Ghoulies (1985) which was a big success on video even though it was crap, anyway I quite liked Troll for what it was despite the low IMDb rating & plenty of 'this is the worst film ever' type comments & message board threads. The script by Ed Naha who would go on to write the impressive Dolls (1987) for Empire Pictures as well certainly doesn't take itself too seriously which is a big plus point & if your in the right mood Troll is an enjoyable light hearted fantasy horror flick. There are plenty of ambitious ideas here, witches, living mushrooms, Trolls turning people into pods which then sprout all sorts of Troll foliage, turning individual rooms into Troll forests, magical powers, the end of the world type stuff & it even has Michael Moriarty in a totally bizarre & off the wall dance scene. I mean any film which has a character say 'your sister isn't an alien, she's something much worse' in a serious tone can't be all bad, can it? At a little over 80 odd minutes (for some reason the IMDb lists the US version as lasting for 30 minutes!) the film doesn't mess around & it moves along at a really fast pace which means at the very least it isn't boring.

Special effects man Beuchler does alright in his second directorial effort after another Empire Pictures flick The Dungeonmaster (1985) a poster for which can be seen on Harry Potter's bedroom wall as well as other posters for Empire Pictures films. Speaking of Harry Potter ones mind instantly turns to the JK Rowling penned books, I suppose it's a testament to how much the character of Harry Potter has now become part of popular culture & searching through the message boards there are threads which ask if JK Rowling saw Troll & named her hero after the character's in this, I think I can in all honestly say with complete confidence that she hasn't seen Troll & if she had why would she have called her hero Harry Potter? It's an unassuming name & surely she'd have thought of another one, even subconsciously I doubt she'd have wanted anything to connect Troll to her books although the fact Troll does contain magic, witches, sorcerers, goblins & monsters does make one think. To get a family friendly rating Troll isn't violent or gory, there's a slightly gross scene of someone changing into a green pod but otherwise there isn't a single drop of blood in the entire film.

Technically the film is alright, it's reasonably well made with some decent special effects from ugly looking Trolls to animated plant vines to large monsters to a few basic but functional optical effects. Although set in America Troll was actually shot in Italy & I am almost certain I read an interview somewhere in which Michael Moriarty only agreed to make Troll because he wanted a free holiday in Italy as he'd never been there before. The acting is OK, Moriarty is good, one time husband of Cher the late Sonny Bono has a small cameo while Julia Louis-Dreyfus who appeared in over 170 episodes of Seinfeld (1990 - 1998) makes her screen debut here.

Troll is one of those film that you'll either love or hate, I thought it was mucho fun over it's short 80 odd minute duration. It doesn't always make perfect sense & it's silly but who cares when somethings this entertaining? Followed by an unconnected sequel Troll 2 (1992) ironically made by Italians in America whereas this was made by Americans in Italy! A remake has been announced, again directed by Beuchler & apparently in production Troll (2009) should be with us soon & I just hope the cute living mushroom is back or I'll boycott it!
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7/10
Best of the Gremlins Knock-offs
abbygird8 July 2001
Of all the Gremlins knock-offs to emerge during the 80's (Critters, Ghoulies, Munchies etc), Troll is the most original and fun. Starring Noah Hathaway, one of the least annoying child actors from the time, the plot is made up of classic "magic kingdom returning to rule the earth" fantasy fodder. Hey, at least there IS a plot! There are some painfully cheeky moments (like the father's Risky Business dance), but nothing unwatchable. The FX are certainly no worse than any other Gremlins knock-off, and in many places, the FX are far superior to Troll's contemporaries.

Long before Troll 2 earned its reputation as one of the worst films ever made, Troll was subject to harsher-than-necessary criticism. It's not the 'dog' some people would have you think it is.
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9/10
Aw, another good one
dsfilm12313 July 2000
Aw, another good one. Yes, this is a good movie if you like neat creatures, awesome visuals and fantasy worlds. The cast in this one seems to act well and come out very fine. Especially Michael Moriarty (Law and Order) as Harry Potter senior (!). No, this is way before those popular books came out. Torak, the leader of the trolls, is a neat creation and is a likable "bad" monster. Rent it if your a fantasy film lover!
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3/10
Bizarre.
TOMNEL21 November 2006
This film is not one that is remembered, yet it's much worse sequel is. Here's why. This movie has good special effects for it's time and has OK acting, but just one of the most bizarre story lines. The plot is that a family moves in to an apartment building, where the family's young daughter is stolen, and a troll takes her form. The troll goes around the building killing people and turning them in to troll pods. The reason that this one is not remembered like it's horrible sequel, is this movie is rather weird and boring, but had production values, where the sequel has no production values and horrible acting and writing. The best thing about the film is it's excellent musical score from the every wonderful Richard Band. However, I didn't like this movie very well at all, but it does have some redeeming qualities in the acting and direction...not so much the writing.

My rating: * 1/2 out of ****. 82 mins.
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