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| With: Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie Young, Robert Ormsby, Deborah Reed, Jason Wright, Darren Ewing, Jason Steadman, David McConnell, Gary Carlson, Mike Hamill, Don Packard, Christina Reynolds, Glenn Gerner, Michele Abrams, Lance C. Williams, Elli Case, Gavin Reed, Melissa Bridge |
| Written by: Rossella Drudi, Claudio Fragasso |
| Directed by: Claudio Fragasso (as "Drake Floyd") |
| MPAA Rating: PG-13 |
| Running Time: 95 |
| Date: 03/10/1990 |
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No More Popcorn
By Jeffrey M. Anderson The Troll 2 cult phenomenon seemingly came about as people brought copies of the video to their friends, claiming, "You'll never believe this." Frankly, even as someone with his finger on the pulse of cult films, I was not aware of this one until the documentary Best Worst Movie began making the rounds. Like other "so-bad-they're-good" movies, Troll 2 has a kind of naïve simplicity; it's absolutely earnest in its presentation. It also happens to be genuinely, clulessly awful. This is the exact formula for an Ed Wood movie, ridiculous but not cynical. The trouble is that I just don't like Troll 2 very much.
Bad as they were, Wood's films were made with a genuine enthusiasm and a unique voice. Based on what I've seen of director Claudio Fragasso, which includes this, Monster Dog (1984), and his appearance in Best Worst Movie, he and Wood have very little in common. There's something agitating and abrasive about the characters and the acting in Troll 2, and some aspects of the story actually turn my stomach -- which is what they're supposed to do -- but not in a good way. This is not a movie I'd recommend to anyone.
Troll 2 actually has nothing to do with Troll (1986), and indeed has nothing to do with trolls in general; the monsters in this movie are goblins. It begins as the Waits family prepares for a month's vacation in the country, in the little town of Nilbog. The family's young son, Joshua (Michael Stephenson), receives warnings from his dead grandfather (Robert Ormsby), which include not allowing the family to eat the strange green foods served in Nilbog. Anyone who eats them is turned into plant matter, which, I guess, the goblins eventually eat. In a subplot, the teen daughter (Connie Young) has a boyfriend whom her family hates because -- get this -- he spends too much time with his friends! (Horrors!)
The movie contains such bizarre, ludicrous scenes as a woman seducing a teen with an ear of corn, and the boy saving the day with a baloney sandwich. (The screenwriter Rossella Drudi has explained that she was trying to make a case for not eating meat. Huh?) Not to mention that dialogue, which includes such nuggets as "You can't piss on hospitality -- I won't allow it!" (Double huh?) Give me Plan 9 from Outer Space any day.
Realizing that the film has a fan base now, Fox (which owns part of the MGM library) has bestowed a Blu-Ray release upon Troll 2. It's a "hybrid" edition that also comes with a DVD. The Blu-Ray quality is superb, and that horrid green goo comes through a little too clearly for my tastes. The only extra is a trailer.