Troll 2 (1990)

Yes, talking about Troll 2 feels like a cop out, because it’s become just so infamous at this point. If you haven’t heard of it, I’m greatly surprised. Odds are most cult film fans are familiar with much of it, and even a layperson has encountered it at some point through Internet memes and coming into contact with the kinds of movies that I so often watch. This isn’t just a bad cult movie at this point; it’s the Gone with the Wind of bad cult movies. And yes, it’s bad.

Troll 2 is the story of a family doing a house swap with a rural family, only to arrive in the small town of Nilbog and find it full of weirdos and creeps. But the ghost of the family’s grandfather keeps showing up and telling their youngest member that the town is really full of goblins trying to eat them. Sure enough, the goblins soon appear, and the family must fight to destroy them all.

You know what? That was too good of a description of the plot. Let’s try that again.

A family made up of a dentist, a mother who must be mentally ill, a daughter who can’t act, can’t dance, and has a weird love/hate/hate relationship with her boyfriend, and a little boy who is most definitely the most talented member on the cast make the dumb ass decision to house swap with a bunch of hicks from a little town in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, a town which happens to be entirely populated by mental patients (seriously, those “actors” were stoned mental patients). Once there they discover all the food is covered in nasty green icing, and they face off against a drama teacher whose best days are long gone by as she and her swarm of sackcloth goblins try to turn them into plants or green goop so they can be eatten. Only the crazy, molotov-wielding ghost of the boy’s grandfather is capable of saving everyone in this parable about the dangers of vegetarianism.

No, that’s still too good for this movie. How about I try again?

A guy who speaks no English made a monster movie with a bunch of non-actors and crazy locals in Utah, with the star of 1970s sexploitation classic Emanuelle making the monster costumes out of sacks for potatoes.

Yeah, that’s probably the best we’re gonna get. Anyway, yes, this is a movie made specifically because the director’s wife didn’t like her friends becoming obnoxious vegetarians. So he wrote a script and then for some reason shot it in the US with the help of his Italian Eurotrash buddies (and I say that lovingly. Come to the US, Eurotrash, and spend your hard earned tourist dollars). The budget for the picture was apparently $200,000, which seems to mostly have been used for airfare to bring over an entire Italian film crew, just to make sure that nobody spoke English. Then he acted like a jerk to his actors, and he still acts like a jerk to his actors apparently.

That director, who goes by the false name of Drake Floyd for this film, is in fact Claudio Fragasso. You may have seen that name in previous posts of mine here on this very blog. In fact, you’ve definitely seen it. Zombi 3 and Hell of the Living Dead are both films he worked on, and other titles I’ve suffered through include the terrible Robowar. While I haven’t rambled about it here, I promise you that dear friends have had to put up with hearing me rant about his Rambo: First Blood Part 2 knock off movie Strike Commando more than once.

And this one? Troll 2 may well be the worst of the bunch just because of the language barrier, but it is pretty hard to say whether it is worse than Hell of the Living Dead. Fragasso just so happens to make shit movies, and Troll 2 is a perfect example of the kinds of “quality” you should expect. That’s why we love him. If that’s not enough to make you love to hate this movie, it was also produced by Italian porn/horror/mockbuster director Joe D’Amato, who once declared it’s more important to make movies for profit than entertainment. I’ve also ranted about some of his movies here too, such as Zombie 5: Killing Birds.

Troll 2 is shit. It’s beyond shit. But it’s so far beyond shit that it becomes almost watchable again. It’s a paradox of entertainment, like beautiful trash. I had to fight to keep watching it and fight to look away from it.

Also, anybody else think that the ghostly grandfather looks kinda like Orson Welles in his later years?

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