Once in a while, a movie comes along that is so terrible that it immediately enters the hallowed institution of cult classicdom. ‘Troll 2’ is just that movie.
‘Best Worst Movie’ is a documentary directed by the child star of ‘Troll 2’. Michael Stephenson is a man in his early thirties who has spent the majority of his life being haunted by the mistake that was supposed to be his big break.
The documentary begins by introducing us to the charming ball of joy that is George Hardy. Now known as Dr. Hardy in his small Alabama town, the middle aged dentist has put his starring role as the father in Troll 2 into the distant past–that is, until Michael Stephenson reenters his life to inform him that despite all odds, Troll 2 has become a cult hit. George’s eyes light up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Troll 2 cast begins a whirlwind tour of the United States, delighting their fans with sold-out screenings and hugs. Nearly two decades after what most of the cast have disregarded as one of the biggest mistakes of their lives, they find the excitement they had hoped for at their initial acceptance of the parts, In an awkward moment, we are introduced to the director of Troll 2, Claudio Fragasso. An Italian director of successful American horror films, Claudio is defiant and angry when he realizes his “fans” enjoy his film as a comedic piece instead of the horror film he intended. During a question-and-answer session after a screening, Claudio heckles his actors as “dogs” for describing their experiences on set negatively.
Judging by the scenes shown in this documentary, Troll 2 is a true horror film in terms of its terrible acting, ridiculous storyline, and implausible dialogue. The fans eat it up, but after an ambivalent screening in George’s hometown and complete lack of interest at horror conventions across the world, the cast and its hero, George Hardy, realize it is time to move on.
This documentary benefits from a steady pace and a cast of likable characters. It shines an interesting perspective on a part of the film industry led by stalwart film fans, but ultimately we learn that cult classics are cultish with good reason. Realistically, who has time to waste on bad writing, directing, and acting anyways?