SCARY MOVIE GUILTY PLEASURES: 'Troll 2'
It has been said that Troll 2 may be the worst film ever made. Having finally watched all of Troll 2, I have to agree with this assessment. Having said that, though, Troll 2 may be the BEST worst movie ever made. (There was even a documentary made about the film with that exact same title; the film is also ranked #95 on IMDb's Bottom 100 list.) Originally produced under the name Goblins, distributors were hesitant about the film as a standalone picture and decided to name it Troll 2 to market it as a sequel to the 1986 film Troll. However, the two films have absolutely nothing in common, other than the fact that they share the same name. The 1990 film was also directed and written by Claudio Fragasso and his wife, neither of whom had much of a grasp of the English language, and an entirely Italian crew who only spoke Italian. The crew, combined with the actors who were hoping to be cast as extras, make up the delightful fiasco we have come to know and love as Troll 2.
The film opens with the Waits family, who is planning their holiday to the quaint town of Nilbog. Joshua Waits, the youngest member of the family, often receives visits from his dead grandfather, played by Orson Welles’s non-union equivalent. Grandpa Seth (Robert Ormsboy) consistently warns Joshua of the dangerous goblins in Nilbog, who transfer humans into plants so they can eat them. The film opens with fantastic '80s synth music and ridiculous cutaway scenes. I was particularly intrigued by the goblins themselves, who look as though the Ewoks from Star Wars took some serious drugs and decided to mate with some rejected Jim Henson Muppet creations. They are spectacularly hideous, and look as though they cost about 10 dollars to make.
Meanwhile, Joshua’s sister, Holly (Connie McFarland), who is dressed in a leotard with such a prominent camel toe it would put most drag queens to shame, receives a visit from her good-for-nothing boyfriend, Elliot (Jason Wright). Elliot wants to go on vacation too, and after failing to meet up with the Waits family the next morning, decides to take “his boys” to Nilbog to meet some liberated girls. Holly is not a fan of Elliot’s boys, and proceeds to tell him so with one of my favorite exchanges from the movie:
Elliot: “What’s wrong with having friends?”
Holly: “Nothing, unless you want to have sex. I don’t do group sex.”
When the family finally arrives in Nilbog, they discover that the Nilbog residents (whom we have no idea why they are swapping houses with) have left out a delicious vegetarian meal for them. The meal looks as though Nickelodeon donated a bunch of leftover cases of slime, which they proceeded to sprinkle liberally on all of the food. To stop the family from eating the food, which will turn them into plants, Joshua proceeds to... urinate on all of it. His father does not take too kindly to this, and proceeds to lecture Joshua on how “You can’t piss on hospitality!”
In the meantime, we catch up with Elliot and his “boys”, who have parked their trailer that looks like a meth lab out in the woods. One of the boys, Arnold, (Darren Ewing) goes for a walk when he runs into a woman in the woods who is being chased by the goblins. She breathlessly asks him what he is, to which he replies, “I’m a human, wanna see?”, which may be the creepiest line delivered by an actor in the history of film. The two take shelter in the equally creepy church home of Creedence Leonore Gielgud (Deborah Reed), who looks like Joe Cocker on the cover of the albumWith a Little Help From My Friends. She just so happens to be the queen of the goblins, and she feeds the pair a magic potion, which Arnold realizes is not to his benefit. He then proceeds to deliver what may be one of the most famous lines in cult movie history:
Back at the Waits household, Joshua and his father decide to go into town where they meet some of Nilbog’s residents, who all look like rejected members of the Village People crossed with celebrity look-a-likes. We meet Fake Burt Reynolds, who is a cop; Fake Sean Penn, who is a farmer; and one creepy general store worker. As the pair continue to discover the town, Joshua stumbles across a church sermon where it is revealed that the faux Village People are, indeed, goblins. (Joshua’s ephiphany to his father: “Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards!”) The rest of the film circulates around the Waits family trying to escape the goblins (and Elliot joins the pack too during the strangest ho-down I have ever witnessed), with the help of grandpa Seth and Elliot’s “boys” each meeting ridiculous fates. My personal favorite is when his friend Brent (David McConnell) gets seduced by a much hotter version of Creedence through the use of corn. Through this film, I learned that you can apparently seduce people through corn. Who knew?
Troll 2 is so spectacularly awful that you can’t help but love it. From the synthesized soundtrack to the silliness of the trolls, from the cringe-worthy acting to the script that barely makes sense, Troll 2 is camp horror gold. This may be, by far, my favorite fun horror movie so far. I highly recommend grabbing some popcorn (not for seducing), a few friends (make sure none of them pee on the popcorn), and get ready to laugh because Troll 2 may be one of the greatest unintentional(?) comedies you will ever see.
(Image via MGM)
- Sarah Osman, YH Staff