By Jerome Reuter
Some films are so bad they’re good. Such is the case of Claudio Fragasso’s 1990 film, Troll 2. In recent years, it’s gained an enormous cult following. Much of this has to do with our love of all things dumb. All over the United States, the film is still shown at sold out screenings, and continues to grow in popularity. So, why is this film such a hit? The film was a complete bomb upon release, and is considered by many to be one of the worst films ever made. However, I feel it’s still not as bad as Manos: The Hands Of Fate.
If you’re like, me and find yourself pondering about such things, there’s a solution. Fast-forward to 2009, and the documentary Best Worst Movie. A documentary filmed by Michael Stephenson, about the massive train wreck that’s almost as popular as Rocky Horror. Who else better to tell the back-story, from the worlds biggest failed child star? Not only do we meet up with cast, as well as Fragasso himself, but we get to see just how big the Troll 2 phenomenon really is.
You’ve seen bad movies before, but not at this level. Troll 2 is the epitome of something being so bad, it’s good. Best Worst Movie does a brilliant job at explaining the back-story behind this walking abomination of celluloid. First of all, much of the entertainment has to do with the cast of the original film. When you get a large group of actors with no experience, working with a script written by a team who don’t speak a word of fluent English—hijinks are bound to ensue. Many of the interviews with the original cast are pure comedic gold; a few of them are as bat shit crazy as the fictional characters they portray on the screen.
However, the best segments of this documentary are the ones with Fragasso himself. It’s absolutely amazing watching the mechanics of his mind, and how they work. After watching this one, you realize just how much his direction cause this massive train wreck. As I mentioned earlier, the script was written by an Italian crew, which spoke no English whatsoever. I’ll tell you something; it definitely shows. Several moments, the actors talk about Claudio’s insistence that the dialogue be recited as it’s written, word for word. Despite protests of “Real American teenagers don’t talk like this.” A good amount of the dialogue in this one, really has to be seen to be believed.
Decades after production was wrapped up, some things haven’t changed. Fragasso still berates the actors of the film as whiny dogs, and attempts to defend his work as a good film. Although Fragasso has proven his talents before, especially his work with Bruno Mattei, there’s no defending Troll 2. It’s an entertainingly bad work, he should be grateful this film has reinvigorated his career as much as it has.
Best Worst Movie is proof positive of our love for the ridiculous. A bad film can still be a lot of fun. Sometimes, it’s good to be entertained.