"Troll 2" is easily one the best worst movies ever made. And now it's better than ever on Blu-ray!
Troll 2 (1991, Blu-ray)
Directors: Claudio Fragasso (as Drake Floyd)
Writers: Claudio Fragasso (as Drake Floyd) and Rossella Drudi (uncredited, co-story)
Features: VIDEO: 1.85:1 widescreen AVC codec. BD25 disc. *** AUDIO: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Mono with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles *** SPECIAL FEATURES: DVD Copy, Trailer
Michael Stephenson...Joshua Waits
George Hardy...Michael Waits
Margo Prey...Diana Waits
Connie Young...Holly Waits (as Connie McFarland)
Available on Blu-ray and DVD October 10th, 2010.
"Troll 2" is easily one the worst movies ever made, but in the best, most hilarious way imaginable.
The film begins with a grandfather reading a fairytale to his grandson. We cut back and forth between fantasy and reality in a very similar fashion to films like The Neverending Story and The Princess Bride. In fact, given that the film is made by schlock-fest, scene stealing Italian filmmakers, itís likely the technique was stolen from one of those films.
Everything looks slightly low budget right from the get-go. The goblins, not trolls (this is a "name only" sequel), look rubbery and very fake. Their stomachs appear padded with pillows and their weapons consist of poorly fashioned sticks which attempt to look like spears. The creatures have zero facial movements and their faces are genuinely cheesy looking as though they were masks purchased at some five-and-dime costume shop at Halloween.
My favorite part of the opening scene comes moments after our fantasy hero is chased by the goblins. He runs into some sort of fairy princess, who is actually a goblin in disguise. Instead of finding an actress with freckles, the filmmakers decided to use makeup instead. The result is positively hysterical as the hastily applied freckles do not look real in the least.
This scene pretty sums up the quality of the production -- awful (but curiously hilarious).
Next, we have the acting...Wow! The performances within "Troll 2" are easily the worst Iíve ever seen in any given format, be it a mainstream, low budget or no budget film--even some high school plays sport finer performances than the ones we see here. But that's not surprising given the cast was culled together from amateurs living in Utah.
The most embarrassing performance comes from Connie McFarland (now Connie Young) who plays Holly, the sister of our main character. Every single line of dialogue she utters is delivered with such an enunciated mechanical tone, one might wonder if sheís even human.
However, even as bad as Connie Young is in the film, I will submit that itís difficult to deliver dialogue such as this: "Dear Elliot Cooper, tomorrow morning will be your final chance. The beautiful Holly Waites, or your little boys. Make a choice Elliot."
The rest of the film resembles a cinematic Katrina. The villains of the film often donít make any sense. The towns' cult leader resembles some sort of WWE wrestler, and the sheriffís name is Gene Freak. I donít know why thatís odd, but it is. And for some reason, the people think calling their town Nilbog wonít give away the fact that they're actually goblins, nor will their glowing green food and disturbing spoiled milk.
Then there's the witch -- our principal villain. Her overacting is reminiscent of something one might see in a "Harry Potter" movie, but here it's just plain outlandish, though it looks as though the actress is having a ball with the role. She seems to be the only one who knows exactly what kind of movie she's in, and she hams it up as much as possible...or she really is that bad. I hope that's not the case.
As bad as it is, I must remind myself that this film was an Italian made movie, made to cash in on the popular Troll dolls that were being sold in the early 90s, rather than the first movie, which wasn't a massive hit. However, the writer for this film also wrote the unofficial sequel to Terminator (which was released in Italy in the late eighties). He also wrote the script for Zombie 3, a pseudo-sequel to Lucio Fulciís Zombie, which was a knock off itself. In other words, perhaps he was just cashing in the the "success" of the first movie.
Either way, itís really hard to write a review for a film this horrible. Thereís just so much wrong with it, I could spend hours criticizing it. But I'll be the first to admit it -- I kind of love "Troll 2" more than most movies out there. It's just awesome. Everything about it is bad, but everything about it is laugh-out-loud funny, too.
These past few years have been kind to "Troll 2." Thanks to DVD, recent TV showings and screenings, the film has gained a strong cult audience, one which considers the film to be the best worst movie ever made. "Troll 2" is screening at midnight showing across the nation, and the film's star -- Michael Stephenson has even made a popular documentary detailing the fandom of the film (we even get to see the cast reflect on their experiences!).
"Troll 2" is an awful movie, but itís well worth watching. I've always argued that you can learn more from a bad movie than you can a good one. The bad films bring to the surface the flaws and cinematic trappings a young filmmaker should avoid. These flaws become obvious. Teachers should stop teaching Hitchcock and start teaching "Troll 2."
But Iíd also suggest gathering a large group of film geeks for a screening -- it's a blast to experience that way. But honestly, this oneís funny even if youíre by yourself. Rent it. Buy it. Watch it on TV. Do whatever you need to, in order to see this film. Itís one of the funniest bad movies ever produced and you wonít be disappointed...or you will -- either is sort of expected.
I leave you with these final words of wisdom from the film:
"You can't piss on hospitality - I won't allow it!"
Film Report Card:
Entertainment Value: A+
Film Value: A+
Here's a hilarious faux trailer for the film:
I'm really quite shocked by how good the transfer looks for this movie. It's clear Fox/MGM put some time into restoring this cinema classic. Just take a look at the image below and you'll see how much deeper and richer the image looks, rife with depth and textures not found on the DVD image. Unfortunately, the AVC transfer tends to favor a slightly pinkish hue, which doesn't always look that appealing. Heavy grain and some minor posterization also bog things down. That said, this transfer is leaps and bounds better than the previous DVD.
Even better, there's virtually no white or black specks to contend with. While it's hardly a flawless remaster, this Blu-ray or "Troll 2" looks way better than I would have ever imagined.
Same goes for the disc's DTS-HD 5.1 mix. The original master was seemingly mixed in mono. This fresh remaster expands the presentation without sounding inorganic or clunky. No high end crackles were reported. Bass is sparsely used, but surrounds are put to use -- mostly for the film's soundtrack. Ultimately, this mix doesn't really 'wow', but it sounds way better than I would have expected.
Frustratingly, the Blu-ray is missing any real extras, other than a trailer and a DVD copy of the film. Also frustrating -- the DVD copy isn't the flipper disc with Troll 1 on the other side -- it's a stand alone reissue. Boo!
Hopefully the DVD for "Best Worst Movie" will house some awesome "Troll 2" goodies. We'll see.
"Troll 2" is one of the most enjoyable bad moves out there. It's a damn shame Fox/MGM didn't pony up any fresh extras, but fans can take solace in knowing a DVD of the documentary "Best Worst Movie" is available.
Blu-ray Report Card:
HD Content: N/A
Recommendation: Buy this cult classic!
* Follow DVDFuture on TWITTER for the latest in Blu-ray and DVD news and reviews!
* Email Me with Comments, Concerns, Questions and Complaints regarding this review, but please, be nice.
----R. L. Shaffer