Bad movies can be good. If a filmmaker invests his heart and soul into making a movie and it ends up being terrible, that movie can be a riot. Sometimes, rarely, a movie can be so bad that it will gain a cult following of viewers to the degree that screenings of the picture will sell out. Such is the case with Troll 2, which at one point was ranked the worst movie of all time on IMDB and boasts a 0% rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Best Worst Movie is a documentary about the worst movie ever made.
Best Worst Movie is directed by Michael Stephenson, who nearly 20 years earlier was the child star of Troll 2. The movie focuses on dentist George Hardy, who played Stephenson’s father in the movie and is responsible for delivering one of the worst (or at least hammy) lines in the horror flick. Hardy is a funny, goofy guy who has come to embrace the fact that Troll 2 is the worst movie ever made and, along with others in the cast, takes to appearing at several of the movie’s screenings across the country. Italian director Claudio Fragasso also shows up to share in the “love.”
The documentary is a flighty, entertaining little movie. It won’t win any awards or even reach the heights of such films as King of Kong, but it does what it set out to do: explore the sensation that is Troll 2 and the effect the movie has had on its cast, crew and fans.
What’s interesting about the documentary is that for the first two thirds, it depicts the actors and even Fragasso in relishing in Troll 2’s newfound popularity. They seem to really be on board with just how absurd the movie is and how ridiculous it is that there are certain people who like the movie so much they die just shaking hands with them or getting their autograph.
But the documentary takes a turn in its final act. Hardy, while remaining good natured, begins to realize that he’s tired of watching Troll 2 over and over again. He doesn’t understand why people like the movie, even if he embraces them for it. And when he visits a couple conventions he realizes that Troll 2 isn’t nearly as popular as he thought and begins to question what the hell he’s doing.
Fragasso is another story altogether. While at first he seems to just be happy that people are enjoying his movie, it is clear he doesn’t like people making fun of it. In a cringe inducing scene near the end, he keeps interrupting actors at an audience panel who are trying to describe just how crappy a film Troll 2 is. People, including those who he formerly worked with to make it, are calling his baby terrible and he just doesn’t understand. It’s entertaining to watch and sad at the same time.
Best Worst Movie is a fun little documentary that highlights the positives and negatives of being responsible for making the worst movie ever made. It didn’t quite convince me to watch it just yet, but Troll 2 is available on Netflix Instant Play. The temptation is there. As for Best Worst Movie, recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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