(Claudio Fragasso, 1990)
"A triumph of low-budget artistry" - Linda Wiffler, The Regina Enquirer
"A heady blend of horror, sensuality, and wholesome family fun" - Dayton Daily
"It's the most frightening thing I've seen since Troll!" - Roger Ebert
"Deep...It poses more questions than answers." - Heather Graham
None of the critics have truly given the piece of cinematic brilliance that is Troll 2 the praise it deserves. It has something for everyone: valuable family lessons, baloney sandwiches, cringe-inducing horror, teenage homo-eroticism, 80s jazz dancing, vegetarianism, and even seduction with a cob of corn! Who could possibly resist?
I know you can't actually hear the sarcasm issued from these lips, but you get the point. I have seen a LOT of bad films, ie) A.P.E., Plan 9 From Outer Space, Manos: The Hands of Fate,etc... and I just have to say that Troll 2 takes the cake. It is the WORST MOVIE EVER MADE, and I can't stop watching it or playing it for friends. They pretend to hate me after, but they ask for a repeat sooner or later! It's a hilarious ride, packed with non-stop unintentional humor. There's also a curious amount of references to corn and baloney in Troll 2. It's like they knew!
The story goes something like this: One night, Josh's deceased grandpa Seth tells him a cautionary bedtime story about how Goblins are real, and dangerous, and if you eat the green slop they feed you, you'll turn into a green puddle of plant goo. Apparently this is the goblins' favorite food. We then find out that Josh, along with parents Michael and Diana, and sister Holly, are going away the next day on a family exchange to a town called NILBOG. Holly's closet-queer boyfriend Elliott invites his 3 closest boyfriends, and they follow the Waits family in an RV.
The people of Nilbog are a creepy lot, but show the Waits family true country Hos-Pit-Ality by leaving them a sumptuous feast of green goo-filled sandwiches, cakes, and cobs of corn. Ghost-Grandpa tells Josh, "Don't let them eat, Joshua. For the love of God, don't let them eat!" and even goes so far as to stop time for 30 seconds (aka 1 whole minute) while Josh figures out the best way to do so. And what does he come up with? In the first of many grossly inappropriate scenes, Josh climbs on the table and urinates on everyone's food.
It's all downhill from there. Seriously. Inappropriate. And gut-bustingly hilarious! After the dinner incident, the Waits are left without any food, so Michael and Josh go into town the following morning. There Josh discovers that Nilbog is actually Goblin spelled backwards, and that his family is in grave danger, as are Elliott's friends. Of course Michael doesn't believe him, so it's just Josh and Grandpa Seth versus the goblins! Oh, the excremen- er- excitement!
I totally gave away the story, but who cares? Really, you just have to see it. For starters, it has NOTHING to do with trolls; just goblins in horrible papier mache masks who carry flimsy spears. There's about 7 goblins, and even after they die they keep popping up in other scenes. Then there's the lazy camerawork. The bad synthesizer soundtrack by Carlo Maria Cordio that sounds like a leftover from '85. The stilted, redundant dialogue. The many continuity errors. The pointless scenes inserted to pad it out. The scenes that were all shot in daylight because there WAS no budget for lighting (or, I daresay, a budget at all!). The green Jello and artificial plant bits that make up the bulk of the special effects (and boy are they special!)
How about the fact that when Grandpa Seth appears to Josh in the mirror, his head is HUGE, and he looks like a hammy old Wizard of Oz wannabe? Or that Grandpa Seth can magically stop time, swing an axe, shoot lightning bolts, and conjure up molotov cocktails, but can't even find Josh's room? Or The 30 year old woman whose face is made-up to look 80 while the rest of her body is young? How about the end, when the world is saved by... oh, I can't give that away!
And now, about the cast. Seriously, this is the worst acting I've seen this side of an autistic childrens' play. Come to think of it, that may be where they sourced the cast. Josh looks constipated in every scene, and has some major booger-control issues. Holly doesn't even sound like SHE believes the things that come out of her mouth as she reads the cue cards. Michael constantly looks pissed off AND confused. And the witch, Credence Leonore Gilgood (of ancient druid origins!), takes overacting to a whole new level.
Then there's the mother, Diana. She really should have received an award for her performance. She looks frightened and sketched-out, and is easily the most convincing of the "thespians" at hand. I fell for her when I first heard her say to Josh, "Grandpa Seth has remained in all our hearts, but you must banish him from your mind." Word for word. Brilliant.
Now seriously, who is responsible for this mess? Is it Carlo Maria Cordio and his Casio? Perhaps costume designer Laura Gemser? (Yes, you heard right. Oh mighty Emmanuelle, did it hurt when you hit the bottom?) Was it producer Joe D'Amato of Anthropophagus notoriety? NO! It was CLAUDIO FRAGASSO, that asshole who shat out those cinematic turds "Zombie 3", and "Beyond Darkness", that same asshole who penned the stories that hackmaster Bruno Mattei directed. THAT Claudio Fragasso. But really, I ought to thank him for changing my world. I will never again look at a cob of corn, a baloney sandwich, or a Garfield T-shirt without the fondest of memories. You won't regret buying it. It's the best $10 you will ever spend. Buy it here.
Diana - "Michael...who are the goblins?"
8 months ago