It’s easy to make a bad movie. But it’s not so easy to make the WORST movie – a movie that will live on 20 years later or more as a tribute to bad movie making. “Troll 2” is that film and this is a look at what went in to making it so awful.
The biggest knock on this documentary is that it promises to be a “how to” and plays as more of a “where are they now”. It centers on George Hardy (dad from “Troll 2”) and opens with a look at his life and how he first get dragged back into the “Troll 2” cult. Eventually, learning that his horrible little flick had become a cult film, he reunites with some of the cast and crew and embarks on a “Troll 2” renaissance with late-night screenings, horror conventions, Q&As – the works.
Most of the cast are here and they’ve moved on to varying degrees of success. Michael (Hardy) is a successful dentist, Arnold (Darren Ewing) did some acting and is in a band, Drew (Jason Steadman) is a successful novelist and young Joshua (Michael Stephenson) produced this film. Holly (Connie Young) is an interesting case, going on to do other films and apparently debating off and on whether she really wants the film on her resume (but seemingly having no concerns with including “Ice Spiders”).
Others haven’t fared as well and that is brought into focus, somewhat harshly at times. Mother Diana (Margo Prey) seems to have fallen on hard times and may be suffering from mental illness and Don Packard (the drug store owner) was apparently in the throes of mental illness at the time and simply allowed to play it on the set. Director Claudio Fragasso perhaps takes it the hardest, lashing out as the fans who don’t understand his film to the actors who ruined it because they didn’t share the vision of himself and co-writer Rossella Drudi.
The key to a historically bad film is honesty and that’s here in spades. Fragasso and Drudi are convinced that their film was great and had a great story to tell and can’t seem to understand how people don’t accept or understand that. The dialog wasn’t bad and stilted you see, because Fragasso (who could hardly speak English) KNOWS how American teens speak. The direction wasn’t bad, the actors simply couldn’t understand him or refused to accept his direction. It’s not that there’s a lack of continuity in the film, it’s that people worry too much about things that don’t matter. At one Q&A, he can’t even understand why people are surprised at the lack of any trolls in “Troll 2”.
The documentary suffers a bit for its honesty. In addition to the vignettes on Packard (who repeatedly talks about how much he couldn’t stand the little kid in the movie – apparently unaware that the little kid was the director of this documentary and, presumably, the guy interviewing him), Prey and the occasionally belligerent Fragasso, even Hardy seems to cling a bit too much to the cult icon status by the end.