MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In the non-sequel to Full Moon’s “Troll,” “Troll 2” tells a story not about trolls but rather about goblins that turn people into plants before eating. In this militant vegetarian tale, a family from the city travels to the small town of Nilbog to live for a week. Guided by his deceased grandfather, young Joshua sees the goblins for what they are and must convince his family that they’re in mortal danger.
WHAT I LIKED
Before “Best Worst Movie” and before Conan O’Brien put “Troll 2” on his must-see list of movies, I was a fan of this film. I rented it on a whim back in the early 90s with my sister, and we watched the video amid gales of laughter at its godawfulness.
But that’s godawfulness in the best way imaginable. “Troll 2” is such a ridiculous film but so indicative of the inexplicable sequels that lined video shelves in the heyday of VHS. It’s fodder for “Mystery-Science Theater 3000” (though Mike and the Bots never skewered it, but RiffTrax did a take on it). But you don’t even need call-outs to enjoy this movie. Just watch it for its silliness of story and line-reads, and the film speaks for itself.
By now, all genre fans should have heard of “Troll 2,” even if it’s in reference to Michael Stephenson’s autobiographical pic “Best Worst Movie.” But unlike other famous bad movies, “Troll 2” is surprisingly watchable. It may have terrible characters, a convoluted plot and a ridiculous story set-up, but it’s the kind of movie that can take you to the very end. It’s put together like a wet Happy Meal box, but every film buff should watch it at least once in his or her life.
There’s a strange heart in “Troll 2” that gives the independent filmmaker hope. Some of that hope comes from the cast, who acts their guts out whether they have the chops to do so or not. And Michael Stephenson is strangely empathetic as the child who figures out the great goblin conspiracy.
What is the purpose of a movie? Most of the time, it’s there simply to entertain. In this respect, “Troll 2” with all of its warts and imperfections is wildly entertaining. And that’s all that anyone can ask for.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There are so many problems with “Troll 2” that I wouldn’t know where to start. But the truth is that all the foibles of the film are also its greatest strength. After all, can you imagine “Troll 2” will a coherent storyline? Or well-constructed characters? Or good make-up effects? Or a child who chooses NOT to pee on food?
Well, that would be like giving Ed Wood a budget. It’d be pointless.
Sadly, the brand new Blu-ray of “Troll 2” only comes with the film and theatrical trailer. Sure, you get it on both a Blu-ray and a DVD, but there are no extra features at all.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who love a good bad movie.