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Troll 2


Persona
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Link to Best Worst Movie, which hits Chicago theaters mid-July. I'm actually quite stoked about this little doc, I think it's because it's about a respectable community dentist type guy and the small town he lives in learning about his past life in a horrible, scaaawy film, and something about that simply appeals to me. Maybe it is my own decaying and jaded past that torments me, Oh yes, I am certain that is it.

So has anyone here actually seen Troll 2? I imagnie just asking a question like this has a few of you digging way into that basement of the brain where you left that dusty stuff years ago, all the way back in the early days of Cable, the screen might have even been scrambled back then but if you stared long enough you might sometimes see a nipple... Friday nights in the summertime when youth group was out and with mom and dad gone for the weekend, it was just you and your friends and scary movies like Killer Party and riffs on Chuckie films.

I think I'll watch it over the holiday weekend instead of all the awesome!-great films that are out there like the stupidndous The Last Airbender and the all-brand-new updated Twilight show. Lord knows I can't stand all those good movies that are out.

The DVD from Netflix actually has both Troll and Troll 2, but some Netflix reviewers claim that you should just skip the original and get to the sequel, as fast as you possibly can.

Great review of Troll 2 Here, by the way.

Magnificent Obsession

If you've never seen Claudio Fragasso's 1990 film Troll 2, stop reading this, go rent it from your favorite indie video store, watch it, recover from the experience (if you can), and then come back here. Seriously: Go. Now...

So I did!

Search: Fragasso, Michael Stephenson

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I saw it last year at Birmingham's film festival. It was showing because the festival actually opened with Best Worst Movie—appropriate since the dentist still lives in Alabama (one of my boyfriend's friends is a patient; she says he's really nice). I sadly missed the doc, but anyway, in a festival setting with a rowdy audience, Troll 2 was super fun.

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I saw it last year at Birmingham's film festival. It was showing because the festival actually opened with Best Worst Movie—appropriate since the dentist still lives in Alabama (one of my boyfriend's friends is a patient; she says he's really nice). I sadly missed the doc, but anyway, in a festival setting with a rowdy audience, Troll 2 was super fun.

Ooh, we have a six degrees of film separation situation on the doc. Got to see it now, no turning back.

What would the odds have been to guess that: 1. ) Diane turns up in the film section on a thread entitled Troll 2,

and 2.) She actually saw it on the big screen.

Never saw that one coming. :)

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Haha! It never hurts to keep folks guessing sometimes, Stef.

I will say that I tried watching Troll 2 on the small screen with my boyfriend a month or so prior to the festival—and I fell asleep about 15 minutes in. A public setting is a huge help when watching infamously bad movies, at least from my own experience.

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Okay, so this raises a subject that is perhaps worthy of its own thread. A couple weeks ago, Keith Phipps reviewed Jonah Hex for the A. V. Club. He gave it an "F" and wrote of it, this "is what happens when someone promises to deliver a releasable movie by a certain date, and then doesn’t." (In case there's any confusion out of context, "doesn't" refers to delivering a releasable film.) Predictably, his savaging review inspired countless commentors to chime in about how, after reading it, they were now more eager to see this piece of crap. Which raises the subject of movies (or art, in general) that are "so bad, they're good."

I like a lot of movies that have bad critical reputations, but I don't consider them guilty pleasures. I'd be willing to argue on their behalf as genuinely good movies. I don't get kitsch. I don't like the ironic distance it creates between the viewer and the film. (And since this is an Arts & Faith forum I'll go ahead and say it: I think that ironic distance has a hardening effect on the viewer, making her or him less willing and able to recognize the good and noble when it's there.) A couple years ago I flew to Toronto to see some rare films at the Cinematheque Ontario, one of which, Nick Ray's Johnny Guitar, is an expressionistic '50s melodrama disguised as a Western. It's a very weird masterpiece, that film. Even at a great venue like that, about a third of the audience didn't know how to watch it, so they turned it into kitsch and laughed "knowingly" throughout. It was annoying, as all bad audience experiences are, but it also kinda depressed me.

At my cranky-old-man worst, I want to blame it all on MST3K. Am I just a humorless prig?

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Haha! It never hurts to keep folks guessing sometimes, Stef.

We've always kept in contact, but it's so good to see you on the boards. Welcome back, friend. I will do my best to lure you in the future with something better than Troll 2.

I will say that I tried watching Troll 2 on the small screen with my boyfriend a month or so prior to the festival—and I fell asleep about 15 minutes in. A public setting is a huge help when watching infamously bad movies, at least from my own experience.

Totally agree, but it still didn't save Rocky Horror Picture Show for me. It is its own insular universe, filled with such nonsense that I wanted to get into a fight. Somehow, the level of fandom that apparently has risen around Troll 2 reminds me of Rocky Horror, though nothing could be that bad, right?

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Am I just a humorless prig?

I certainly don't think you are, and that saves me from being a "humorless prig" too -- because I very much feel the same way, especially in regard to how loving bad films hardens oneself to knowing, understanding, loving good, fine films, and art in general. And I'm appreciative you've brought this up, because that is actually a whole lot more interesting conversation.

I have a friend who loves these bad films, just loves them. Seeks them out at Netflix on a constant basis. Has a nipple quota, but not even good nipples. He wants these really bad b-films, and he tells me about them regularly. I laugh at the stuff he tells me about, but I think it is really quite sad. He's got little else to say and rarely shares an opinion. I wonder how much is actually left inside him or how burned out everything inside really is.

It's not like me to pursue a b-film like this, but the documentary looks like such fun that I just had to track down

Troll 2. If it's as bad as people say, I'm certain it won't be as enjoyable an experience for me -- but I'll have even more fun later exploring the documentary.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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At my cranky-old-man worst, I want to blame it all on MST3K. Am I just a humorless prig?

Not at all, though I wouldn't blame MST3K that much. At its best, that show was more a celebration of nerd culture than B cinema. I blame Svengoolie on channel 9 in the Chicago area for infecting American culture Saturday afternoon by Saturday afternoon with this idea that irony is either a virtue or an aesthetic. I believe it can be directly traced to him.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Svengoolie never thought the movies were bad. He actually liked them.

Aah, you are projecting a snarky comment. I almost bit.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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This truly could be the worst film of all time. You know me, you know I've seen a good number of films. This really could be the worst. If not THE worst, certainly ONE OF THE worst. Hands down. Not a doubt about it.

A few interesting things though. The film is still at #62 on IMDB's Bottom 100, but there are many five star reviews on Netflix that talk about how bad it is. So either we are voting purely on the film at IMDB and purely on whether one should rent it at Netflix, or people really have forgotten how to vote. If it were the worst, you would give it one star, not five. They are giving it five stars because they are trying to express how bad it is. Makes no sense to me.

There are so many continuity issues, I can't even begin. They are easily looked up, but I noticed several, and this isn't even my strength.

It actually reminded me of Ebert's recent review of The Last Airbender. Every single thing in the film is just plain bad, and then some. The horrid script with its horrid lines, the completely staged acting, the atrocious special effects, the very poor camera work, the goblins themselves, the plot which makes no sense. The trolls, erm, goblins, excuse me, make you eat something in order for them to eat you. And if you touch a magic rock you can kill the evil witch who controls them (laughably riffed on in many of the new Barbie cartoons for little girls).

I was wrong about not enjoying some of the badness. There were definitely things to laugh at here. There's nothing else you can do. You simply marvel at the stench. What's worse, you can feel that they were honestly attempting a film they put their hearts into. All around, from screen to viewer, projection and response back and forth, it is just wrong wrong wrong.

I am looking forward to the documentary more than ever, and hopefully this will help me appreciate how good I really have it. I mean, compared to this, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is four out of five Netflix stars.

Edit: One more thing I noticed. I watched the trailer afterwards, and there were at least three -- maybe four -- shots that were not used in the film, which were clearly superior to the shots used in the film itself. Which is even more baffling. It feels like they couldn't do anything right (and now we've added editing to the list). It feels like the curse that I'm starting to believe in that hides in the blue blood I bleed for my Cubbies.

I've seen it, only because I wanted to hear the RiffTrax. But even with that I barely made it through.

Now that I've seen it, this option is really appealing.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Okay, so this raises a subject that is perhaps worthy of its own thread. A couple weeks ago, Keith Phipps reviewed Jonah Hex for the A. V. Club. He gave it an "F" and wrote of it, this "is what happens when someone promises to deliver a releasable movie by a certain date, and then doesn’t." (In case there's any confusion out of context, "doesn't" refers to delivering a releasable film.) Predictably, his savaging review inspired countless commentors to chime in about how, after reading it, they were now more eager to see this piece of crap. Which raises the subject of movies (or art, in general) that are "so bad, they're good."

I find it depends on the movie...I mean, the reviews for the Last Airbender are not enticing me to see the mvoie in the least.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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The films are a double feature DVD from Netflix, so I watched the original, too. It is a much better film from that period -- not a favorite period of mine at all. It somewhat reminded me of Gremlins, just not quite as good. But Gremlins in an apartment complex might be a passable description. I was also impressed with a cast that I recognized, from Sonny Bono to Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack and Julia Louise-Dreyfus. The original had a troll, and the troll had little muppet monsters that were, well, for the most part really super-lame, but there was a troll choir song that had moments of dread and fun. Special effects lightning was drawn in to create electric shocks in the action (which were replaced in the sequel by lightning bolts, drawn on a sheet of paper and edited in).

The first film is clearly better, but it's just good enough to be forgotten. The sequel is so bad, with so much heart that goes into the badness, I can at least understand the aura around it. It's when looking back on it that you can truly recognize the camp in its mood. When it was released, I can't imagine it having been anything other than despised.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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The first film is clearly better, but it's just good enough to be forgotten.

But how can you forget it when it's protagonist is named Harry Potter?

;)

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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