Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where it’s a crime we’re only just now getting around to one of most legendary “so bad, it’s good” flicks ever made – 1990’s Troll 2.
What’s The Plot?
A “happy” nuclear family is lured to the tiny town of Nilbog for a vacation only to find it is the homeland of people-eating Goblins! Now the family’s little boy has to convince his elders that their temporary neighbors really are evil monsters bent on turning them into plants and eating them and keep his family safe with the help of his dead grandad. In his family’s defense…that’s a really stupid evil plan.
Trolls don’t even get mentioned, by the way. Its goblins all the way down.
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
Director Claudio Fragasso (credited as “Drake Floyd”, because why would you want your name on this?) based on a story idea from his wife. Apparently, Rossella Drudi was annoyed by how obnoxious her newly vegetarian friends were being (…reasonable) so she decided to write a movie in which vegetarians were actually evil goblins who forcibly transform human beings into plants in order to eat them (significantly less reasonable, and more than a little stupid). They hooked up with an Italian producer whose artistic philosophy boiled down to “money first, money second, money third, and then maybe we think about being any good” and a legend was born.
Five Reasons to See It
- The movie’s main villain, an evil druid witch with the awesome name of Creedence Leonore Gielgud, greets the protagonist’s sister the same way Tommy Wiseau greets his female fans – with a creepily delivered “Hello, beautiful”.
- You are guaranteed to have seen cosplayers with more convincing monster costumes than this movie’s goblins wear.
- The protagonist’s grandpa must be some kind of low level deity – death has given him the ability to stop time, shoot lightning, appear in mirrors, summon lunch meat, etc. He’s like Pre-Crisis Superman, showing off a new power every time the plot needs to move ahead.
- On a long car ride, the matriarch of the family entreats her little boy to “sing that song I like”. He then starts up a round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Mom does not have particularly refined musical tastes.
- “Grandpa! Are you really in Hell?
“No! But I know a trick that a friend of mine who went there taught me!” – There you have it folks, Jesus teaches his friends how to shoot lightning on command. Ask your pastor about it.
Full disclosure – I can’t tell if this movie is a really bad horror comedy that ends up working differently than intended, a really good parody of bad horror movies that works almost exactly as intended, or a really bad parody of horror movies that works against all odds. That said, the movie is really funny, occasionally on purpose, and definitely earned its status as a legend in the field of awesomely bad.
NEXT WEEK: We look back at the Dork Age of super hero movies and examine 1997’s Steel.