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TROLL 2
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars: Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie McFarland, Robert Ormsby, Deborah Reed
Director: Drago Floyd
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: MGM
Features: Trailer
Length: 96 Minutes
Release Date: October 5, 2010

They're eating her...then they're gonna eat me...OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!

Film *

Troll 2 is almost universally and unabashedly gleefully proclaimed the worst movie of all time. That's quite a superlative, even going in the opposite direction from the norm. It actually merits the same kind of scrutiny and consideration as a claim to be the greatest film ever.

I've seen more low budget horror films than I could begin to count, and as such, there was nothing about this movie that makes it stand out in my mind as deserving of such a dubious honor. Oh, let's be clear...it IS a piece of crap. Just no crappier than many other movies you could consider in the category of the diabolically wretched.

The acting is mostly bad. The script is downright dumb. The masks the creatures wear look like masks and nothing else...you can even see the human faces underneath when you look closely enough. The music is pure 80s drivel, even though the film came out in 1990. The special effects are laughable. The premise preposterous. Even the title is absurd...though there was an unremarkable horror movie called Troll four years earlier, this bears no link to it whatsoever, getting the sequel moniker merely as a means of trying to cash in on a film with at least a smidgeon of name recognition.

The story: a young boy named Joshua (Stephenson) keeps imagining his late grandfather (Ormsby) visiting him to warn him of terrible goblins that prey on humans. And to make matters worse, in some kind of stupefyingly bizarre plot push, his family has agreed to a vacation involving exchanging homes with another family from a rural town called Nilbog. If you've already figure out what that is spelled backwards, you're probably way ahead of this film's creators.

There, the boy is the only one aware that the town is filled with goblins who have designs on him and his family. They are vegetarians, however, meaning that in order to feast, they have to give their victims some kind of green oozy substance that turns them into half human half vegetable. Then bon appetit.

It's so freakishly moronic that it goes somewhere beyond the point where you think you could admire it for sheer stupidity. There isn't a scare to be had, and barely a laughable moment here and there. Most of my reaction was sheer disbelief.

Young Michael Stephenson did a fairly good job considering how thankless a role it was for a young actor, and recently, he made his own movie about the experience and the cult phenomenon that goes along with Troll 2 being regarded so badly. The only other bright spot is the handsome George Hardy, playing the father with a kind of down home charm that comes from being from the same town as my wife, Alexander City, Alabama...in fact, he was her family's dentist.

The rest of the cast either over or under-acts to painful distraction. You haven't seen over-the-top until you get a load of Deborah Reed as the Goblin Queen. It's so painfully outlandish that I couldn't even begin to tell you whether or not she even had fun making the movie.

I mean, when the whole plot is sort of foiled by a bologna sandwich, you know you've entered a whole realm of ridiculosity that makes election season look like an Ivory Merchant appreciation society meeting at a public library. I always thought vegetarians were kind of creepy, but man...

In the end, I don't feel like my world is any better or worse for having experienced the so-called worst movie ever. I could start naming the movies I find to be far more deserving of the honor, but why spoil all the fun? Bottom line is, if you really want to spend an evening with a terrible movie, you couldn't do much worse than Troll 2. Or do I mean much better than Troll 2? Either way, it falls in between.

Video ***1/2

Talk about going above and beyond...what MGM has done is deliver an outstanding high definition transfer to a film that could have sufficed without it. I'm glad...despite cinematographic limitations, this movie comes across with amazing detail and natural coloring throughout. The forest scenes are particularly striking, and even darker moments come through with integrity.

Audio ***

The music is God-awful, but that's not what we base our judgments on. This dubious movie gets the benefit of a DTS HD soundtrack that is quite dynamic even for a somewhat limited mix. Dialogue is well rendered throughout, and the score is...well, it frankly doesn't score.

Features *

It comes with both a Blu-ray and a DVD of the film, and each disc has the original trailer. You'd think they would have done a little more for the worst movie ever made, but there it is.

Summary:

What can I say? When I go home with my wife to Alexander City next month, I might bring my copy of Troll 2 along to see if Dr. Hardy will autograph it for me. I'm glad for his day job as a dentist, because this movie didn't do him or anybody else that came within five miles of it any favors.

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