Movies are quite odd sometimes. There are movies that are given all the care in the world, all the world in the world, have the biggest budgets and the greatest talents, both in front and behind the camera, and never get any sort of recognition that they deserve. Kick-Ass comes to mind. Then there are those weird films that are just bad on every sort of artistic and technical level, yet are still able to make an impression and reach an audience that the people involved never dreamed of reaching. Plan 9 From Outer Space, Manos the Hands of Fate, Robot Monster, The Room, all these movies fall under this category. And so does Troll 2.
Now, I have previously reviewed Troll 2, and called it for what it was: bad, but entertaining. But it turns out there is quite a love affair for Troll 2 out there, and this documentary is made to document such a phenomenon. It was directed by Michael Stephenson, who also played the lead role of the boy who wants to save his family from a town of vegetarian troll monsters. The documentary centers on actor/dentist George Hardy, and their search for what happened to everyone involved in the production.
George Hardy is quite a guy. He’s friendly as hell and funny, and seems to be enjoying the fuck out of his sudden fame. We see him having a blast in the screenings, recreating the scenes with the other actors, and freaking out at the people who go to horror conventions. It’s also fun to see Claudio Fergasso, who directed Troll 2 (and is more famous for all his remakesploitation films he made with Bruno Mattei). He believes he made a truthful piece of Americana/rural gothic, which talks about the problems American families face. It’s interesting, if a little hilarious, to see someone talk about such a bad movie in such high regard, but you got to respect such a conviction from a man like this.
The movie does have it’s downer moments, though. Mainly the scenes involving actress Margo Pray, who played the mother. She has become a total shut-in who takes care of her mother. Seeing her in her botox-covered glory really bummed me out. There’s also Robert Ormsby, who played Grampa Seth, talking about how much he wasted his life.
Still, this is quite a great documentary. It’s informative, hilarious and entertaining as hell, and gives you both an entrance into the world of misfit filmmakers, and the misfits who love their movies. I wish every bad movie had a documentary like this.