Thanks to the documentary BEST WORST MOVIE, those of us who never cared about TROLL, let alone TROLL 2, now know that the latter has earned some small renown as a cult film, the subject of midnight movie screnings attended by fans who embrace the cinematic atrocity as high-camp hilarity. This must be an example of group psychology taking over and creating an atmosphere of communal delight, because viewed on its own, at home on VOD, TROLL 2 offers few delights, even for dedicated bad movie enthusiasts.
The most distinguishing characterist of TROLL 2 is how across-the-board awful it is. Even bad movies, through sheer luck if nothing else, usually stumble into a good moment or two or at least reveal a brief glimpse of the good intentions that led the filmmakers down the road to cinematic perfidy. TROLL 2, however, is a disaster from start to finish. The performances are stiff and amateurish, except for one or two that are overblown and amateurish. The screenplay (written by Italians) is absurd i its English dialogue (“You can’t piss on hospitality. I won’t allow it!“) and even more so in its premise: in an apparent but rather fuzzy attempt to take a satirical jab at vegetarianism, the script has goblins (which are never called “trolls” in the movie) turn people into plants in order to consume them.
If there is any redeeming quality, it is the misguided sincerity of the filmmakers, who apparently believed they were making a serious movie. Except for one ridiculously campy performance, TROLL 2 plays it straight. By not adopting a self-aware attitude about its own ineptitude, TROLLS 2 becomes the inadvertent straight man for the slings and arrows of outraged viewers.
Unfortunately, MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 never screened this aboard the Satellite of Love. There is some consolation in the fact that MST3K alumni Michael J. Nelson created a downloadable RIFFTRAX audio commentary for TROLL 2.
TROLL 2 (1990). Directed by Claudio Fragasso. Written by Rossella Drudi, from a story by Claudio Fragasso. Cast: Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Marco Prey, Connie Young, Robert Ormsby, Deborah Reed, Jason Wright, Darren Ewing, Jason Steadman, David McConnell, Gary Carlson, Mike Hamill, Don Packard.