This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Mysteries Of A Cult Film

Not too long ago, I stumbled across a documentary entitled, Best Worst Movie. I was intrigued. Just how bad was this film? Was it truly the best of the worst? The documentary had four stars so I thought, "What the hell?" Besides, much can be learned from a really bad film.

Best Worst Movie was a very entertaining look at a 1989 film I'd never heard of: Troll 2. The cast of characters interviewed in the documentary [many of whom were directly involved in the making of the film] appear to be equally astounded by the underground cult status the film has reportedly acquired. Some of them have gone on to pursue acting-- conveniently leaving the Troll 2 credit off their resume. Others laugh at the long ago experience they had on the film, as if it's become folklore in their own histories.

Apparently, people rave about how truly awful Troll 2 is. They have parties to celebrate its awfulness. A few people even say they watch Troll 2 weekly. After seeing the documentary, a few friends and I determined one thing: we had to see it for ourselves.

Over the weekend, I finally saw Troll 2. At its core, the film is about a little kid named Joshua and his family in the small town of Nilbog. The townspeople, all goblins (nilbog spelled backwards) are trying to turn the family into plants so they can eat them. The Nilbog goblins, of course, are all vegetarians. Why there isn't enough vegetation for them to survive in a rather green area surrounded by a pristine lake somewhere in small-town America is never explained.

There is no original Troll, by the way. Just a sequel without a prequel. Additionally, the acting is predictably atrocious and the film itself is way too brightly lit to be successful in even the lowest-budgeted of horror films. The film meanders wildly. There are hardly any night scenes. There aren't even any trolls. There should be a drinking game for every time the little kid says, "Grandpa." Then there's that strange make-out scene involving a woman in black garters, a corncob and an eventual passionate explosion of popcorn all around them.

[Note: In re-reading this description, I almost make it sound like Troll 2 is actually entertaining. It's not. Just bad...really, really BAD.]

There is no clear-cut definition of a cult film. However, it's generally accepted that a cult film is a film that wasn't embraced when it was originally released, but given time, has caught on and/or generated a following with niche audiences. Usually, there is a very active communal following for cult films-- as with films such as The Big Lebowski and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Some people may disagree, but Troll 2 is far from being the best worst movie. I wouldn't even necessarily consider it a cult film. It's just a bad movie-- plain and simple. I don't think I could even sit through it again, let alone celebrate its badness in a cult fashion. Even the worst cult films have some entertaining qualities that make you want to come back for more. Not me.

NPR: What's On Your Cult List?

Definitions Of Cult Cinema

Lebowski Fest: All Things Lebowski

©2012 by KLiedle

1 comment:

  1. Troll and Troll 2 are really sucks, maybe we can erase them from history pages for good?! lol..