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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TROLL 2 (1990)

Have you ever seen a movie so incredibly, jaw-droppingly bad that it gave you what I like to call a "what the fuck?!!?" moment? I hadn't seen one in quite some time, but this weekend I sat through TROLL 2 and was simply amazed by its complete and utter wretchedness. It's totally amateurish in every way, but unlike the majority of bad Hollywood "product" movies, TROLL 2 is entertaining as hell and definitely worth wasting your time on.

Having absolutely nothing to do with TROLL (1986), the story, such as it is, tells the "scary" tale of a family of total non-actors who journey to the rural town of "Nilbog" (oh, puh-leeze!) and discover the place to be a nest of supremely bogus-looking goblins played by a bunch of dwarves in tatty costumes designed by Laura Gemser. Yes, dear Vaulties, the very same Laura Gemser who starred in such classics of softcore cinema as BLACK EMANUELLE (1975), EMANUELLE ON TABOO ISLAND (1976), EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS (1977), EMANUELLE AND THE WHITE SLAVE TRADE (1978), UNLEASHED PERVERSIONS OF EMANUELLE (1983), and that favorite of bad sword & sorcery fans everywhere, ATOR, THE FIGHTING EAGLE (1982).

Laura Gemser: skin-flick mainstay and TROLL 2's special effects costume designer. No, seriously!

The family and other assorted characters (translation: "goblin fodder") must stay one step ahead of the evil goblins who, in a bizarre (and pointless) twist, are vegetarians who use a magic green goo to transform their prey into plants before they chow down on them; in one memorable instance a nerdy teen is turned into a tree and takes root on a clay pot exactly like what you'd find at a garden supply shop, only to meet his fate at the hands of the chain saw-wielding goblin queen — a character named Creedence Leonore Gielgud — who's actually a witch from Stonehenge or something.

The incredible Deborah Reed as scenery-devouring goblin queen Creedence Leonore Gielgud.

No joke, Creedence is one of the most over-the-top flagrantly poorly-acted characters in film history, and I love her. Just how bad is actress Deborah Reed in essaying this part? Let's put it this way: imagine the witch at a local junior high's Halloween haunted house that's been set up in the school's basketball court, as played by some baked hippie chick with no previous acting experience that they'd conscripted from off the street and told to go completely apeshit with her conception of "scary," and you'll only scratch the surface of the thespic anti-wonders to be had here. There's even a truly mind-boggling bit in which Creedence seduces one of a group of annoying and horny teenage boys by materializing from out of the TV the idiot was watching and manifesting as a sexy, lingerie-clad spank fantasy made flesh, complete with black stockings and an ear of corn.

"Gosh, Mrs. Robinson! Whatcha gonna do with that ear of corn?"

The two thrash about on a couch as they French through the ear of corn (?), their passion becoming so hot that the scene explodes in a shower of popcorn.

The most ludicrous seduction scene in cinema history? You decide!

No, really! I swear on my Devo albums that I'm not making up any of this! And I've neglected to mention that the boring and grossly untalented family who serve as the protagonists in this mess have a son who keeps receiving lore about goblins and advice on how to deal with them from his dead grandpa, the chief nugget of wisdom being not to eat any food proffered by the townsfolk of Nilbog (*snicker*). So when the family sits down to feast on an assortment of goodies that look like somebody overdid it with the green food dye and Play-Doh, the kid has to come up with a way to stop his famished family from eating and save them from turning into plants, so on the spot he settles on whipping it out and giving their repast a major golden shower (which we thankfully don't actually see transpire).

"How about a little butter for that corn, Sis?"

That act of micturational martyrdom results in what could be the film's signature quote, coming from the irate dad: "You can't piss on hospitality! I won't allow it!!!"

Those are just some of the horrendously-acted highlights in the film, and after seeing it I did a little research and was astounded (but not really all that surprised) to discover that TROLL 2 has a huge and steadily growing cult following as the "greatest bad movie ever made." That's a pretty lofty anti-accolade and I'm not sure what film would really deserve that title, but TROLL 2 is definitely among the curdled cream of the bad movie crop and is head-and-shoulders more entertaining than just about any other genuinely bad film you can name. There's even a documentary about it entitled BEST WORST MOVIE, supposedly due out by the end of the year and directed by Michael Stephenson, the former child actor who so memorably whipped it out and let fly all over the family's meal in the film, and I can't wait to see it. As truly awful movies go, TROLL 2 should definitely be experienced by one and all, and you just have to give it up for any movie entitled TROLL 2 that features not even one troll in its entire running time.

The stunning handiwork of former-Emanuelle Laura Gemser.

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