Troll 2

As part of Alex's birthday celebration, as well as in preparation for Halloween, Michael Michael and Alex rented a handful of scary movies for an all-night marathon. Anna and I played Scrabble in the corner, paying some attention to the screen. First, we watched Troll, and, in my opinion, it was nothing interesting; Michael Michael and Alex expressed genuine fondness for it, however. Shrug. It was not until the second movie, Troll 2, began that I became entirely engrossed. Troll 2 is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I should clarify: Troll 2 is also one of the best movies I have ever seen. It's pure camp, complete with some atrocious acting. Contributers of YouTube have deemed the following brief clip the "worst acting ever." I would probably agree had I not seen the rest of the even more poorly acted film.

For the record, Troll 2 has nothing to do with its predecessor, without so much as even a casual reference. In fact, Troll 2 is about goblins, not trolls at all. Clearly, it was a case of a studio creating a horrendous film, then slapping a known name onto it to make it appear as though it were a sequel in the hopes that someone might come to see it.

If you read contemporary interviews with the cast, the actors blame a shoddy (I say genius!) screenplay and the fact that the movie, shot in Utah, was filmed by an Italian crew that barely spoke English. Perhaps there was something lost in translation, wherein they thought the director asked them to pause awkwardly between lines, punctuate sentences incorrectly, and save their corresponding facial expressions until after delivering the jilted lines. Regardlessly, the result is delightful.

The film centers on a young boy who has conversations with his dead grandpa who warns him to beware of goblins. The boy's family thinks he's crazy, particularly his mother whose demeanor and face is consistently more terrifying than any of the goblin characters. The family goes on vacation to the town of Nilbog and meets people who behave even more awkwardly than the family members themselves -- as it turns out, the townsfolk are goblins in disguise. The goblins attempt to get the humans to eat green goo so that they can kill them. With assistance from both the deceased grandpa, and a mirror that reveals that Nilbog backwards spells GOBLIN, the boy learns of the goblins secrets and tries to save his family before it's too late.

One of the odder aspects of this film, though that's certainly a difficult distinction to make in an entire film of oddities, is the vegetarian subplot. The goblins are staunch vegetarians, disgusted by the very notion of eating meat. My initial take on the film's message was carnivorous propaganda, that vegetarians are crazed individuals. Since reflecting on the theme further, however, I've thought about how the goblins still wanted to feast on humans, they just first turned them into vegetation so that it wouldn't require them to eat meat. Perhaps the message is that even vegetarians eat living things, even if it isn't technically meaty, thus showing a level of hypocrisy. If you've seen Troll 2, though, you'd realize I'm giving it far too much credit.

To see vegetarianism in action, watch this next nonsensical clip. It's not merely nonsensical due to the fact that it's out of context, it has really no context in the film itself either. It features the "sexy" female goblin and the film's most undeveloped character (and wow is that saying something) making love and popcorn simultaneously.

Though I wasn't aware when I watched the film, Troll 2 has become a bit of a cult classic, billed the Rocky Horror Picture Show of the Myspace generation. Apparently, it attracts sold-out crowds when it plays in cities and the audience shouts along with the funny lines. I found a clip of my favorite scene filmed by someone at one of these events.

The people are counting aloud because the boy is told that time is frozen for thirty seconds so that he can find a way to prevent his oblivious family from eating the food that is covered in the fatal green goo. The scene takes well over thirty seconds, however. His ultimate solution - to piss on the food - is genius, only topped by the dialogue that follows.

Mom: "Don't hit him, Michael, please don't hit him."
Daughter: "My god, it's what he deserves: a big spanking for a little shit."
Mom: "Joshua is not a little shit, he's just very sensitive."
Daughter: (in reference to the food) "It smells."
Dad: "You see this writing? Do you know what it means? Hospitality! And you can't piss on hospitality, I won't allow it!" (adjusts belt buckle in a way that suggests he might pee on his son for revenge)
Son: "What are you going to do to me, Daddy?"
Dad: "Tightening my belt one loop so that I don't feel hunger pains, and your sister and mother will have to do likewise. Okay, Joshua, you wanna get rough with me? Wanna show me that you don't like the choice of this house for our vacation by going on a hunger strike? Well I accept the challenge. But just remember, when I was your age, I really did suffer from hunger. We'll see who gets through this, but just remember I've got more practice than you. I'll see you tomorrow."

The father's implied impoverished childhood is neither referenced before or after that moment, just one example of this ill-planned script. By the way, "You can't piss on hospitality" is my new catch phrase.

If you're ever in the mood to watch an atrociously bad yet enjoyable film, gather your friends, pop some popcorn (it's plot related, remember), and rent Troll 2.


R.J. or Raarrr J. or Sabre-Toothed Portillo said...

I totally saw this when I was little!!! NILBOG is something that has stuck with me ever since watching it. I was genuinely freaked out by it.

Kevin said...

You need to watch it again, then. If you were freaked out by that, you must have been really little, or a wuss. Probably both, you little wuss.

Alex said...

Kevin, thank you for writing this, it makes me nostalgic for last weekend already... I really wanna go to one of those screenings...

Also RJ you are not alone in your childhood fears of Troll 2... I never even saw it as a lad but I remember my sister described one scene and it haunted me ever since