Worst Movie made me want to see Troll 2, the reportedly
shitty flick this documentary is about. I want to see it not
because Best Worst Movie makes it sound gloriously awful,
like those videos of fat women shitting on county fair porta-potties.
Although, school is still out on whether those are awful or
art. It all depends on how the establishment scores Thomas Kinkade's
work since they rank right next to each other. I want to see
Troll 2 because I was so fucking mystified as to why
it's being celebrated as so bad it's wonderful.
The problem is that
Michael Stephenson, who was in Troll 2 and has made Best
Worst Movie, assumes that Troll 2 is so bad that
everyone loves it. Rather than justify that assumption through
the movie, he hauls out the biggest load of asswipes this side
of an Axe Deodorant convention to say that they love the movie,
without ever getting at why in any interesting way. The discussion
isn't thoughtful or reflective, it's just a collection of the
easiest-to-reach dickwads who want to be on camera. That means
fake hipsters who think that declaring love for a shitty movie
somehow gives them personality or makes them interesting. They
aren't. For example, the movie spends five minutes in the office
of a Los Angeles PR firm having a Troll 2 "party". All
we see are dullard douchebags--the kind you'd avoid in your
own office--walking around telling people, "Oh, my god, it's
so awesome." These people struck me as the same boring pricks
who think bacon everything is still fucking hilarious, over
and over. Bacon wallets and shirts, bacon-flavored ice cream.
The caliber of their fandom was like that of people who buy
T-shirts from web sites featuring pictures of cat with "funny"
captions and videos of people bumping their heads. Not clever
or original. Joiners in skinny jeans.
Maybe Troll 2
really is so bad it transcends crappiness and becomes a righteous
experience (don't write to tell me it is, I'll decide for myself,
thank you). Best Worst Movie isn't the way to find that
out, though. The documentary doesn't attempt to tell the story
of how or why it was made, or the likely unfortunate decisions
that led to its shittiness. Those things are tangentially in
there. The lousiness isn't quantified. Neither do we learn the
public's initial reaction to the movie, or what the production
company thought of it, or how they would either bury or salvage
it. And, for a story about a movie so bad it's hilarious, there
are very few laughs in here.
Instead Best Worst
Movie tells how dickwads have turned it into a cult classic
where they can go and be seen being ironic by other dickwads.
It's as sloppy and meandering as a drunk gypsy. The travelogue
of the stars of Troll 2 now. Some shun it and some show
up at midnight screenings and sci-fi conventions to hear more
dickwads express love for the movie. The main focus is George
Hardy, who played the father and is today a dentist. The movie
opens with a lot of Alabamans expressing what a wonderful guy
he is. We'll have to take their word because beyond that all
we see is him playing along with the movie's cult following.
It's partially because he's a good sport, but it's mostly because
he's desperate to be in the limelight. He travels overseas to
appear at conventions where nobody recognizes him, and to repeat
the same stale stories about making Troll 2. He smiles
a lot, but so do the waitresses at Coco's and it doesn't make
them interesting. Only in the end when he tires of the midnight-movie
circuit do we get any sense that he understands he has hung
on too long.
Others in Troll
2 include Best Worst Movie's maker, Michael Stephenson.
He never turns the camera around and interviews himself so we
know almost nothing about him and what's happened in his life
that makes him so eager to revisit an twenty-year-old disaster.
Troll 2's mother is Margo Prey. She is now trapped in
a filthy house with her aging mother and some unseen demons
who scream at her at night. She's a wack job, but that has nothing
to do with Troll 2 and isn't explored in any sensical
way here. Her presence in the movie is just exploitation. Don
Packard was in the movie and claims he was high and on leave
from a mental institute during production. The movie doesn't
bother to look at where he's been in the meantime, either. He
would have probably been a more interesting main character for
the documentary, though.
director is an Italian named Claudio Fragasso. He's a direct-to-video
hack who generated truckloads of schlock back in the day. When
Troll 2 becomes a cult favorite, he is hauled back to
the US. He thinks maybe real aficianados have discovered his
masterpiece and only to grow bitter and sad when he finds out
he's been dragged into the inside joke of some fake hipsters.
Some of the little shits are so craven as to lie to his face
upon meeting him, as though his feelings are less important
than their hilarious ironic take on the movie. I don't feel
bad for Fragasso; he seems like an asshole. I just hated wasted
screen time on little fuckers with nothing to add to the world
except their sorry snickering.
What is absent from
Best Worst Movie is the story of how a movie becomes
a cult classic. Nobody says who is paying to fly the stars of
Troll 2 all over the world and what their compensation
is for signing autographs and participating in panels. There
is almost no time spent documenting the intervening twenty years.
There is no discussion of the Italian production company that
made the movie and is probably laughing all the way to the bank
at the hipsters buying Blu-Ray copies of their cheap piece of
shit. What about Fragasso? Is he participating monetarily? He
deserves wealth the most since he's the only one who defends
it. Without him, Troll 2 just isn't as deliciously ironic
for the hipsters to enjoy. What's the fun in laughing at others
if they laugh with you?
How does it feel
to accept ironic money for something you made in earnest? What
is a studio's responsibility to the people it hired to show
respect for them when crowds are handing you gobs of cash to
sell them out? And what happens when the gravy train pulls into
its final stop? I would love for someone to research these questions.
They are far more interesting than the lack of questions in
Best Worst Movie. Two Fingers.
to tell Filthy Something?