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Best Worst Movie


Have you ever done something so bad that you ended up being proud of it? Originally you cannot even face it out of pure shame and embarrassment, but after a passage of time you begin to embrace it and enjoy the mess you created. Best Worst Movie looks back at the filming and recent skyrocket in popularity of “the worst movie ever”, Troll 2.

Grade:

Director Michael Stephenson – the child actor star of Troll 2 – decided to reach out to his costars and reminisce about the making of Troll 2 since all over the world, the film had collected a sizable following. BWM focuses mostly on now-dentist George Hardy and his travels across America, and even to the UK, to promote Troll 2 at screenings and conventions. Stephenson even travels to Italy to contact the eccentric director, Claudio Fragasso, and writer, Rossella Drudi, and get their all-too-serious takes on their film.

Full disclosure: I have not seen Troll 2, nor had I heard about any of the “worst movie ever” labels. Yet, after watching BWM, I simply have to see it. It’s a film that was shot with every intent of being a serious horror film. Fragasso and Drudi are serious filmmakers who claim to have made a film covering a range of issues, particularly family and all the obstacles that come in the way of keeping a family together (like vegetarian vampires and goblins). For the actors, it’s a different story (except Margo Prey). They laugh at the thought of Troll 2. Some, particularly Connie Young, cover their faces in shame, but once they begin talking about the film, it is clear that Troll 2 is a happy memory.

These actor segments of BWM are interesting since it is very rare for the stars of films to speak so candidly about the filmmaking process, or even the result of their film. Each and every person admits to it being the worst movie they’ve been a part of and how they weren’t even aware of the plot while making it, despite interruptions from Fragasso. Hardy is the clear frontrunner for their publicity spectacle since he has the only famous line – something about urinating on hospitality. He is an infinitely likable guy who loves being the center of attention and is happy to entertain every fan that comes his way. That is, until he heads to some of the conventions where bigger films are present and he realizes Troll 2 only has a niche following.

Stephenson does a good job keeping a distinct line between himself as the actor in Troll 2 and the director of a documentary (this also seems to help get genuine answers in interviews). It is truly amazing to see the gatherings that this awful movie has created.  BWM is not without its awkward, uncomfortable moments, particularly those with Fragasso or Prey. Since he felt that no one understood the true meaning of his film, he gets a little bitter about how hilarious everyone finds it. After a few screenings, he begins to lash out on the actors and fans, which creates a tension that can be felt outside the film. Prey is, for lack of a better descriptor, not all there. She has a blank stare and warped sense of reality that befuddles Stephenson and Hardy.

I cannot decide whether viewing BWM before or after Troll 2 is a good idea. Regardless, it is a surprisingly hilarious and captivating story with amiable people embracing a short time in their past. Check back in tomorrow for the Troll 2 review.

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