Thursday, June 17, 2010

Best Worst Movie/Troll 2-He Said

Ever since I started to listen to the /filmcast podcast and reading up on movie sites, I discovered the lovely world of “good” bad movies. Jonesy and I have our favorites, Step Up 2 being the top one, but then there are others we’d never heard about until recently: The Room, Birdemic, and Troll 2. Thankfully, we have the amazing Inwood Theater, in Dallas, having their Midnight Madness showings, which has everything from cult classics, B-movies, and even oldies like Tim Burton’s Batman. We were treated to a special screening of Best Worst Movie hosted by our friends over at Gordon And The Whale with a Q&A following with George Hardy, the star of Troll 2. Best Worst Movie, directed by Troll 2 child star Michael Stephenson, is the story of the eventual cult following that the horrible Troll 2 managed to amass over its 20 years of existence.
 Hopefully Killers NEVER gets a cult following
Waiting for the screening, we were amazed at the sheer number of people waiting for Best Worst Movie; there were people chatting around us with weird T-shirts that had slogans we couldn’t understand…yet. Having been to a showing of another “good” bad movie, The Room, we expected some hardcore fans, and there were people dressed up in groups, taking pictures and having a grand old time.
Shot of the full lobby, where the line went all the way upstairs

I must say that Best Worst Movie is yet another example of how great documentaries can be. It starts of with George Hardy going off on his daily routines as dentist. Mr. Hardy is such a nice and charismatic man; he rarely frowns at all during the movie, and even if he is trying to put a positive spin on a subject, he doesn’t sound fake about it. The editing in the first part of the film was amazing as it set a funny, almost campy tone to the movie. As the movie continues, we see a bit of Michael Stephenson’s history as the over-acting child star. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t delve too much into his side of the story as much as George’s, which is a shame given how infamous they both became after the movie.
The movie continues as George slowly but surely figures out that Troll 2 has become a bit of a phenomenon, and completely flabbergasted, he goes on to seek out people that are holding Troll 2 screenings, and in the process, he becomes a minor celebrity in the B-movie circuit. As much as this is Troll 2 and George’s story, Stephenson tracks down and interviews many of his former cast mates, some who are doing well, while others, such as Margo Prey who played the mother, are just downright depressing.
The highlight of this bunch is Troll 2 director Claudio Fragasso, and much like Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau, he is a man that has a vision, and he could give a crap whether someone likes his work of art. I find these types of people fascinating because they see the world in a different way that it’s almost sad how out of touch with reality they are, and yet they might border on genius (not this guy though). Logic seems to evade Claudio, and when George asks him about an issue he had about a particular scene, his response, “Logic doesn’t matter!”
Overall, this movie was so good that I felt Troll 2 was hyped up a bit TOO much.
 George Hardy w/the Gordon and the Whale
After the movie, George Hardy came up with the good lookin’ fellas from Gordon and the Whale to do a brief Q&A. George was as charming as ever with his friendly demeanor lighting up the stage as he was answering various questions. Even with this whole movie basically being about the last few years of his life, the man is down to earth, recognizing some old friends of his from the area. I wish that Stephenson had been here, but the man was busy having a baby! So congrats to him. There had been things I was interested in asking him, like the lack of focus of his own post-Troll 2 story.  After the Q&A ended, we got treated to the midnight screening of Troll 2, which Jonesy and I were excited to see given our previous experiences at the Inwood. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the movie quite as much as I though I would.

Before I talk about it, let me give you a background of my B-movie experiences. The best experience I had was at the Inwood while we watched The Room. The crowd was interactive and added to how accentuate how bad this movie was. Even before I went to the midnight showing, I saw it at home, and I laughed at the awful dialogue.
I’m not sure if watching Best Worst Movie and the cult-like hype that surrounds Troll 2 as the optimal way to watch it. Keep in mind that most of the audience that I saw this with had not seen Troll 2 as well, so there’s that factor to take in to account. Overall it was really bad movie in the best sense with its nonsensical plot, horribly written dialogue, and cheap costumes; yes, it is potentially as bad as people make it out to be. For people that love bad movies, this should have been obligatory watching, but for those that are not initiated yet, it is worth watching.

This was yet another great evening spent at the Inwood, which is becoming my favorite theater more and more given the great midnight screenings. As for the movies, like I said, Best Worst Movie was one of the best movie I have seen this year, which is shaping up to be the year of the documentaries for me. Troll 2 will definitely need another watching to get a true feel for it.

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