Thursday, May 20, 2010


In honor of the L.A. premiere of the documentary BEST WORST MOVIE (Opening THIS FRIDAY, May 21, at the Landmark NuArt), I re-present my post about TROLL 2!
ATROLL 2 (1990 directed by Claudio Fragasso aka Drake Floyd) is one of those rare sequels that requires that you know nothing about the first film because it is, in fact NOT a sequel to TROLL. Not only that, but no actual trolls appear in TROLL 2- only Goblins. One wonders why it wasn't called TROLL 2: RISE OF THE GOBLINS or something to that effect. This film has gained quite a cult following in the past few years and I needed to see why.The plot of this oddball exercise in filmmaking concerns an average suburban family (Mom, Dad, two kids and a dead grandpa), who decide to swap houses with a Amish-like countrified clan from the nearby small "half-empty" town called Nilbog–and the madness that ensues.
We first meet a likable freckle-faced boy named Joshua and his dead grandfather, Seth. Yup - gramps died 6 months earlier but he just can't stop hanging out in Joshua's room, reading him scary bedtime stories. Tonight he's telling the tale of THE GOBLINS - the mischievous vegetarian creatures who trick humans into consuming magical food which will turn them into vegetables–so the goblins can eat them!Meanwhile Joshua's horny sister, Holly- a Jazzercise junkie– is visited by her beau Elliot. She thinks he might be gay because he spends too much time with his male friends. Holly wants Elliot to join her family on vacation in Nilbog–but Holly insists–only if he comes without his buddies. Here's a sample of the snappy dialogue between them:
Elliott: I'm the victim of a nocturnal rapture. I have to release my lowest instincts with a woman.
Holly: [slams Elliott in the balls]
Release your instincts in the bathroom.
Are you nuts? You tryin' to turn me into a homo?
Wouldn't be too hard. If my father discovers you here, he'd cut off your little nuts and eat them. He can't stand you.

Later, in the car, after mom coaxes Joshua to "sing that song I like so much" (aka "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"), Joshua has a feverish nightmare about his family turning into goblins. Grandpa Seth appears again, posing as a hitchhiker on the side of the road. Joshua tells his parents to stop the car because he has to puke. Ghostly Seth informs urges him to convince his parents to turn back or else they'll be eaten by goblins in Nilbog! The family coax Joshua back into the car and away from the homeless man. They think that Joshua is making up stories. I have to point out here that the poor actors playing the parents are among the worst I've ever seen - you have to wonder if it's the director's fault.

When they arrive in Nilbog, the townspeople seem a bit odd and aloof, very Stepford. Their doppelganger family has left them a meal that is covered in green cake frosting. Grampa the friendly ghost tells Joshua he must stop his family from eating the food. So, Seth pulls a Hiro from HEROES and freezes time (WTF?) and crafty Joshua whips out his little Joshua and urinates all over the dinner table. I'm not kidding.
Actual dialogue:
Father: You can't piss on hospitality! I WON'T ALLOW IT!
What are you going to do to me, Daddy?
Father: Tightening my belt one loop so that I don't feel hunger pains, and your sister and mother will have to do likewise.

Meanwhile, Elliot and his three "gay" friends have arrived via a RV in search of Nilbog poontang, much to Holly's chagrin. One of the guys goes out for a stroll and comes across a woman who looks like she was attacked with a green cake decorator kit.

The dude and the chick are captured by a young over-acting woman in bad old-woman makeup (she's called Creedence Leonore Gielgud), who forces the duo to drink a cup of smoking, bubbling green brew that paralyses them.

The woman is soon eaten alive by goblins and the dude morphs into a green plant. The goblins' costumes: burlap potato sacks for clothes and latex masks with painted eyes.Later, Grandpa Seth appears to Holly in a mirror and she briefly freaks out. After she and Joshua swap rooms, Gramps reappears and tells Seth tells him he must convince his parents to return home!!! The next day, Joshua and pop go into town to get food that isn't covered in piss. Little Joshua looks into a car side-view mirror hoping to contact Grandpa again, but instead discovers is reflection that "Nilbog" is "Goblin" backwards. Creepy. Not.Before you know it, the friendly townsfolk have Joshua in the Church basement where the local preacher man attempts to force feed him "ice cream". Apparently dairy is still part of the Nilbog diet. Dad shows up just in time!

Another one of Elliot's "gay" friends is sent to buy food, and is offered a ride by the seductive Sheriff, who tricks him into eating a sandwich covered in green shit. The kid gets all queasy but makes his way into the store-and asks for non-veg breakfast foods.
Shopkeeper: Are you crazy, boy? We're vegetarians here in Nilbog. Didn't you know that? Here's some Nilbog milk. Special milk. High in vitamin content. Here, it's free.Somewhere around here is a seduction scene involving Creedence Leonore Gielgud , a corn cob and a teen-age boy who likes popcorn. Nuff said.

Later, Creedence Leonore Gielgud brings a housewarming gift to Joshua's mother. She says its pudding, but it looks like cake with green icing to me. Dad and Joshua return to the house to find that the village have prepared a housewarming celebration to welcome them to town and apologize for earlier misunderstanding earlier. Joshua thinks this is a trap – and runs upstairs where he is attacked by a goblin. Grandpa Seth suddenly appears and chops off the goblin's hand! Turns out the goblin was Creedence Leonore Gielgud! I think. Super Gramps soon hurls a Molotov Cocktail at the townsfolk - and the preacher man catches on fire - as he burns it is revealed that he and all the towns people are goblins!The family runs back inside the house. Now they believe that Joshua was telling the truth and that they need to contact Granpa Seth somehow.
Holly: But how are we going to make grandpa come?
We NEED Grandpa Seth here!
But how do we get him to come? By having a seance maybe?Joshua: You're genius big sister!

So the family (plus Elliot- who seems to have forgotten about his 3 buddies) hold a séance to contact Grandpas, who tells them that he has only ten minutes left in the mortal world. Of course, then the goblins bust into the house and Dad demands that they run upstairs. Somehow Joshua and Seth are now in the church and Joshua needs put his hands on the Magic Stone Henge wall in order to defeat the goblins. Gramps then and gives him a grocery bag and vanishes.Creedence Leonore Gielgud appears (having grown her hand back!) and corners Joshua. He reaches into the the bag and pulls out a double decker baloney sandwich, which he promptly eats. How does it all end? I won't spoil it for you, but as a vegan I find it slightly offensive. Just kidding.

As mentioned above, Michael Stephenson, the child actor who played Joshua in TROLL 2, has recently made a feature-length documentary about the film called BEST WORST MOVIE. The film has been playing to sold-out crowds in New York, has its L.A. premiere tomorrow night - I am so looking forward to seeing it. It was recently announced that TROLL 2: PART 2 is in pre-production. Check all it out here. As for TROLL 2 - WOW - 10 outta 10.


Tower Farm said...

We LOVE this movie over at Tower Farm (check out our banner for proof). Great screen shots!


Brad said...

Saw both Best Worst Movie and Troll 2 at the Florida Film Festival last month. Best Worst was probably my favorite film of the festival. Don't think I've laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Writer said...

I prefer the first one with Noah Hathaway as Harry Potter, June and Anne Lockhart and Julia Louis-Dreyfus!