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Troll 2

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film Rating: F

Directed by: Claudio Fragasso
Written by: Claudio Fragasso
Produced by: Joe D'Amato and Brenda Norris
Starring: Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie Young, Robert Ormsbry, Deborah Reed, Darren Ewing
Studio: Trans World Entertainment

Recent studies have shown that the average person's intelligence is going down, thanks to so-called "contributions to society" like American Idol, Michael Bay movies and unhealthy ingredients in foods. It has been started that intelligence started to downgrade around the time the new millennium started. After watching Troll 2, I believe this trend started ten years earlier, when a schlock Italian director was hired to direct this absolutely atrocious film, if you can call it a "film." Everything about Troll 2 reeks of stupidity, from the cast to the script to the score and even the costumes. Ed Wood, notoriously named the worst director of all-time, wouldn't touch this film with a twenty-foot yard stick. Even the infamous Uwe Boll would call this one a stinker. Yet, along with the stupidity, there are still plenty of laughs to be had. Troll 2 is such a ridiculous film that it's very hard to watch it with a straight face. While cringing at the horrible celluloid you're watching, you might find yourself giggling as well. However, that's the only thing that will help you get through this crummy backyard production.

The plot of Troll 2, which I managed to find past the badness, centers around Joshua Waits, a young boy who constantly having conversations with his dead grandfather's ghost. Meanwhile, His sister, Holly, is having problems with his boyfriend, Scotty, the "good for nothing playboy son of the Coopers." She wants him to spend more time with her and to forget about his friends. The plot starts to begin when the father decides to take the family on a vacation to the small town of Nilbog, but once on arrival, Joshua becomes suspicious of the other townsfolk. Scotty and his friends also head to Nilbog, where he hopes in finding Holly and they want to score with some local girls. The residents of Nilbog appear to be very kind to the Waits, constantly trying to feed them oddly coloured vegetables and milk with "Vitamin D!" Yet, Joshua and his grandfather knowing that the Nilbog citizens are in fact goblins in disguise, swoop in at the oddly right moments to stop them. Scotty's friends, meanwhile, are turned into "man plants" by the leader of the Nilbog goblins, a witch who likes to annunciate every single syllable.

The plot synopsis above does not do justice to how bad and laugh-inducing Troll 2 is. Claudio Fragasso, who at the time of making this had a limited knowledge of the English language, wrote and directed this with little care for story, characters, interesting settings and making the audience believe that what they are seeing is real. The goblins are made with what look like Halloween masks that probably made up about two dollars of the budget and pillowcases full of hay. Sequences where characters ooze disgusting slime and turn into flat, green pancakes are especially embarrassing, due to the obviously bad editing and ridiculous nature of it. The score is also downright poor and laughable. Techno music was quite popular at the time of this film's release, but that's because they had style. Here, the composer just hits random notes on the keyboard. The script is the worst aspect of Troll 2, as it features the worst dialogue I have heard in any major motion picture and the story is extremely silly and badly fabricated. Eating bologna sandwiches kills goblins? Apparently so. Because they're vegetarians, they must turn humans into plants to eat them? I guess they have no idea how to plant their own vegetables in Nilbog. And don't even get me started on that out of left-field ending. It looks like the screenplay never passed the first draft page or Fragasso never even showed it to script readers.

The people involved I feel the most sorry for are the actors. Maybe they're very good and could have had some great careers in Hollywood, starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Tom Cruise. However, any evidence of that is not displayed in Troll 2. Michael Stephenson gives quite possibly the worst performance by a child star I have ever seen, yelling and screeching and crying "Grandpa!" so many times I lost count after bad line delivery #1270. George Hardy, a practicing dentist, plays the father with as little emotion as possible, with every single expression looking exactly the same. Margo Prey, the mother, provides the difficult cast of being even more bland. Connie Young's performance as Holly is monotone and thus makes her character more uncaring and annoying that she already is. If she auditioned for her high school's school play, the drama teacher would cross her name off the list after about two minutes. Robert Ormsbry, is just as cringe inducing, playing Scotty the homophobic boyfriend (although he is oddly enough shown in one scene, sharing a bed butt-naked with one of his buddies). Darren Ewing gives probably Troll 2's most infamous acting job as Arnold, who provides a reaction shot that provides more laughs than screams.

Finally, Deborah Reed attempts to shoot for Oscar gold with her performance as the evil leader of the goblins. She apparently finds it necessary to pronounce every vowel and in so doing so, extends what should be a short sixty-minute feature to a bloated and long ninety-minutes. Thankfully, Fragasso didn't give her a Paul Thomas Anderson-esque monologue. Otherwise, Troll 2 would have yet another hour of running time. Despite the awfulness of Troll 2, the images of its unintentional hilarity are still stuck in my brain. However, unlike a classic horror film like The Exorcist which I highly appreciate, Troll 2 is only around and in circulation so myself and other people can make fun of it.

The creepy townsfolk of Nilbog (lol!) in Troll 2.
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