Troll 2 (1990)

One of my favorite things about keeping this blog is having the opportunity to revisit some of the junk that I’d watched as a kid. Being forced to look at some of them again, occasionally a lightbulb goes off: oh, that’s why I like shit moviesTroll 2 couldn’t be a better example. I was a lucky enough kid to grow up with cable, and cable in the 90’s was chock full of shit movies. Better still, they were played over and over and over and over again. Perhaps I was first drawn to Troll 2 because it was the sequel of one of my favorite movies, Troll, a charming, silly horror/fantasy starring my childhood crush Michael Moriarty. But Troll 2 has absolutely, positively nothing whatsoever to do with its predecessor.

Is it a troll? A goblin? Whatever it is, it wants to eat you.

Is it a troll? A goblin? Whatever it is, it wants to eat you.

The Waits’ are your average American family. Holly is your typical teenaged girl, lifting weights in her bedroom and dancing in the mirror before bed. Joshua is a young, imaginative boy who routinely discusses man-eating goblins with his dead Grandpa Seth. Their parents, Diana and Michael, are a little concerned about Joshua’s attachment to his dead grandfather, and hope their upcoming, lengthy vacation in the country will help the boy get over his issues.

Mr. Waits is so cool even the collar on his PJ's is popped!

Mr. Waits is so cool even the collar on his PJ’s is popped!

Unfortunately, Nilbog doesn’t turn out to be the country haven they’d hoped for. Instead of relaxing family time, the Waits’ are confronted with evil goblins who turn people into vegetables so they can eat them! It’s a good thing Joshua maintained good relations with Grandpa Seth because without his help, his family and friends would be nothing but dinner for the ugly goblins of Nilbog!

Because nothing's sexier than an ear of corn.

Because nothing’s sexier than an ear of corn.

The plot, of course, is unremarkable. What is remarkable about this movie is just what a disaster it is on every single level. The acting is some of the worst I’ve ever seen, and it is across-the-board horrible. The writing is terrible and perplexing; it’s impossible to watch this movie and not wonder what the hell kind of drugs the writer was on. The film takes so many inexplicable, strange turns (corn sex?) that it keeps you baffled for its entirety. The most amazing thing about this movie is that it did, in fact, get made. The cast and crew got together and actually accomplished making what some would call one of the worst films ever made.

Grandpa Seth's knowing grin is almost as reassuring as that double-decker bologna sandwich in your backpack.

Grandpa Seth’s knowing grin is almost as reassuring as that double-decker bologna sandwich in your backpack.

Personally, I wouldn’t go that far – the films that actually deserve that label are far, far worse. Unwatchable, even. And Troll 2 is many things, but unwatchable is not one of them. In fact, it is such an easy pleasure to watch, it makes you wonder if it didn’t actually do something rightTroll 2 is often named as the pinnacle of the so-bad-it’s-good genre. I’m very much a fan of these types of movies, but even after all these years I’m still wondering what it is about movies like this that actually make them worthwhile. I could go on and on about my thoughts on the topic, but considering my next post is going to be written on Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2, I’ll save my deep thoughts for that one! Just know, if you’re ever curious about the weird, cult crap films out there, Troll 2 is a must-see.


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