Troll 2

Director: Drago Floyd                 
George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie McFarland

Oh my God! Troll 2 is an incredibly bad movie. It's so bad, one has to think what the hell they were thinking of. Normal human minds couldn't have made such a godawful movie like this in the 1990s. Yet I see the video box in front of me, I see the video itself, and I see the visions onscreen. Oh, the visions. I won't be able to shake them out of my head for a long time. And that's actually a good thing, because Troll 2 is not only bad, but it's hilariously bad. It takes a place right beside movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space and Robot Monster - movies that are so inept, they become classics. So it's true - they do make 'em like they used to! Not very often, yes, but they are out there.

Don't worry if you've never see the original Troll. For one thing, while the first movie flirted with competence and had a few good moments, it's overall a pretty forgettable movie, and I'm glad I waited until it popped up on late night television. Another reason is that there's no connection between the events in this sequel and what happened in the first movie. The biggest difference between the two movies centers around the small town young Josh and his family travel to for a vacation. Over the phone, his father tells someone they are going to "Nilbog...You spell it N-I-L-B-O-G." For those who haven't got it yet, Josh himself deducts near the end of the movie, "[Nilbog] - It's 'goblin' spelled backwards!" Yes, there are no trolls in Troll 2! What we have instead are a bunch of goblins, played by potato sack-clad midgets wearing stiff and unmoving masks that look like they were made by fifth graders. Perhaps realizing how ridiculous they look, the goblins are usually morphed in a variety of human disguises. There's "Sheriff Gene Freak", a local preacher who gives out sermons like, "Symbol of original sin, which has consumed and caused the fall of the human race, which is so dear to us. Flesh! And by flesh, I mean all that stinking, disgusting meat!" (Congregation: "Blech!") "Hamburgers, steaks that stink! Sausages and hot dogs!" ("Ugh!") And there is Creedence, a bespecled female druid with pale makeup and black clothing. She can't stop gliding from one end of the room to the other, while keeping her eyes open as wide as she can as she somehow manages to outdo William Shatner both in general hamminess and in stop/start speaking. The actress who plays her is named Deborah Reed, and that's a name you should take note of. Though whether it's a name to look out for or avoid is a different matter. Her performance is so outrageous, that it somehow manages to outdo the terrible acting from everyone else introduced before her, though the actress who plays Josh's sister Holly, comes this close to matching her awfulness.

How does the family react to all of this? Well, since they are pretty slow to interpret "Nilbog", they don't seem to notice anything at first. On the trip to the town, Mother gets the family to sing her favorite song, "Row Row Row Your Boat," and she later tells the (typically) bitchy daughter, "Josh is not a little s**t, he's just very sensitive." Father doesn't think anything about exchanging house keys with the zombie-like Nilbog family they are exchanging houses with. Josh has his own troubles, with his only-visible-to-him Grandfather returning from the dead and warning Josh that he and his family are in great danger. Though Grandfather tells his grandson that Josh has to save his family on his own, it's fortunate for Josh that Grandfather forgets this rule, and helps his grandson from time to time by doing stuff like freezing time, or resurrecting himself and bringing back items like Molotov cocktails from the afterlife.

This movie is bad in so many ways, that I can't even begin to make a complete list of its hilarious stupidity. Let me tell you more. Among other things, you can sometimes see where the goblin masks end and real human flesh begins. The same Goblin masks used in a dream or a fairy tale sequence (the latter scored by an 80s-like rock-n-roll instrumental) are recycled in the present day going ons. There's a tip of the hat to Ed Wood, when a scene starts out in the middle of the day, switches to night in one shot, then turns back to daytime in the subsequent shot. There are sidesplitting moments when people start to sweat chlorophyll green (you'll have to see how it comes out yourself.) A scene where we see what happened to a nerd after Creedence got her hands on him had me rolling on the floor and begging for mercy. And there is the infamous scene (for those who have seen the movie) when Joshua urinates on contaminated goblin food on the dining room table so his family won't eat it.

It's hard to believe that a movie like this exists, but I saw it for myself. It's for real, all right. But is this movie really serious in its intentions, or was it an intentional comedy? I was puzzling over this when I wasn't laughing at what I was seeing. There are a few scenes played so broadly (especially the scenes with Creedence) that it seems that the actors are in on a joke. But the rest of the movie is played so earnest, so serious, that looking back on it, I can't say this was a spoof at all. Of course, this leads to the question, What were they thinking???? My God, this movie actually exists! They were serious about it! I think I'll have to see it again to make doubly sure that I didn't have an hallucination. Not only should you rent this movie, but you should make sure you rent it at a place that gives out weekly rentals. You'll need that extra time.

UPDATE: "Jonah" sent this along:

"Actually, the film during production was called Goblins. However, the low budget turkey couldn't find a distributor until the company that did Troll thought, "Hey! Let's call it Troll 2 and get what few people who saw the first one to watch this one!"

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See also: Blood Freak, Crawlspace, The Devil's Rain