[Digital Drift 2014]
To kick off a discussion about “nanar”; that is movies that are so spectacularly bad that they wrap right the way round into great we bring you the podcast reviews of Troll and Troll 2. This also constitutes our Halloween Spooktacular and gives you all something fun to listen to while taking shelter from the GamerGate debate.
Troll was a daft fantasy horror movie made in 1986. It’s hard to say who it’s aimed at because it’s too scary for small children and too silly for anyone over the age of nine. It has inflections of Gremlins and Poltergeist but none of the style or craftsmanship. There are plenty of surprising and appealing nuggets of fun to be had amongst the weird “troll-menaces-apartment-block” plot and some disarmingly canny performances to boot, but ultimately this was one of those films made to be forgotten.
Until Troll 2 came along in 1990 that is. This isn’t a sequel of any sort. It was originally going to be called “Goblins” and the name was changed so as to purposefully be confused with the mildly successful Troll. Now that’s the sort of creative pedigree that makes us sit up and take notice. Dig even further into this green gloop and you’ll find it is one of the most incompetently constructed movies ever, with every single scene botched in some way and some world class overacting and delivery by the hysterical cast. The short of it is; Family goes on a house exchange to a town in Utah named “Nilbog” turns out it’s full of goblins. They like to eat people after turning them partly into vegetable matter. Also the boy has the Shining or something. Clickety clack.
It has in recent times been rediscovered and cherished by a select group of fans celebrating its sheer badness. A documentary by its now grown up child star; “Best Worst Movie” was made in 2010 and is available on Netflix UK. In it we re-acquaint ourselves with the oddball cast reflecting back on when they took part in this extraordinary project. The brilliant review podcast “We Hate Movies” won’t cover Troll 2, because in their words, what are they going to say that’s funnier than anything within this film? We had to at least try since in the UK this is not infamous and is barely even known. That’s an injustice we’d like to redress.
Don’t worry about seeing these first. Listen to the show to get a feel and then track down the R1 double DVD set if it sounds like your thing.
It also leads to a discussion about nanar film and whether or not it is possible to make one on purpose, with a wonderful little inspirational piece on that subject from The Idea Channel, which you should be watching every week.