Best Worst Movie (2010)
Being an ardent fan of crappy cinema, I wanted to like this documentary a lot more than I did. Best Worst Movie is a documentary exploring the cult following of Troll 2, a bizarre 1990 horror sequel (that had nothing to do with the original) universally regarded as one of the worst films of all time. It’s all about killer vegetarian goblins that turn people into plants, among other things. Michael Stephenson, a child actor who starred in Troll 2 and got a hard life lesson, directs the documentary. He tracks down other cast members and reminisces about the strange shoot in Utah and their strange Italian director. I expected more colorful anecdotes and analysis, but Best Worst Movie is too navel-gazing. It focuses on the cult movement that has embraced the film and how the actors have found some merit of appreciative fans. Clearly Stephenson is trying to fashion validation for himself and his cast mates. The main figure of focus is George Hardy, a gregarious Alabama dentist who got his first, and only, acting job with Troll 2. He clearly hungers for the spotlight but at the same time dismisses the cult fans as being too “weird.” The best moments of Best Worst Movie are when we peel away the ironic veneer and catch the glimpses of personal joy people find from Troll 2. Whether it’s the audiences in bafflement, or the actors finding a modicum of relief and appreciation, an indescribably bad movie can link people into a loving community. For my money, The Room is the better trashy midnight movie experience.
Nate’s Grade: B