Friday, April 03, 2009


This seems to surprise some people, so I'll repeat it. I don't very often purposely watch movies I think will be bad just to laugh at them.

Almost never.

Just not my thing.

In fact, it's a slow growing frustration with going to Weird Wednesday. I know I'm really not alone in thinking some of these movies are actually good. I'm not even the only one in the room who thinks so, but somehow I'm the guy who is often sitting between two groups of drunken fratboys looking for an excuse to laugh at things outside the culturally deemed standard of normal.

This week was The Trip, which, it happens, is one of my actual favorite movies, and I just couldn't face it. I'm sorry. I just couldn't.

I'll man up for Gator Bait, don't worry about that, buddy boy!

My point is that are reasons that I've been slow to join in the cult of Troll 2, which seems to be outright exploding in the last couple of years.

It seems to be garnering the title Best Worst Movie, which is also the title of the documentary on the subject by Troll 2 star Michael Paul Stephenson.

I'm going to give a tentative thumbs up for the term "Best Worst". It is admittedly awkward, and I'm willing to accept that something better could come along. However I've always found "worst" to inevitably inaccurate. "Guilty pleasure" is far too... er... Catholic for me. And "So bad it's good" is frankly silly and based on a basic inaccuracy regarding what good and bad are.

So, Troll 2, eh?

It's a pretty fine choice if you are looking for a movie to watch for its failure.

Or something.

It doesn't feel like a failure exactly to me... more like a huge, huge mistake.

Now, imagine if you will how a choir works. There are a group of people singing in harmony. They sing the song based on a key signature, which can essentially be represented by a single chord. A major key will have a pretty standard sound. A minor key usually brings a certain melancholy. Or it could be a dissonant chord, which would be challenging and unusual.

Now, imagine that the choir director starts the song with none of these things, but rather a random group of notes that creates a kind of BLARGH! sound. Listening to the song, it would sound like every participant had no idea what they were doing, and yet, listening carefully, it would have a strange kind of unity that wouldn't be the same as a group of people randomly singing, even if that's how it sounded at first listen.

Troll 2 likewise seems very much like it falls under a very specific vision. What that vision intended to convey is another question. Perhaps one worthy of study.

But perhaps not.

I do know that it's not like any regular kind of bad movies.

Regular kinds of bad movies are bad. They are inconsistent and wonky. The people flail around as if they're all struggling for something.

Troll 2 seems very confidently to be what it is.

Whatever that may be.

I doubt anyone could be sure whether the moviemakers thought this piercing tone in some level resembled the real world or if they perhaps believed that it would feel like a warped fairy tale.

All I know is that it is unlike any of those things. Or anything that I, or the main of society, has a way to interpret within the normal vocabulary of cinema.

Is it insane? Brilliant? Horrible?

What does the weird group of homosexual teenagers mean? Why do they insist on imaging themselves as straight even among themselves? How does Creedence Leonore Gielgud know to come knocking on their camper with an ear of corn? Is all of this an unconscious celebration of homosexuality? An overt condemnation of it?

And why is the only solution Joshua can imagine to stop his family from eating is to pee on their food? And why doesn't Grandpa Seth suggest a better way?

But a quick search through the Internet will give you some ideas of what all is wrong with the movie.

Maybe Best Worst Movie has the answer to why.

I'm not sure if I hope it does or I hope it doesn't.

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