I’m so not shocked that I enjoyed the heck out of BEST WORST MOVIE, the documentary about the fantastic fandom that grows like thick green moss around the movie TROLL 2. I mean really, the trailer alone left me ferklempt. I’m just a sucker for stories about trashed underdogs rising from the ashes plus, BEST WORST celebrates the type of enthusiasm for cinema that gets me all a giddy by proxy. TROLL 2 is certainly not the worst movie ever made but it could be the most lovably bizarre and it’s comforting to know that such an awkward runt found a home with such a warm, blanketing crowd. Even if you’re not a fan of the film you no doubt have your own facsimile, a movie that no matter how many people disparage you‘d still take a bullet for; some dumb dopey movie with big brown puppy dog eyes a’ sparkling. (Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about CATHY’S CURSE)
Critics, naysayers, uptight haters and pretentious snobs are politely invited to bite it and bite it hard. The people have spoken and nobody wants to hear your bummer twaddle anymore. What is inspiring about BEST WORST MOVIE isn’t the film TROLL 2 but what that film represents, the simple idea that love is in the eye of the beholder. I expected this movie to dish out the fuzzy feelings and it did, but it accomplishes that in the first half hour and then quite admirably it pushes further, it does a little more. Go, BEST WORST MOVIE, go!
Director (and star of the original train wreck) MICHAEL STEPHENSON has made a legitimate documentary here and not a vanity piece. He’s smart enough to know to step aside and allow a bigger picture to unfold. TROLL 2 is a weirdo magnet and I mean that in the best possible way. There are so many satellite stories and interesting characters jumping about that I pity the fool who had to select scenes to drop on the cutting room floor.
DR. GEORGE HARDY who played the father in the original has got to be the most affable guy on Earth, a dream(?) hybrid of JIM J. BULLOCK and FLASH GORDON’s SAM JONES. He’s impossible not to like, even as he bristles at horror fans at a convention and admits that they make him want to repeatedly wash his hands. On the opposite side of the fence from HARDY’s wild gregariousness is MARGO (who are the Goblins?) PREY who played the mother in T2. MARGO has gone all SHIRLEY JACKSON and crashed down somewhere between GREY GARDENS and yours truly. Yes, she’s a shut-in with cat posters hanging on the wall and she’s eleven hundred types of awesome.
What makes BWM really special and more than worthy of an Oscar nom for best doc is the fact that it catches a spectrum of different interpretations of its subject matter. It would have been easy to just focus on the fluffy fandom but beyond its RASHOMON recognitions of the actual creation of the film, BWM tells us something true about art in general as its meaning, worth and identity fluctuates depending on who you ask. The director believes he has captured Americana, the writer is convinced that she has created an indictment against vegetarians, HARDY gets that it’s funny but doesn’t seem to understand to whom it may be funny to and PREY, glorious PREY, with the delusional certainty of a TENNESSEE WILLIAMS heroine, likens TROLL 2 to CASABLANCA. Like any great documentarian STEPHENSON gives all of these visions unbiased attention and the final result ends up telling us more about how we all live in our own conjured realities than it does about the fictional town of NILBOG.
In other words don’t be fooled by how fun this movie is it to watch, not only does it reveal something reaffirming about film fandom in general but it also ends up suggesting something astute about the human experience. We all live in universes of our own creation when it comes right down to it and in my universe TROLL 2 resembles CASABLANCA more and more with each passing year.
NOTE: Visit BEST WORST MOVIE at its official home right over HERE!