Hey, at least robots and aliens will remember your movie 1,000 years from now.
Best Worst Movie is a documentary that follows the lives of the stars of a notoriously bad movie from 1990 called Troll 2. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, but either way, it’s considered one of the worst movies, if not, the worst of all-time. Some high-acclaim, right? However, the movie isn’t just about that historical-train wreck, it’s about the people involved with it, most importantly, the film’s most recognizable actor George Hardy who is not an actor working in the industry at all, but is a dentist from Alabama who just auditioned for the movie on his day off and got the part.
Believe it or not, I still haven’t had the time in my life to check out the terrible masterpiece that is Troll 2. Of course I hear all of these bad and hilarious things about it and I’ve seen plenty of YouTube clips over the years, but I have never sat down and been able to go through this train-wreck. I think it’s because I like loading myself with movies that are either ones that I know are good, ones that are okay, ones that are middling, or ones that are worth my time. I don’t always win, but at least I know what I’m getting myself into. I think knowing that I’m possibly going to view and watch the worst movie of all-time, in a sober state-of-mind nonetheless, is sort of where my mind takes me other way. But heck, if this documentary does make me want to do something, it’s call-up all my friends, get a couple cases, sit-down, find this somewhere on the inter-web, and have an absolute ball.
What’s so surprising about this documentary is that was all put together by Michael Stephenson, a dude who played the kid in the original Troll 2, and you have to give him a lot of credit for it as well. Not only does it give you a sense that this kid knows the story he wants to tell, but will also treat it with love and respect that so many people have been giving it over the years. Yes, people do have love and care for shitty movies, whether you’d like to soak that in or not. Stephenson practically tracks down every single person that was part of this production and basically what makes this flick because each and every one of them are as colorful and fun as the last one.
First off, there’s the Italian director Claudio Fragasso, who can’t seem to just admit that this film blows and instead, continues to call it a “misunderstood masterpiece”; secondly, we got former-mental patient, Don Packard, who had a small role in the film and is a guy who seems like he’s on a total other planet, but also comes back down to Earth when he realizes just how special he is to everybody who has seen this movie; and lastly, there is also the leading lady, Margo Prey, who wants barely anything to do with this movie such as screenings, interviews, reunions, etc. and just can’t seem to get her head around the fact that her acting career may just be over with. It all sounds so sad, which in the director’s case: it is. However, it isn’t all played for laughs or sobs, as every single interview/person is treated with the a certain-sense of gratitude that rather than poking fun at these people for ever taking part in something so horrendous. Instead of showing them as complete and utter jokes, it shows them as human beings just wanting a shot at the big-times, had a chance, went for it, and just so happened to be in the worst movie of all-time. Doesn’t happen to everybody, but just could if you aren’t careful.
This is exactly the case for the leading man of Troll 2: the man, the myth, the happiest guy on the face of Planet Earth, George Hardy.
Every single person that was apart of that movie, are as compelling as the last, but none are as memorable as George Hardy for the sake of reason that Hardy is so damn lovable right from the start and almost never ends. Hardy first got apart of Troll 2 when he found out there was a spot for acting and right when the film was over, he went back to his dentist profession where he continued there, even till today. Hardy is such a likable guy because he’s always smiling, saying “hello” or “good morning” to every single person he sees, makes light out any situation like filling in cavities for little kids, and never had any real hopes for becoming the next George Clooney. However, once this movie starts to develop a larger cult following than he could have ever imagined, Hardy starts to get that feeling in the pit of stomach where he wants to live up his 15 minutes of fame no matter what. It was really cool to see how such a regular, everyday guy like Hardy could get swept-up in something like this but still, it’s very believable and entertaining because Hardy seems to be in on the joke the whole time, and does whatever he can to keep himself out there and keep the memory of this flick still alive and well. However, I don’t think he realized that maybe he doesn’t even need to, the film will probably be around forever no matter what.
The film isn’t all about these eclectic cast of characters though, it’s actually more about how a film can be so bad, so terrible, and so god-awful, but also, so fun and still find an audience over 20 years later, where some people even start to consider it a “masterpiece”. I know it seems crazy to say this, but this movie actually had me believing that at one point by how damn passionate people are about this movie and to see Troll 2 constantly keep on showing up at little private screenings/festivals, really shows you just how loved this film is today. I’ve never seen Troll 2, but this film made me actually want to go out there and see just what the hell all of these people are getting stuck ranting and raving about, even until this day.
If there was any problem I had with this flick is was that by the end of it all, it started to lose my interest mainly for the fact that it starts to get a tad bit darker and focus on the sad elements of being apart of a movie like Troll 2. The whole movie before all of this was funny, fast-paced, and very light with its subject, but it all started to go away quickly. Also, I think it could have talked a bit more about getting into movies and how to avoid hurdles like Troll 2 in a career, but it still did it’s best with what it gave us. It didn’t want to become a sob-story about not want to do in Hollywood when you got all of that promise in front of you, so good for them.
Consensus: With a funny, light approach and filled with plenty of larger-than-life personalities, Best Worst Movie is a tribute to what has been considered one of the worst movies of all-time, and shows you just why it’s considered this, but also never loses the essence of why so many people just love it for exactly that.
8.5 / 10 = Matinee!!