Troll 2 (1991)
WRITER: Drake Floyd
DIRECTOR: Drake Floyd
STARRING: Michael Stephenson as Joshua
George Hardy as Michael
Margo Prey as Diana
Connie McFarland as Holly
Robert Ormsby as Seth
Deborah Reed as Creedence
Jason Wright as Elliott
Darren Ewing as Arnold
Jason Steadman as Drew
David McConnell as Brent
QUICK CUT: A family goes on a little vacation by way of a house swap with another family in the country. Once they're there, they get tormented by trolls, a crazy witch, and a dead grandfather. And then it gets weird.
Joshua - The main kid in this mess. He's mostly harmless, just don't let him near dinner with a full bladder.
Michael - Joshua's dad, and he has to put up with a lot of crap. He's a good guy, with good morals, and trying to shove them down his kids' throats.
Creedence - A witch who is trying to bring the goblins into power in our world. She's a bit crazy. And for a witch, that's saying something.
THE GUTS: Now we're talking! Getting back to basics! A classic of the bad horror movie genre. I've avoided this one, since it is so well known, and so over-reviewed. What new can I bring to it? But still, the site feels incomplete if it's not done. The first movie of our fourth year seems appropriate enough to cover this base, and a great place to kick things off from.
We kick the classic crapfest off with what can only be described as a movie trying to be all Princess Bride, with a grandfather telling a story about goblins to a kid. ...Wait, goblins? No no, I definitely put in Troll 2. Huh.
Anyways, the grandfather tells his story, describing the goblins you can very easily see as 'small shadows'. Compounded by calling them the little people of the night. In the forest where it's high noon and well lit.
The kid wants explanations like the audience, and his grandfather says they don't need to justify their cruel acts, they're evil creatures. So, this movie was *directed* by goblins, yes? Or just Joe Quesada?
The story rambles on, giving some lame backstory, and the grandfather makes a slip that the snot-nosed brat picks up on, saying it should be in the past tense. The old guy gets super intense and insists that goblins are real, REAL I TELLS YA! Yeah, okay gramps, back to the rest home with you.
And if trolls can appear as human anytime they want...why don't they? If you were a hideous man-monster with that ability, would you wake up every morning and go, "Gosh, I feel great, and think I'll stay a furry imp man today!" No! You'd make yourself always look like the hot babe in the forest!
Don't deny it.
But just as the story is getting good, with the poor guy getting turned into a half man, half plant creature, Josh's mom comes in and interupts. And the grandfather disappears. Huh, did not see things going that weird, that fast. At least they explain he's dead, and the kid may or may not be seeing things, depending on whom you ask.
Then we get the cheapest scare I've seen in a long time. Josh hears something outside, opens the shade, and is greeted by a horrible face pressed up against the glass! Nooo, the goblins are here!
No wait, it's just Elliot, Holly's boyfriend. And his friends he brought along.
The young lovers make plans to run away together by having Elliot join in on the family vacation the next day. Which is sure to go over well with her parents. "By the way dad..."
Anyways, we jump cut to them already being in the car, sans Elliot. Holly is whining how if they had only waited 15 more minutes, she is sure that he would have come.
...No movie, you're making it too easy for me. I am just going to leave the obvious joke response to that out in the open for everyone else to make. I am above it.
But don't worry, Holly! Elliot and friends have found an RV and are right behind you trying to find Nilbog! Hmm, Nilbog...
Surprisingly, the movie actually manages a super creepy moment when Josh has a nightmare. He wants to stop the car, he doesn't feel good, but his head starts oozing green like the guy in the story. He brings his hand up, and there is a great bit of practical effects work of it starting to turn into branches and leaves. His family threatens him, wanting to eat him, and they become goblins.
Yes, it IS a nightmare, but wow, that's kinda terrifying imagery they had going for them. I almost quietly applaud.
Josh sees his grandfather on the side of the road and actually does make them stop. He speaks with dead man talking, and gets your usual batch of cryptic warnings about the area, and told to go home before it's too late. Too late comes when gramps turns back into the hobo that was really standing there.
The family finally pulls into Nilbog, and there is still something about that name, I just can't put my finger on... Anyways, Holly notices the town is empty, and her dad tries to explain it away by saying that the place is a farming town, and by that time of night, everyone is already asleep.
If by 'time of day' you mean, 4pm, by the looks of how well lit this is, and the sun is up. Yeah, this movie isn't so great on the day for night shots, is it?
They make it to the farm and meet the family they're trading places with. If 'meeting' means 'awkwardly stare at the weirdos and their strange behaviour and scars'. Josh senses something is wrong, but no one else does, so they trade keys and send the tro...er, goblins off to take over the city.
Inside, the dinner table is already set for them to have a nice meal, prepared by people they've never met and trust instantly, because they immediately eat the food. Oh, fuck that shit, man. Especially if the food is green!
Josh gets another visit from ghost gramps, insisting that he not let his family eat. At least the dead have some common sense. Josh doesn't know what to do, but don't worry! Gramps has the power to STOP TIME so the kid can figure it out. Man, being a ghost is awesome.
Do...do the people not see the mutagen on their food? I could maybe buy a green glazed muffin. But on corn? Is Holly so dumb that she thinks green goop is butter for country people? Seriously.
And Josh's brilliant idea to stop them from eating is to whiz all over the food. That is...certainly creative. Thankfully not shown, but yeek.
Meanwhile, the loser patrol are still hanging out in the RV, wondering where all the white women at. Arnold decides to have a smoke break, and sees one running through the woods. She looks distressed and frightened, so he gives chase. And tackles her. Because that will calm her down! She seems relieved enough that he's human, at least. But then the real monsters show up.
Arnold tries to scare them off, but they decided he would look better with a spear through the chest. Or lightly attached to his shoulder, as that seems to be the best that special effects can manage. His friends hear the scream as he gets impaled, but they just brush it off at Arnold finding sex. Nice friends.
Mystery girl yanks the spear off Arnold's shoulder, and they run to a conveniently nearby creepy brick house. Inside they find...well, it looks like they walked in on a movie set. It just looks so fake. Doctor Who has more believable set designers. The bed in the front entrance doesn't help any. Nor does the fog rolling off the counter.
They meet Credence, a druid, and she's about as subtle as a brick through the window. She has crazy eyes, slow, pausing speech, bad teeth, and an accent. Yep, she's supposed to be magical, all right.
Mystery girl drinks down her potion, and starts barfing all over the place. Arnold seems mildly bemused by this, at best. Creedence insists he drink his broth, and thankfully he doesn't, or he would win the dumbass award for this movie. Instead, he just stands there, dumbstruck, as his new girlfriend goes green, spewing liquid from every pore, and beginning to change.
A change to which Arnold can only barely express any interest in by pointing it out in a most deadpan manner.
The poor girl changes into a pile of goo, and the tro...goblins come rushing out at the dinner screams. Which makes Arnold call out one of the most classic movie reactions ever, the worst 'oh my god!' scream ever on screen. It truly is a classic.
Back with the main plot, even though this is more interesting, Holly is prepping an ultimatum for Elliot. Just as she's finishing up though, her mirror gets another call. The display patches in her grandfather, and she runs off screaming. Damnit, ghosts are just not good at dialing relatives.
The kids swap rooms, and Josh gets the message his gramps left. Typical 'get out of this house!' type fare. He shoulda just left a voicemail.
Back at the camper, Drew is getting hungry, since the gang left for their month long vacation with Holly, without actually getting any supplies. Yeah, they're brilliant specimens of humanity here. Anyways, Drew runs off to get food, and probably to die...
He finds a sheriff on his run into town, who just so happens to have a nice tasty, snot sandwich for the kid to eat.
In town, Drew hits up the general store, and finds that they have no eggs, are vegetarians, and despise coffee on religious grounds. Well, screw you, Nilbog. But at least they have plenty of free milk! Free, chunky milk...
We cut back to Arnold for a moment, to see he's now been potted, and becoming a plant. Creedence, meanwhile, is off to give the new neighbours some green pudding. Because that's normal. Is everyone in this movie colour blind?! Still, that's the least suspicious foodstuff so far.
Honestly, Arnold's look is an improvement. And having him lose his mouth right away is a HUGE improvement. Especially after his last attempt at acting.
Back in town, Josh and his dad have gone to get groceries of their own, and fortunately the place is closed. Josh wanders around, as his dad takes a load off in a nearby chair, until the place opens back up. Josh spies the town's name sign in a car's mirror and sees that Nilbog spells London backwards!! Er, I mean, Goblin. Yes, goblin. And in the ten seconds it took him to discover this, his dad has passed out. Yeah, it's boring in the country.
Josh skateboards away for help, and finds a group of people hanging out in a barn. Including the ones who were supposed to be staying in their place in the big city. They're being preached at by a guy about the evils of meat, and I am now questioning this being a pro-vegetarian movie.
He accidentally knocks his skateboard over and gets their attention though, and the preacher grabs him through the ceiling. They drag him down and prepare some Nilbog ice cream for Josh to scarf down. Or maybe its The Stuff. He calls for help from grampy ghost, and watches as the people change between human and tro...goblin form.
This is a really disturbing scene, all things considered. The adults are shot quite menacingly, even if they are a bit overlit for this sort of thing. They all loom in, they have creepy, memorable faces. They act strange and off putting. You really feel for the kid, even if briefly.
Fortunately, all the screaming and chanting actually wakes dad up and he comes running to his son's rescue. He at least senses the weirdness going on, even if he doesn't believe the stories about goblins. Seeing the people who own the farm doesn't help matters.
On the drive back, dad sees Holly fighting with Elliot at the camper after she gave him the ultimatum. He takes his daughter back home, and tells Elliot if he wants to sort things out, he better come along for the ride. Huh. I almost like their dad in this moment. And even Elliot gets some points for going along for the ride to fix things.
Drew finds his way to the old house where Arnold has been setting up roots, and stumbles in. He notices his friend stuck in a pot and unable to say anything. He yanks the bark from Arnold's face, making him bleed black goo, and unfortunatley he can speak again. He urges his friend to drag him out of there before Creedence returns.
Unfortunately, that's when Creedence returns, and smacks Drew out of the way. To punish Arnold for trying to escape, she grabs a freakin' chainsaw and goes to town on the little wooden boy.
Meanwhile, the family reunites, but they have company. In the form of the entire town. They all paid a visit to the Waites home, and brought food! Much to Josh's terror.
They try and feed the family, while Josh tries to get his gramps on the line to send down some help. Instead, a goblin smashes through the mirror.
But gramps does appear, and hacks off the goblin's hand. And we find out after it escapes, that it was Creedence all along. Gotta hand it to 'em, I did not see that coming.
Seth helps his grandson out, by pulling out a freakin' molotov cocktail. Holy shit, gramps is packing explosives. This just got a little more interesting.
Just as they're about to crash and burn the party, the preacher shows up and ruins all their burninating fun. He takes the bottle away, and starts trying to send Seth back wherever spectral sectaginarians come from.
There's a lotta dialogue here, some of it even sounds vaguely important, but it gets drowned by the noise of wind, magic, and music. Congrats, movie!
Gramps has a few more tricks up his sleeves, and hits the bottle with a lightning bolt, setting the preacher on fire. Why didn't he just do that in the first place? Why am I questioning logic?
Dad hears the commotion, what with lightning, and exploding bottles, and fire, and screaming... He rushes out and puts out the burning man. And finally, once the flames settle, everyone can see he was not a man at all, and the plot can slump forward into the finishing line.
The townsgoblins are naturally unhappy about this, and threaten the family. Yet... There's two dozen or so tro...goblins, and only a handfull of humans. They are somehow able to back away from being entirely surrounded by creatures that just threatened them with death? Not the best follow through on that plan.
Back at her place, Creedence is yelling at stones to get all her old power back, and her hand, and actually gets both. In fact, she gets back some of her looks, too. She should have asked for acting ability not inherited from Shatner.
Somewhere along the line, it became night. The family is holed up in their home, and surrounded by the tro...goblins. They throw some sandwiches on the porch to fatten up the family, and just stand their waiting. But they had them earlier, and just...oh, whatever movie.
Josh knows they need Seth's help, but Holly doesn't know how they can make him come. Juuust keep lobbing the softballs at me, movie. And not helped by the kid actually getting an idea from it.
Oh yeah, there's still one last loser left at the camper. Creedence goes to take care of him, and shows up with some corn. And believe me, that's not what gets him to come outside.
I'm not sure the movie really needed nearly five minutes of his seduction by Creedence, but I guess they decided the movie was seriously lacking in the sexiness. And I can't say as I disagree.
They make jokes about popcorn, start kissing around the corn on the cob, and uh...it explodes. I'd be willing to bet it went off prematurely, too.
Back on the farm, everyone is holding a seance to summon back gramps from the dead, and they're all pretty surprised he appears. But he only has ten minutes before he disappears forever. Geeze, so many rules with this guy.
He tells his family, and Elliot, that they must find and destroy the magic stone that gives the tro...goblins their power. Whoa whoa whoa, movie. It is way too late in the game to be adding in a major plot point and quest into the story structure!
They at least truncate all that by having Josh pass out and wake up back at Creedence's house. And the rest are kept busy fighting goblins.
Josh also ends up getting attacked by a goblin, but at least he has Seth the ghost to watch his back and punch that guy in the muzzle.
Gramps also hands Josh a backpack of important stuff and...okay. Enough is enough. I am SICK of this walking plot device showing up with the answers at the last second. Do you know how much of this movie could have been circumvented 90 minutes ago if he showed up and just said things? Or supplied items at the outset with clear instructions? Enough of this crap!!
So, they find the stones, and find out that in order to stop it's magic, all that is required is to...touch it. Well, that's a pretty anticlimactic ending there. And since Seth joins in on the touching, well... He could have teleported in, touched the stones, and been done with this, what? Days ago?
Creedence leaves popcorn boy to drown in theatre butter, and she sees her reflection in a nearby mirror. Her ugly visage lets her know that the magic is being interfered with, and she calls out to her minions. They exploded from the farmhouse, leaving the family relatively safe.
All the bad creatures arrive at the house as Seth disappears for good, leaving Josh to be grabbed. So, I guess "all we have to do is touch the stones" and such talk was a little but oversimplified, huh?
They try to force feed the kid, again, but he reaches into the backpack and finds...real food! Meat! Meat saves the day! Well, bologna. Barely meat. Barely food, really. But the look of horror on Creedence's face is great.
Everyone else arrives, and Josh tells them to grab the stone, because only the power of goodness will stop the tro...goblins. Ummm. That's vague. But at this point... Whatever. It works and all the creatures explode in gobs of red, black, and green goop.
The movie should be done at this point, but instead everyone heads home and they drag this out to torment me. Josh heads upstairs and speaks to his grandpa, in a more normal being dead kinda way, but then he starts to hear voices.
Josh follows the voices and finds the shower running, with green goop. He runs to find his mom, and instead finds a group of goblins chowing down on her transformed remains.
Well, holy shit, Troll 2. That's pretty freakin' dark. Even for this site. Ending on the murder of the kid's mom? Really?? They did a crap job banishing them! They end the movie on the kid's screaming face, Jesus!
Video: Hey, this looks surprisingly good! It's not well made, but it's well shot, in as far as I can see what's going on!
Audio: Aside from a few points where the dialogue is drowned, more yay!
Sound Bite: This movie is chock full of gems, but I love the random over te topness of Creedence shouting, "She is one with the vegetable world!!"
1 - 33 minutes in, mystery girl gets turned into Miracle-Gro
2 - Arnold gets chainsawed up.
3 - Preacher goblin gets flame broiled.
4 - Drew maybe? When he drinks Arnold?
5 - Popcorn dude drowns in popcorn?
6 - Creedence
7 - A crapton of goblins.
8 - Josh's mom.
Best Corpse: I think I'll give it to mystery girl, since she's the best death we get to see, as she oozes up, transforms, and is eaten.
Sex Appeal: A little bit with Holly and plant girl, and then the seductive Creedence kicks in, although that's more weirdly uncomfortable.
Movie Review: *thumps his head on the desk for twenty minutes*
Seriously though, this is the best looking, yet most incompetently made movie I've ever seen. Technically they get things right. But the story is a mess. It is just fucking strange. It has a dreamlike quality to it as it goes from one story point to another, plot and reason be damned. The acting is hilariously bad at times. Usually. And even then, the dialogue is non-sensical to the point of weirdness. There is like, nothing good about this movie. The only reason why there's worse movies out there because this one is at least well constructed at a foundation level. Two out of five snot-dogs.
Entertainment Value: Every. Single. Frame of this movie is gold. The movie is quotable, weird, bizarre, and like watching a bad trip filmed on camera. It is a trainwreck you cannot turn away from. It is literally impossible to fathom what anyone was thinking in the process of making this movie. It is the height of fucked up, and I just cannot believe it was made. It is baffling to behold, and it MUST be seen to be believed. Four out of five exploding corncobs.
Also, be sure to check out my thoughts on the documentary, Best Worst Movie, catching up with the stars and creators of Troll 2, following the cult craze behind it, and the making of the movie!