Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weeks Too Late: Best Worst Movie

Best Worst Movie. Directed & Conceived by Michael Stephenson.

Preconceptions: While I had heard of Troll 2, considered by many to be the worst movie ever made, I hadn't actually seen it. And watching a documentary on something I know nothing about seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time.

General Review
: Best Worst Movie is a bit of a break from the usual horror, sci-fi and obscure fare that we normally treat you to, here at Girl on Book Action. But I was looking back at the last couple of reviews and realized that I've been a bit of a Negative Nelly over the last month. I wanted to tell you guys about something I'd really enjoyed. Strangely enough, that turned out to be a documentary.

This flick tells us all about the beloved-ly bad horror movie Troll 2. Michael Stephenson, the director, was the child lead in that fateful horror and he takes us on a journey exploring the cult movie.
As it happens, you don't need to be a Troll 2 enthusiast to enjoy this movie. I'm told I may have spoiled a magical experience for myself by seeing the documentary first. So, if you're looking for wizardry in your viewing, maybe go see Troll 2 first. My point is that Best Worst Movie holds up without having seen Troll 2. The documentary gives you all the context you need to enjoy it on its own merits.

In Best Worst Movie, we get the typical "where are they now" montage of the cast, director and writer. But more interestingly, we see the story of George Hardy (the father in Troll 2) learning about Troll 2's ironic appeal and that he's become a cult figure. Very much in the vein of King of Kong, the people in this documentary are characters and it's cleverly edited to tell a story. Unlike King of Kong, George Hardy is a likable main character. He's genuinely charming and it's fun watching him discover that he's become sort of famous. Quite a few of the people involved with Troll 2 are larger than life and occasionally cartoon-ish. As our recent guest blogger (and less interestingly, my husband) AAlgar, pointed out watching this was very like watching a Christopher Guest movie. We actually found ourselves re-casting it with Guest's stable as though it were fiction.

Due to the aforementioned clever editing, Best Worst Movie felt more like fiction than a typical documentary does, and I mean this in a complementary fashion. There are some rather heart-rending moments when George realizes what it means to be a cult hero rather than actually famous. Not to mention finding out that one of the actors has gone off her rocker. I've seen a lot of documentaries attempt to do this and come off as disingenuous. This movie doesn't force a story where there is none, it's very natural.

Admittedly, this is less of a critical review and more of a recommendation. Best Worst Movie was funny, interesting and an all around good time. It's worth seeing whether or not you're a Troll 2 fan. Now that my interest in Troll 2 has been piqued you could very well be seeing a review of that in the not too distant future.

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