Best Worst Movie

“Best Worst Movie” is too good to be true, a documentary about one of the most ridiculous movies ever created…And because I’d never seen “Troll 2” (the best worst movie that this documentary profiles), every excerpt and every reference was made that much more ridiculous. You’ll watch a scene from the film and you’ll think, “I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.” Then you watch “Troll 2,” and you still don’t understand it. Good stuff.

And what makes this documentary such a riot is that the cast and crew of “Troll 2” is also ridiculous. Some of the actors/actresses can take the joke, and it’s fun to see where they went in their lives and careers. Others (such as the director) continue to take the film seriously, to defend it, to believe that it was misunderstood, etc. It’s great comedy, either way.

Michael Stephenson (who directed “Best Worst Movie”) takes a novel approach with the film, though, that allows it to achieve real emotional resonance. First of all, he’s actually the child star from “Troll 2,” and the film utilizes a personal approach to show us his own story. Why did he get involved with the movie to begin with? What did it do to his career? What effect has it had on his life? Stephenson then puts the focus squarely on George Hardy, the other major star of the film, and we follow Hardy as he soaks up the spotlight when “Troll 2” becomes a strange cult hit. Yes, there’s a lot of funny stuff in this film, but there’s an element of tragedy when we hear about the careers of various actors and actresses, and there’s even an element of hope when we consider what this documentary might do for both Hardy and Stephenson.

After watching “Best Worst Movie,” I actually decided to watch “Troll 2,” since it was on Netflix instant play. And yeah, it was a terrible (but a good-natured terrible, like an Ed Wood movie or a fake wrestling match) motion picture, but pairing these two movies together in a single night (with a bottle of win) was a damn good time. Compare the experience to some of the more bitter and mean-spirited and/or formulaic fare that I’ve seen recently (I’m looking at you, “Book of Eli”), and there’s no question: this was a much better experience.

“Troll 2” might actually be the worst movie of all time, from a storytelling standpoint. Honestly. Nothing makes sense, and the acting will make you laugh uncontrollably, over and over. But I suppose I could compare it to a “good” or “bad” Super Bowl. Technically, we’re supposed to want a Super Bowl where we get to see two really good teams square off and play as flawlessly as possible; technically, we’re supposed to want to see good defense. But sometimes, the best football games are the ones where everything gets out of control, where the defense breaks down and suddenly the score is 45-42 and it’s all audibles and no-huddle offense and absolute craziness. The football game isn’t “technically sound,” but hot damn, it’s entertaining. Way more entertaining than a 10-13 “defensive game.”

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