Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Troll - 1986

Troll 2 has gone from a somewhat unknown about bad movie to one of the most popular bad movies ever made in the last 5-10 years.  I remember in 2009 when I first heard someone else talking about Troll 2 and I realized I wasn't the only one who had seen it.  It even has the documentary made about it, Best Worst Movie.  Is it the best worst movie?  Well, I dunno, maybe, I've enjoyed other things more but Troll 2 really does have a high appeal for riffing, drinking, smoking, watching sober, and just plain stupid horrible movie magic.

Troll, the prequel and the original, is nowhere near as fun.  And it's not supposed to be, the magic of Troll 2 is what got lost in translation:  the movie featured no trolls, had weird plant monsters instead, and the acting and the effects were famously bad.  As I watched Troll though, I realized that many people who have caught on to the cult phenomena of Troll 2 probably haven't seen Troll, cause if they had they'd realize Troll 2 isn't all that far off.

Troll was a Charles Band (again) produced kids movie.  Let's get that out of the way.  This was made for ages 5-15 or so probably.  So it's unfair to expect sophistication or even linear ideas.  And Troll has it's young people in trouble plotline that's simple and easy to follow:  in the first couple minutes an evil troll takes the body of young girl Wendy.  Wendy's brother Harry Jr is the only one who notices her different behavior and thinks something is wrong.  Harry teams up with a witch who lives in his building, Eunice, and together they try and stop the troll from turning all of the apartment building inhabitants into troll ilk.

The parts that surprised me though, was that this movie is also heavy on the weird plant creatures.  Just like the sequel, there is a presence of weird goblin looking half human creatures:  they are what the troll turns the apartment residents into.  Additionally when they turn into these things they are created by plants and then there is a heavy presence of plants.  Basically it shares a lot in common with Troll 2, the only thing this movie has that Troll 2 doesn't is the titular Troll...which of course is necessary, but it brings back my Godzilla 1998 argument:  would the movie get riffed on half as bad if it'd just had a different title?

Anyhow, the Troll 2 argument aside, this movie is a decent enough kids movies.  It has those near scary parts that all good 80's and 90's kids movies had that I am disappointed are gone from modern films, it had cool practical effects, and it had a good "other" message about growing up and taking responsibility.  The actors, even the kids, were pretty well done, and the movie moves along quick enough.  Given I am not the intended target audience and I still enjoyed it, I'd have to say that qualifies it as a "classic kids film".

I'll give it 3 stars.

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