Directed by: Michael Stephenson
Man, I always love me a good film related documentary. More times than not, the documentary ends up being better and far more entertaining than it's actual subject, and this is no exception. Directed by Michael Stephenson, who played little Joshua Waits in Troll 2, Best Worst Movie chronicles the legend that is Troll 2 and it's current cult status as "The Worst Movie of all Time". Here, Stephenson packs up his camera and together with the star of Troll 2, George Hardy (in his first of only a handful of roles), they track down all the major cast members, the writer and director, and travel the country hitting the conventions and special screenings of this masterpiece of "It's so bad it's good" cinema and try to decipher why the film has garnered such a huge cult status from all over the world, when in reality it's such an awful mess of a movie.
Knowing what Best Worst Movie was about, I suppose I should have actually watched Troll 2 beforehand as a way of brushing up on my memories of this film, which I think I have only seen once. But the beauty of this documentary is that you don't have to know diddly squat about it, because they fill you in on "every" aspect of the film itself, it's production and it's current huge following. This was a blast from start to finish and just simply hilarious.
While they do go out and find all of the main actors from the film, they mainly focus on it's lead George Hardy, now a respected small town dentist, pillar of the community and all around nice guy. This guy is really interesting because he's such a contradiction. He doesn't like horror films in general, yet the few films he has appeared in are all horror films. Up until 2007, the only film he had ever been in was Troll 2, and if you look at his IMDB page you'll see he has appeared in 3 other films since then, which is strange since they are all horror films and he doesn't like them. And when you see him attend a horror convention as a vendor to promote Troll 2 and listen to how he reacts to seeing true horror fans and how they look, dress and act, he comes off as disgusted and repulsed by these people.
The other character that also takes center stage in this doc is the films notorious director Claudio Fragasso. You gotta love this guy when you listen to him talk about Troll 2. He honest to god felt like he made an important "film" about society, the world and how we live. He honestly feels like there's deep meaning behind Troll 2 and that the entire world, including critics and fans alike, have gotten it all wrong and don't see the film for what it really is, and important piece of cinema. It's almost heartbreaking when you see him attend special screenings and conventions all over the U.S. and see his face when fans and even the cast members themselves bash the film for being completely incoherent, confusing and just plain awful. Because at first he's a little surprised and amused that almost 20 years later it's developed a huge following. But as the screenings go by one after the other to sold out crowds, it becomes apparent that the love for the film is because of how horrible it is, and not for the talent and hard work he feels went into making it and by the end, you kinda feel sorry for the guy.
A truly fascinating, hilarious and thoroughly entertaining documentary about one of the worst and most confusing films ever made. Best Worst Movie is every bit as fascinating as it's subject.