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Best Worst Movie (2009)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 2,890

My Rating

Movie Info

Troll 2 star Michael Stephenson steps behind the camera to explore the phenomenon behind the low-budget Italian-produced horror sequel that young movie fanatics have christened "the Rocky Horror of our generation" in this documentary which proves that just because a movie is awful doesn't mean it won't find an audience. Twenty years ago, a group of inexperienced Utah actors teamed with an Italian-speaking production crew to shoot Troll 2. At the time it seemed like the production was a complete

Unrated,

Documentary, Television, Comedy

Nov 16, 2010

$0.1M

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All Critics (63) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (3) | DVD (3)

Troll 2 has become a midnight favorite, and Stephenson looks at the phenomenon while catching up with his profoundly untalented costars and the grouchy Italian director.

December 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A documentary so enthusiastic, good-natured and sweet about such an abject disaster that it almost makes Troll 2 worthwhile.

August 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This curiously touching doc has a bittersweet ending.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] surprisingly rich documentary.

July 22, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Somewhere, Ed Wood must be smiling.

July 7, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In 26 years as a film reviewer, I've never seen a film that so perfectly encapsulates the obsession Pauline Kael famously classified as Movie Love.

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[The] doc offers fittingly low-tech amusement throughout --which is a hell of a lot more than can be said about the tediously incomprehensible movie it champions.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

This is a sweet film about an unusual but notable part of "Hollywood," for a group of people who have, for the most part, barely been to Los Angeles.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Whether or not you believe Troll 2 is the single worst film ever made... any fan of so-bad-it's-good cinema will appreciate this loving tribute

November 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

All about the shooting and rise to cult status of Troll 2, deemed the Best Worst Movie of all time, this doc is entertaining whether you're a Troll 2-ite or not.

November 14, 2010 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

What about old-school cult favorite "Manos: The Hands of Fate" ... Does Armond White have to step in with a Fresh review to get the ball rolling?

November 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Cheap laughs are still laughs, right?

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

A very charming and touching documentary...

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It does make you realize that nobody gets up in the morning, showers, breakfasts, dresses and goes to work thinking they're making the worst film in history...

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Fortunately, Best Worst Movie is not a revisionist attempt to rehabilitate Troll 2's dubious reputation. Instead, director Michael Stephenson, examines that 1990 film's unexpected rebirth as a midnight movie camp sensation.

August 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique
Cinefantastique

Delivers a well-rounded look at a remarkable turn of events without ever overdramatizing the actors' despair or over glamorizing their fame.

August 13, 2010 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

I've been strong-arming acquaintances about this deliriously entertaining documentary ever since I saw it at South by Southwest last year.

August 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

A tribute to human endurance: most of the people we spend time with ended up somewhere far different than they wanted to, but most of them are pretty content, and none of them have given up.

August 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

...a heart-on-its-sleeve documentary that is fun to watch but not something that will stay with me. It is more a snack than a meal, but it is kinda tasty.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

It's not often that a behind-the-scenes documentary is more entertaining than the movie itself but Best Worst Movie is not your typical Hollywood tale. There's nothing typical about Troll 2.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Retriever
Movie Retriever

An amusing celebration of a very special type of garbage.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

However, if you are a fan of trashy cinema and have always wondered what kind of people think up and participate in movies like "Troll 2," now you have your answer.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

a laugh out loud funny documentary steeped in nostalgia and good cheer with some sly social commentary worked in.

July 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for Best Worst Movie

Best Worst Movie is a documentary about the cult that's grown around Troll 2 and where the actors are now. George Hardy drives this movie, an affable dentist from Alabama who loves the weird new fandom he finds himself the centre of. At times it's a little bit sad when you see what's become of Margo Prey or that Robert Ormsby seems disappointed with his life. If Hardy is the hero, then Claudio Fragasso, the director of Troll 2 is the villain, a humourless pompous pseudo-arteeste who doesn't understand what good movie-making is, doesn't understand America, can't take criticism and doesn't want you to enjoy his movie wrong. As a whole, it makes you want to see Troll 2, which is kinda cool, I guess, I'd have liked to see more of Michael Stephenson, the grown up child actor who's behind the camera.
May 17, 2012
MidnightMadwoman

Super Reviewer

Highly entertaining documentary about the B-movie phenomenon known as Troll 2. Now, I haven't seen the film in question myself, save for a clip or two on YouTube, but I kind of want to now after seeing this delightfully funny tribute piece. Directed by one of the "stars" of the film, it offers a fascinating inside-look into the making of and fan-fests of this very weird and bizarre creation. Or as one of its viewers put it: "It looks like it was made by aliens trying to show us humans how we behave". What I found most hilarious of all though, is that everyone seems to know it sucks, except for the director. Similiar to the likes of Ed Wood and Uwe Boll, he genuinely believes he has conceived a meaningful and sophisticated horror story, with great emotional depth. And he certainly shares the same passion for flipping off the critics. You have to give it to him though: for all the campiness and laughable acting that Troll 2 possesses, it has spawned a mind-blowing following, whose whole-hearted worshipping is not unlike a religious cult. I guess I won't fully understand why until I've actually seen it, but it goes to show that maybe it truly is the best worst movie ever made. Well, either that or its legion of fans are suffering from some kind of mass psychosis. You be the judge.
January 17, 2012
CloudStrife84
Mike S

Super Reviewer

One of the most fascinating documentaries about a group of people with a loving obsession I have ever seen. What makes this film both odd and spectacularly endearing is the fact that this obsession just happens to be for the best worst movie ever made: Troll 2. Troll 2 was supposed to be a direct to video sequel to the mostly unknown Troll, a horror movie about, what else, a murderous troll, but this film has nothing to do with that film, trolls, and doesn't even make complete sense. Directed by a man who speaks primarily Italian and a written by a woman who wanted to lampoon vegetarians, not much of the film is cohesive or makes much sense. The result is a lot of unheeded and unintentional hilarity over every aspect of this unparalleled 90 minute spree. This film looks at the obscurity, peculiarity, and strange sanity of the fans of this pitiful little film. Fans come out in droves to see screenings of a film that has been relegated to the video store bins of lore. The dear love that these fans give to this supposedly undeserving film is the best part of this documentary, directed by a child actor from the film; it was certainly the most fascinating and disturbing of the whole film. Troves of filmmakers, game makers, artists, and comedians have hailed this and given it the credence of classic films from every era. Besides covering the worldwide (and I mean worldwide) love for this film, we also catch up with the cast. You wouldn't think the cast of a crappy one trick pony film would be so ridiculously entertaining, but the actors themselves are just as wacky and out of this world as the people they play. The father is portrayed by a small town dentist named George Hardy, a sweet but clueless man who always wanted fame but was too dense to achieve it. This stands as his largest achievement and he milks it for all its worth, all the time staying just as unknowing and naive as ever. Other notable people connected to this film is the director who still believes this is an actual masterwork, the woman who portrayed the teenage daughter is a working actress trying to distance herself from this, and the now defunct actress who played the mother, who looks like an elderly witch and acts like a schizophrenic, comparing Troll 2 to Casablanca. Nothing is ever dull, it works as a documentary, and made me overtly excited to see the film it covers.
January 16, 2012
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Best Worst Movie may not be the best documentary I've ever seen, but it is without a doubt one of the most fascinating. It's all about the creation and legacy of the movie "Troll 2" which is currently seen by many as the worst movie ever made (and as someone who has seen Troll 2, that is definitely fair criticism). Through the course of the movie we see what has become of the cast, learn stories of the incredibly strange circumstances surrounding the movie's production, one of the most odd being the director, an Italian man who until this day believes he made a good movie, and doesn't understand why everybody laughs at it.

Like most great documentaries, Best Worst Movie eventually transcends its original premise - an examination of one of the stars (George Hardy) and his transformation from kind-hearted small-town dentist into cult film star. What the movie ends up being is not the kind of heartwarming success story it begins as. Instead, the documentary goes much deeper, gets far stranger, and becomes much more emotionally confusing. Believe it or not, the documentary based on the hilariously bad 1990 film is an oddly touching, harrowingly depressing look at unfulfilled dreams, misunderstood people, and miscommunication. More importantly, the film poses the tough question of what constitutes a failure. Is the worst movie ever made really a failure, especially if it has a following? Do those who acted in said terrible movie mean anything in the bigger scheme, and is it alright to laugh at the performances of those who never became the big actors they wanted to be? If something has fans and mean something to people, is it really a failure at all?

A good way to describe this film is as a mix between "Catfish" and "Exit Through the Gift Shop," two of my favorite documentaries and both of which are questionable in their authenticity. Best Worst Movie has the same disturbing, saddening human revelations that Catfish had, and features a foreign artist oblivious to his own mistakes as seen in Exit Through the Gift Shop, not to mention the thematic similarities about what constitutes true art. The most troubling thing about Best Worst Movie, however, is that there are no doubts that this is an authentic documentary, meaning that troubled, oblivious people such as Troll 2 actress Margo Prey exist.

This isn't a perfect documentary in any way. It drags on for too long, it tries to focus on too many different things, and in the end a lot of the meaning taken away from the film is up to the viewer, since many of the themes aren't articulated in the most coherent way. Still, as a whole, Best Worst Movie really made me think. I'm still thinking about it, and probably will for a long time. Perhaps the most amazing part is that the lasting impression left by this documentary wouldn't be possible without each and every person, no matter where they are now, being a part of a surreal, terrible film named Troll 2.
December 29, 2011
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

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