Best Worst Movie Reviews
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.
A look at the making of the film Troll 2 and its journey from being crowned the "worst film of all time" to a cherished cult classic.
As a fan notes in "Best Worst Movie", the worst movies are never made that way on purpose but inherit their serious badness from the sincerity with which they were made. Thus was the case with Troll 2, which the director Claudio Fragasso inconceivably insists was an earnest work of art. This documentary, put together by the actor who played the son in the 1990 film, catches up with Fragasso as well as the writer (Fragasso's wife) and cast of Troll 2.
Many terrible films have acquired cult followings--most notably of recent times Tommy Wiseau's The Room--but to my knowledge, Troll 2 is the only one which is itself a subject of a documentary. Michael Stephenson does an excellent job in conveying not only Troll 2's infamy but also the general "it's all in fun" attitude of fans who love truly bad movies. Even if you haven't seen Troll 2 (although I highly recommend you do!), I think you'll find this documentary interesting, hilarious, and even touching.
Much of the documentary centers around George Hardy, who played the dad in Troll 2, and his attending of conventions and Troll 2 screenings as well as his efforts in trying to get the other actors to participate in a Troll 2 reunion. The jovial Hardy is impossible to dislike and without his cooperation "Best Worst Movie" wouldn't have worked nearly as well. His upbeat attitude lends a balance to the proceedings as we discover that many of the other actors involved in Troll 2 are these days embarrassed, bitter, depressed, or in at least two cases clinically insane.
Fragasso, by turns astounded and angry that so many people laugh at his film, is a dour presence throughout, but in the end offers the most relevant wisdom. Movies, he says, are about moving the audience, and Troll 2 is by those standards a great success. Fortunately, the same can be said about "Best Worst Movie", which is well worth a look.
Nate's Grade: B
and its stars, its fans and reputation. The film goes deep to cover all aspects of this trashy classic. A very humourous and sad film, Best Worst Movie is a unique documentary. The film brings light to Troll 2, and its impact on people. For everyone whos seen Troll 2, you'd agree that its one terrible film. But the thing is Troll 2 is the type of film that it's so bad, it's good. This film explores everything that has made this film so legendary and why it's fans respond to it in such a positive way. The film takes a look at its many actors and how they lived with this embarrassment over the years. One thing thats really great is how George Hardy reacts to the films fans, and he bewildered at how Troll 2 has received such a good response from fans. Best Worst Movie should definitely appeal to fans of the film, and its a very amusing film that explores this films success. A very well done documentary.
A look at the cult popularity of the "worst film of all time", Troll 2, and what happened to all of the film's actors.
Starts out fun, but just ends up depressing. Clocks in at 93 minutes and I will not lie, it ends up being a very long 93 minutes. Needed to be 20-30 minutes shorter. Watching the past actors ham it up at sold out screenings was entertaining. Watching them get humiliated and ignored at conventions, was not. Basically - when the actors are in on the joke, it's a lot of fun. When they're the butt of the joke, not so much.
I have a bone to pick with director Michael Stephenson, who blatantly exploits Margo Prey's personal issues/ psychological condition for kicks during a visit to her home. It was completely unnecessary and left a foul taste in my mouth. He had no business showing that footage.