Month of Monsters
Week 4: Troll/Goblins
This week we are looking at one of the most famous bad movie series ever. That’s right: “Troll”-infamously bad acting, stupid lines, and trolls that aren’t really trolls. This is Troll and stuff week.
“Troll”: The Potter family moves into a local apartment complex. Only to find that it houses a mysterious force.
The “Troll” film that time forgot. This film is probably only infamous among B-Movie fans for the name of the main character. The main character’s name is Harry Potter. Aside from that the film features some very interesting visual designs for the Troll universe and some decent acting but overall it’s not hard to see why this film is generally forgotten by anyone but the die-hards. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone but the real die-hard B-Movie fans. It’s fun but it doesn’t have nearly the over-the-top greatness of the following films.
“Troll 2”: A family goes to a town called Nilbog (get it?) and find themselves faced with a terrible force… different to the dangerous and mysterious force from the first film.
Ah yes, this is the one. You know a lot of people remember that one line from the middle of the film (“They’re eating her”) but it isn’t even my favorite moment in the film. The stupidity in this film goes far and above that one scene. My personal favorite is when the witch of the Troll-Goblins tries to kill one of the randoms in the film. She kills him (or tries, I think) by making out with him while popcorn randomly pops all around them. I wish everyone saw this film. This is one of the greatest B-Movies of all time. Outside of the “Toxic Avenger” films (We will cover those next week) you can’t much more over-the-top and funny as all get out than Troll 2.
“Contamination.7” (Aka Troll 3): A young woman heads back to her old rural town. Only to be confronted by a mysterious force… different to the two previous mysterious and dangerous forces.
You know how people say that “Troll 2” has the worst acting in a film? They are wrong. The acting in this film is beyond horrendous. All of the lines by the villains are delivered in either a dry monotone or an over-the-top screeching. This makes many of the scenes that are supposed to be scary or tense into scenes of guffaws and pants-pissing laughter. Couple that with an amazingly dumb script that has the characters act like dumb-asses to advance the plot and occasionally even contradict themselves in order to inch closer to the film’s climax. Overall I’d say that if you want to laugh you’ve got to check out “Contamination.7.” It’s easily funnier than “Troll 2” while somehow being slightly less memorable.
“Ator”: The other Troll 3.
This could take some explaining. “Ator: Quest for the Mighty Sword” is also called “Troll 3” while also being a remake of the first film in its own series. The film is overall pretty bland; it’s just a clear cut Conan rip-off and never really reaches beyond that. The action is bland, the cinematography is boring, but the worst part is the pacing. The film shifts gears from one plot-line to another with an audible clunk, admittedly this is part of what makes the film funny but it’s also what makes it a terrible film. Overall it’s funny but also really bad. Watch at your own discretion, if you can even find a copy of it.
“Cabin in the Woods”: A group of hilarious characters go to a Cabin… in the woods.
This movie rocks and I really can’t say why. The reasons that this film works so damn well are all connected to the really awesome twist that for once wasn’t given away in the trailers. This movie is everything that the “Troll” series was, except it was actually a good movie. It’s funny, got great characters, an interesting plot, and a great ending. Overall I’d say that it’s probably one of the best horror movies to see release this year and if you didn’t see it in theaters then you should take this opportunity now that it’s on DVD to rectify that.
“Behind the Mask: The rise of Leslie Vernon”: A documentary crew follows the beginning of the slasher villain Leslie Vernon’s career. As they follow the first group of teens that he plans to kill, the crew members become part of the movie themselves.
This is an odd feature, one that I’m not even sure that recommending is a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great film, solid pacing and tension, good characters and acting and such. But it’s also a strange film that I just know some people will dislike it for the exact reason that I liked it. The gimmick to the film is that the first half of the film is set-up like a “Behind the Music”, while the second half is set-up like an actual slasher film. The jokes are funny and the twists that occur in the second half are genuinely good. Overall it’s a great film but one that takes a bit to get used to.
“Diary of the Dead”: A zombie apocalypse breaks out and a bunch of film students try to stay alive.
Man this film was terrible. I know that it seems strange to say that about a film that was actually directed by the zombie legend, George A. Romero, but it really is the worst movie he’s made… ever. There are numerous reasons for this but the one that I think stands out the most is how mean it feels. The film is clearly George waving his cane at modern genre clichés like excessive nudity, fast-moving zombies, and stupid characters. But he does so with all the subtlety of a brick and what’s worse he does this by indulging in these clichés after characters point them out, so he makes fun of terrible films by making a terrible film. Overall you can probably get some laughs out of how dumb the characters act, or by getting a bunch of friends together to mock the movie, but its still just terrible.
Best Overall: “Cabin in the Woods”: Great film making and an interesting plot take this film above and beyond.
Worst Overall: “Contamination.7”: This was the toughest week for this award. Between this, “Ator,” “Diary,” and of course “Troll 2,” it was tough to just pick one. But overall I think this one is the worst. The terrible acting and lines that made “Troll 2” fun are here but are coupled with dumb effects and stupider characters, making this a treat for your eyes as well as your ears.
Scariest: “Rise of Leslie Vernon”: While I’m sure some expected for Cabin to do a sweep this week but it really isn’t all that scary. This was really the only scary film I watched all week, particularly seeing how everything is from the killer’s point of view in the first half, and brings to mind “Halloween.” It’s all about how there is no motive, no reason why he does this, and then you see him actually do it in the second half.
Least Entertaining: “Diary of the Dead”: I said it above and I’ll say it again: this was stupid. The jabs at current horror clichés are messily done and largely are just done by characters pointing out the clichés before doing them. George, I love you man but this movie was garbage.
Most Entertaining: “Contamination.7”: This is probably the most controversial thing I’ve said in these columns. Yes I think that “Troll 3” is funnier than “Troll 2.” I’ve covered why all over this column but suffice it to say it doesn’t look like a movie. The effects, the film itself all look incredibly budget. If you’re looking for a stupid fun movie to watch, this is about as good as you’re gonna get until next week.
Yes next week is the last week of actual films. So let’s round this off right by reviewing the absolute best B-Movie series in history. Yes, its time to call Toxie.