Arts Eclectic: Best Worst Movie
When Troll 2 was made, some twenty years ago, it had a lot going against it. To start with, despite its title, the movie doesn’t actually feature any trolls. In fact, even though it’s called Troll 2, it’s not a sequel to Troll at all—the movie was actually called Goblin until the distributors decided to try and capture a little of the heat from the moderately successful 1986 movie Troll and rename the finished film. Also, the script was written by a pair of Italian filmmakers who spoke very little English. And the special effects weren’t exactly state-of-the-art. And the child actors who starred in the movie weren’t (to put it politely) at the top of their acting abilities quite yet. And the guy who played their dad was actually a dentist, and not a professional actor.As Michael Stephenson, who starred in the movie as a ten-year-old says, “It fails in every respect.”
But, as Stephenson adds, “it doesn’t fail to entertain.” Long after its initial VHS-only release, Troll 2 came to be beloved by bad movie aficionados. A few years ago, the movie finally hit the big screen at Austin’s own Alamo Dafthouse, and has since played to sellout crowds at like-minded theaters across the country.
Now a filmmaker in his own right, Stephenson has directed the documentary Best Worst Movie, which tells the story of Troll 2 and its unlikely path to cult movie status. After doing well on the film festival circuit, Best Worst Movie is making its theatrical debut at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar before moving on to New York and LA.
Michael Stephenson and George Hardy, the dentist who played his father in Troll 2 and who emerges as the hero of the new documentary, came to the KUT studios to talk about Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie.
Where: Alamo Drafthous South Lamar
When: Through May 6.