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Movie Review

Best Worst Movie

Best Worst Movie
"Best Worst Movie" is a mildly amusing documentary about how a wretched 1990 horror movie, "Troll 2," morphed into a cult classic. The flick's child star, Michael Paul Stephenson, uses the recollections as a springboard for his directorial debut. The film is largely a series of interviews with the actors looking back at the experience and reflecting on their lives at present, interspersed with clips from the relentlessly absurd but, ironically, not-doomed-to-extinction "Troll 2."

The actors are, for the most part, not pros at all but small-town folk in rural Utah, having a lark. This includes the star, George Hardy, who is a dentist. Twenty years down the pike, he still makes his living doing root canals. But thanks to "Troll 2," he gets to spend his free time signing autographs at revival screenings across the globe. Mercifully, few of the players have much at stake in acting—never did—and that's precisely what saves this film from becoming a smug mockumentary defined by the creator's need to feel superior to earnest people who have lofty aspirations, try hard, and fail.

There are, however, a couple of exceptions, starting with the director of "Troll 2," Claudio Fragasso, an Italian who can barely speak English and seemed to believe he was making a serious work of art. While he is good-humored about the whole thing, the source of the comedy is his incompetence. And that, quite simply, is exploitive—though not nearly as troubling as the interview with an intellectually and emotionally challenged actor who views "Troll 2" as an important cinematic endeavor. More disturbing: Though aging and probably never employed as an actor, she talks seriously about her stalled "career." These are such easy targets. Why bother? But they're the potholes in an otherwise easygoing ride.

Genre: Documentary
Written and directed by: Michael Paul Stephenson

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