I do not watch very many documentaries, not because I don’t like them but mostly because I have a hard time picking subjects that interest me enough that I’ll devote my time to them. So being a film fan of course it’s not hard to sit down and watch a documentary about a movie, especially one from my childhood that perplexed my young mind and grew to laugh at the older I got. Such is the case for TROLL 2 and while watching the child star, Michael Stephenson’s documentary I couldn’t help but crack a smile the whole way through.
The concept of BEST WORST MOVIE is very simple; Michael Stephenson takes a look back at how TROLL 2 has affected the lives of those involved and what everyone is up to now. It specifically follows George Hardy, who played Michael’s father in TROLL 2; BEST WORST MOVIE portrays what a humble and down to earth guy George is and how blown away he has become by the overwhelming support TROLL 2 has garnered from fans over the years and the fame he has gotten because of it. There are a few interviews that are not as bright and charming as the rest of the film, one specifically involving Margo Prey who played Michael’s mother.
The joy of BEST WORST MOVIE is portrayed perfectly in the bright and genuine personality of George Hardy. It’s so heartwarming and funny to watch George attend all the special screenings of TROLL 2 all over the country and watch him interact with all the fans and just watch how truly happy and humbled the experience has made him. Everyone in the film describes him as such a likable and gentle human being and it shows every time he’s on screen. He struck me as a man that just feels comfortable and loose in every situation, but watching him in the scene during the horror convention was very funny to see how wide eyed and out of his element he was. Highlighting George was easily the smartest way to approach the documentary because his personality just carries the material.
Aside from George, nearly all the cast has screen time, but another highlight is the inclusion of TROLL 2 director, Claudio Fragasso. His presence wasn’t as bright and charming as George’s but added his own flavor into the mix. His accent, stare and general way of speaking were very strange. He has a very unpredictable and stubborn personality, often referring to the fans and actors as dogs, and truly convinced that TROLL 2 was a serious and “important” film. There’s lots of humor in watching Claudio react to people call TROLL 2 a bad movie and seeing them laugh at moments he didn’t think they should be laughing at.
There isn’t anything spectacular regarding the technical aspects of the film, though all the music used kept the film upbeat and lively. This is a documentary so performances aren’t much of a bullet point, though we are talking about a documentary about TROLL 2 and acting is one of the aspects that make it so hysterical and worthy of the BEST WORST MOVIE label. I was never as hardcore of a fan as many people depicted in the film were, but it always had a place in my mind. I watched it when I was very young and remember thinking how weird but sort of terrifying it was, and as I got older the harder I laughed at the movie and myself for my initial feelings of the film. I do not religiously watch TROLL 2 day to day or year after year, in fact, while watching BEST WORST MOVIE the flashbacks to scenes from TROLL 2 were the first time I had seen many of them for years. My distance from the film does not hamper my enjoyment of it or my ability to watch and praise BEST WORST MOVIE for bringing the film back into my life. If there was one thing that TROLL 2 director, Claudio Fragasso said that I was in total agreement with is that rather people praise a film for being the best or being the worst, it doesn’t matter, because it means he’s made an impression; and on that sentiment alone he is 100% right.
There are lots of TROLL 2 enthusiasts out there and BEST WORST MOVIE is a fitting love letter written for every single one of them. It’s encouraging to see Michael Stephenson putting into use the old adage of taking lemons and making lemonade, where he has taken a potentially damaging experience and used it to reinvent himself. With his TROLL 2 documentary he has shown an ability to be a promising filmmaker himself. BEST WORST MOVIE is easily the most endearing and entertaining documentary I have ever had the privilege of watching; one which had me smiling from beginning to end and is a must watch for anyone who has ever loved or hated the cinematic phenomena that is TROLL 2.