Yes, the movie wasn’t nearly as bad as people say it is. It’s not a flaming plate of shit, it’s not the worst movie of all time and it does not make me want to claw my eyes out with a spoon. That being said, it’s not a good film either. It’s a bad movie but not that bad. Troll 2 was obviously a sequel to Troll and featured a family that decided to trade houses with another family from a town called Nilbog. Their 12-year-old son keeps having hallucinations of his dead grandfather telling him to get the family out of the town because of some dark secret. Well, he’s right because the town is inhabited by goblins that want to turn the family into plant material so that they can eat them. But the kid’s parents don’t listen to him so… there lays the problem. It’s a pretty weird story but I’ve heard weirder. I went into this movie thinking it was going to be worst than The Room or even Blood Reaper but it wasn’t. I saw Troll 2 as a throwback to the campy drive-in movies of the 50s and early 60s and here is why.
The film is well made. Considering the budget and its reputation the makeup and special effects were pretty good. You can tell that the bark growing on Arnold’s face was just plastered on there but that’s the whole fun. The green slop was disgusting and the whole production was just really well organized. The goblin costumes looked incredibly stupid but that just adds to the camp factor. From what people tell me, the director was really proud of this film and I would be too because at least I made a film and completed it. The directors of the 50s b-movies were proud of their work and saw it great and to be honest, it was watchable. I wanted to know what would happen and how the characters were going to get out of the mess. I give the director props for keeping me interested.
One of the biggest problems this movie suffered from was overacting but it didn’t bother me at all. I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of the director to have overacting in their movie but my god… every line was so badly delivered that it only enhanced the camp factor. Again, bad acting or overacting was a staple in b-movies, and to see the witch (I think that is what she was) deliver every line so dramatically over the top made me smile. Think about it. How many times have you seen the old 50s sci-fi movies where the character just completely overreacts to things or under-acts to things or screams from the approaching monster but doesn’t make an effort to move? There were definitely times where the film felt like an Ed Wood film; specifically the ‘Oh my God!’ part and the bizarre corn on the cob make out scene. The acting by most of the parents were so bland that it was funny, and I saw it as a little tribute to the blandness of the stereotypical male hero of b-horror. They are so bland and so monotone that they could easily pass off as robots rather than people.
Another staple of the cheesy films of the 50s was the dialogue and yes, the dialogue in Troll 2 is atrocious but it seems like the type of dialogue that would be right at home in the 50s. Let me explain. Phrases like, “but why grandpa, why?” and “Nilbog! It’s goblin spelled backwards,” and even tack lines such as, “He was one of us… and you killed him! Now it’s your turn.” They all seem to be too scripted, especially when it’s delivered badly but for some reason it fits the film. To me, it’s one of those little tiny mundane details that make it even more of a unintentional homage to b-cinema. In more movies, people don’t repeat what they already said in the same sentence and the characters don’t give out line after line of exposition but in a trashy camp movie they will.
It’s hard to explain but both of the elements I gave were all done pretty good. They were very unintentional but given the aspects… I didn’t look at the film as a serious horror or as a comedy but rather a very obscure trash flick. That’s not to say that there are some really bad moments in the movie that made me ask: what were they thinking? There is the infamous question as to why they called it Troll 2 when it’s about goblins. I guess that’s because troll is llort spelled backwards and that means shit in Danish. There is also the opening sequence where they introduce the sister and the camera keeps cutting to random shit in her room. And there is of course some of the goblins are just standing around in the background waiting to do something. This is nitpicking the movie to death but as somebody who has studied film, these mistakes are very obvious.
Again, I am not saying that this is a great film. It’s far from it but it’s not the worst movie of all time and certainly not the worst horror movie of all time. It’s a trash picture and if you go in thinking that it will just be a good campy ride, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Honestly, this is the kind of movie that I would love to see in a drive-in on a brisk autumn night. I think it had the bad luck of being made way to late whereas it should have been made in the 50s.