If you’re a fan of Troll 2– a film generally agreed to be amongst the worst films ever made—then there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the 2010 documentary Best Worst Movie. That doc (about the making and aftermath of Troll 2) earned rave reviews and ended up on a number of top ten lists the year it was released, and now the creative team behind that film has regrouped on a new indie project: Zero Charisma. Last week, I visited the Zero Charisma set to chat with Andrew Matthews, Katie Graham, Michael Stephenson, and the film’s star, Sam Eidson, to find out more about their latest collaboration. Wanna know what they had to say, and how these guys came to be working together in the first place? Meet me after the jump, folks: all will be revealed.
Claudio Fragasso’s Troll 2 is generally considered by most film geeks to be the best terrible movie ever made. For years after its debut on HBO (it never hit theaters), the cult of Troll 2 spread its way across the globe, finally reaching the pinnacle of its infamy last year when Michael Stephenson’s documentary about the making (and aftermath) of the film, Best Worst Movie, hit theaters. Best Worst Movie was great in all the ways that Troll 2 was terrible, and ever since its debut, we’ve been wondering what Stephenson might take on as his next project. Earlier this week we found out, and yesterday we sat down with the guy to find out more. Read on for our interview with Best Worst Movie director, Troll 2 star, haunted house enthusiast, and potential Troll 3 star (yeah, you heard me) Michael Stephenson, after the jump….
by Jason Barr Posted: August 17th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
One of my favorite documentaries of 2009 was director Michael Stephenson’s Best Worst Movie. I find it funny, interesting, heartbreaking, and life-affirming all at once and, as a result, it’s one of the few docs that I find myself going back to again and again. With this anecdote in mind, we have received a press release today announcing that Stephenson will once again get behind the camera to direct an untitled feature documentary about homemade haunted houses and the people who love to create them. Growing up in the Midwest, I can remember patronizing a few homemade haunted houses in my day. That said, I love this concept as I can attest that the people who dedicate their time and resources to this endeavor are definitely characters all their own.
Per the press release, Stephenson will direct and produce the film alongside his wife Lindsay under their Magic Stone Productions banner. Meyer Shwarzstein of Brainstorm Media will co-produce the pic for NBC Universal while Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson will act in a writer and associate producer capacity. You may remember Carlson’s name from our February report that he and Stephenson would team-up for the dark comedy Destroy. For a little more on this latest project, hit the jump for the full press release. Also, if you or someone you know is interested in being a part of the film, you can submit your story for consideration at the film’s official website.
If you’ve ever wondered why Troll 2 is a cult classic, here’s a quick explanation: It’s a movie entitled Troll 2, but features no actual trolls (they’re goblins). And that’s only one small reason why the 1990 horror/fantasy/awful film has become a revered in bad movie circles, and has perennially topped lists of the worst films of all time. For child star Michael Stephenson it was a learning experience, as when he finally saw the film (it went direct to video and cable stateside), he was crushed by its terribleness. But the legend/legacy of the film is still strong, and the film has attracted a rabid cult for its amusing incompetence. And so Stephenson decided to make a documentary not just about the film’s fanbase, but also rounds up all the stars he can to discuss their experience making the “Best Worst Movie” ever made. And my review of Best Worst Movie on DVD follows after the jump.
Early in the 1990 horror film Troll 2, Michael Waits (played by Dr. George Hardy) now famously yells at his 10-year-old son Joshua (Michael Paul Stephenson), “You can’t piss on hospitality!” 20 years later, its stars have taken that lesson to heart. Adoring fans around the world have turned the once obscure, overwhelmingly flawed flick (witness a 0% score on rottentomatoes) into that rare gem of an actual cult classic.
Stephenson & Hardy have embraced the affection to reclaim their initially dark experience with a love letter of a documentary: Best Worst Movie. The film chronicles the making of Troll 2, its odd resurrection, the fans that made it happen and the cast members’ search for a little artistic redemption.
Collider chatted up Stephenson (BWM’s director) & Dr. Hardy (its main subject) for a funny back-and-forth this week. Hit the jump for the interview’s full audio and transcript, along with stories of whether Troll 2 actually works in other languages, what links Quentin Tarantino to the story and a budding rivalry with The Room‘s director Tommy Wiseau.
We bitch about them all the time, but there’s really something kind of special about a bad movie — unlike books, and to a far greater extent than most pieces of music, a bad movie requires the involvement of a great number of people, most of them passionate believers in the doomed project at hand. A movie that’s only crappy will just bore you, but a really bad one can take you outside of your skin for 90 minutes and make you re-examine the way you look at the world. How can so many people go so wrong? Is art real? What does “talent” mean?
These are the kinds of questions posed by the very worst movies, and according to a not inconsiderable number of people, the worst of them all is 1990′s Troll 2. It’s difficult to describe the motion picture misery that is Troll 2, but some of the high points include the fact that it has nothing to do with 1986′s Troll, and it was filmed by a non English-speaking Italian director, in Utah…and it doesn’t include a single troll. The plot, such as it is, revolves around vegetarian goblins (in the quaint burg of Nilbog, natch) who trick people into turning into plants so they can be eaten. There’s a lot of cheap latex, a lot of green food coloring, and tons of truly terrible acting from the cast of unknowns. It technically has a beginning, middle, and end, so whether it’s truly the worst movie of all time is somewhat debatable, but there’s no arguing Troll 2 is a pretty miserable viewing experience. More after the jump:
Artist Tyler Stout has designed some memorable posters for a variety of flicks so it’s worth noting that he’s designed a one-sheet for the upcoming Troll 2 documentary Best Worst Movie. The film is about making of the no-budget horror film Troll 2, the “best worst movie” ever made and the cult that grew up it. I can’t wait to see the film and I’ll have to wait a good while since I’ll be at Comic-Con when Best Worst Movie comes to Atlanta.
Hit the jump to check out the new posters in high resolution, the official synopsis, and a list of cities and premiere dates.
The trailer for the documentary Best Worst Movie has landed online along with a list of cities that will have premieres featuring the cast plus an after party. Best Worst Movie is about the cult that has grown up around the awful 1990 horror movie Troll 2. The film is ranked #59 in IMDb’s Bottom 100 and has a 0% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But the worst movies pick up the most devoted audiences. I don’t think any low-budget film deserves the title of “worst” because at least they didn’t throw away millions upon millions of dollars to make garbage. But it does take skill to make something that hits that right level of so-bad-it’s-good. You can’t set out to make that kind of movie. It has to come about organically. I personally love movies about movies so I look forward to hating that I missed this when it comes to Atlanta on July 23rd when I’m at Comic-Con.
Hit the jump to see the trailer and find out when Best Worst Movie is coming to your town.