I am sure it is apparent by reading my reviews, but I am a hardcore Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan. I love that show—love it. I remember the very first episode I saw, Manos: Hands of Fate. I was in my parents’ living room with a few friends, when one of them pulled out her VHS copy of this classic. As I recall, I was in high school and arguably my comedic taste preferences were being developed. Most people fell into either the Ace Ventura boat or the more quirky, Monty Python fanbase (you could tell who these fans were because they each had a distinct silly walk). Thanks to MST3K, though, I fell into both. This show taught me to appreciate the utter silliness in movies (both good and bad), yet through their offbeat references, I also began to seek out the obscure shows they quoted. After the first show, I was hooked.
Once I started watching MST3K, I found it hard to turn off the inner (well, sometimes outer) dialogue to spruce up any film I watched. It’s this appreciation of all movies—and finding the humor in films that are poorly written, acted, or just plain absurd—that fuels my consumption of all things media. It is also this same fondness for “bad” movies that allow some films to have a cult following. One such horror flick is Troll 2, which is apparently about a group of vegetarian goblins (yes, goblins, not trolls) who change humans into plants so they can kill and eat them. Classic. However, let me be clear here, this review is not about Troll 2, it is about the documentary on the crazy fandom surrounding it.
On Christmas Eve (hey, I warned you I was behind on posting), my husband and I sat down to watch Best Worst Movie. This documentary reveals the cult following of the worst movie ever made (with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 0%), Troll 2, and shows what happened to the cast in the years following its release. Best Worst Movie, made by a former child actor who starred in Troll 2, follows several of the cast members as they leave their “normal” lives to attend screenings of the film—events that celebrate the goofiness of the movie rather than take it seriously.
I found this documentary in the same vein as American Movie and Trekkies. It seems to fit snugly in between these two films. Whereas American Movie shows how a “bad” horror film could be made and Trekkies showcases fanboy (or fangirl) mania, Best Worst Movie attempts to show how a film could attain cult status. I love that the star of the worst movie ever made is currently a small-town dentist and addresses every aspect of his life with joyous exuberance. It is interesting that much of the growing popularity of Troll 2 is seen through the dentist’s eyes.
While watching this documentary, I was happy to learn where many of the former cast members of Troll 2 ended up (and I haven’t even seen the film). These were stories that most interested me—where do actors from really bad horror movies end up? When the film then shows the audience convention after convention, I began to get a bit bored. It’s not that the material was horrible, but it just seemed to drag. Personally, I think one of the most admirable qualities of any filmmaker is the ability to cut unnecessary scenes from their films. I just wish it would happen more often. Don’t even get me started on the 18,721 endings in Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings.
Overall, I liked Best Worst Movie. Perhaps this is because I enjoy bad movies or a nice comeback story, but this film worked for me. It wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, but it was interesting and engaging. Some documentaries are must-see’s (usually this is termed by some critic mightier than myself). No, I don’t believe that your life will be changed if you see this film; but it did entertain me (a self-professed fan of bad movies), and I can’t ask for more.
Netflix Queue: 485