Troll 2 is a true anomaly. First of all, it has zero connection to the movie it’s billed as a sequel to. It doesn’t even have trolls. It has goblins. Secondly, it only became a cult classic when clips of its terrible acting went viral on YouTube fourteen years after its initial release. Its belated cult status was further cemented with a retrospective documentary titled Best Worst Movie and 20th anniversary “Nilbog Edition” blu-ray.
And the fandom keeps growing. There are so many videos, memes, and reviews of this movie across the web at this point, it’s almost too much.
Its reputation precedes it as one of the absolute worst movies ever. I don’t feel that’s deserved. There are thousands more movies I’d rather heap that distinction on first. Of course, my perception of what’s “good” and “bad” is pretty much mirror flipped from the norm. In my opinion, the movie works great. Troll 2 is uproariously entertaining from start to finish with literally no slow spots, and that, to me, a “good movie” makes. I mean, think of it this way; being boring is generally considered to be the most grievous of movie crimes, and it might be the only one Troll 2 isn’t guilty of.
The story hits home. A family of four sets out for a month-long house swap in “Nilbog” (which of course is “Goblin” spelled backward). It turns out this speck-on-the-map destination is kingdom to a race of insidious, shapeshifting, vegetarian goblins descended from Stonehenge. For the next ninety minutes, these goblins attempt to feed the protagonists food spiked with green gunk with the goal of turning them into gooey piles of plant matter so they can eat them — cos remember, they’re vegetarian goblins. #Relatable
I recently rewatched this flick and was going to review it, but then I remembered how daunting that was. I’ve tried before and was disappointed with how it turned out. The movie is just so hilarious, every scene could be talked of at length. To not touch on certain parts would be doing the film an injustice, quite frankly. That said, I’m going to rip another page out of Dr. Humpp‘s playbook today and focus on a favorite moment of mine I consider overlooked.
Most of this movie’s laughs can be chalked up to its outrageous story and poor execution. This one, however, cannot.
The shit goes all the way down seconds shy of the eighty-one-minute mark. At that point, the family’s vacation home is completely surrounded by goblins. They sit down for a seance to summon their magical dead grandpa Seth to come help them, but that’s broken up when the son is mysteriously transported to another location and replaced with a goblin. The rest of the goblins then storm the house and give chase. As the family runs up the stairs, another large goblin is seen to the left of the frame in the background. Most of these creatures come up to the stomachs or chests of the humans, some are even of average height, but this one looks downright gargantuan. Judging by its relative size, and the fact that its knees are bent and it’s partly hunched over, it looks to be pushing six feet.
The weird part is what it does next. Bear in mind, the rest of this goblin’s kind are attacking the humans. This one is in perfect position to block their escape, but what does it do? It ducks into a bedroom. The flashdancing teen daughter’s bedroom, to be more specific. Why doesn’t it suplex these people? Realistically speaking, there’s one way to explain: a miscue, a good ol’ fashioned production goof. The actor inside that costume wandered in frame, realized and tried to get out. I can’t really fault them for that. It must have been hard trying to see through those big dumb-looking masks.
If I were to play Devil’s advocate, I’d say the goblin was planning to pop out and ambush the family. That would make the most sense in the context of the film. However, that’s not why this happened. Just look at the footage. The dude’s body language speaks for itself. It would take a Hell of a lot of convincing to make me believe he was supposed to be in that hallway at that juncture in time and walk through that door. Whenever I entertain the idea that he was, I prefer to think that he did so for much more hilarious reasons, like pocketing jewelry or sniffing the daughter’s used panties, preferably both of those things.
What kills me the most is that no one noticed this goof, or that no one cared to reshoot it. How do you not catch an extra the size of a pro wrestler fucking up one of your shots, especially when you’ve only got three people in frame? It boggles the mind. And for that reason, this will always be my favorite part of Troll 2.