Movies that are so bad they’re good is basically its own genre at this point, with most cinephiles being able to rattle off their favorite guilty pleasure films without much prodding. But there’s one movie that exemplifies the adage better than any other, and that’s the legendary Troll 2. But how did this horribly awesome movie even come to be in the first place?
First things first, Troll 2 is not a sequel to Troll. There is literally nothing the two films share in common. 1986’s Troll was a moderately successful horror movie about, you guessed it, a troll (and a kid named Harry Potter, but that’s a story for another day). 1990’s Troll 2, by contrast, doesn’t feature a single troll in the entire film. Instead, it’s about a town of vegetarian goblins who turn humans into plants in order to consume them. The movie was originally called Goblins but ended up changing its title to Troll 2 in the hopes of capitalizing on that film’s moderate success.
The story of Troll 2 focuses on a family who goes on an extended vacation in a rural town called Nilbog (goblin spelled backward, naturally), where they soon start to notice some pretty strange stuff going on. Aside from the greenery-munching goblins, there’s also a benevolent grandfather ghost, a chainsaw-wielding Druid witch, a guy who drowns in popcorn, and a scene in which the film’s ten-year-old protagonist pees on the family dinner table to keep them from eating poisoned goblin food. It is, in a word, insane.
In addition to the outright absurdity of its plot, the film is also remembered for its horrible acting, lowest of the low budget special effects, nonsensical script, and overall shoddy production. It all adds up to the perfect cult classic, as the movie has maintained a massive fanbase over the years. Original star Michael Stephenson even made a successful documentary about the making of the film in 2009 called Best Worst Movie, and the legend of Troll 2 continues to grow even today.
The movie, as bad as it is (and it is bad), has an unmistakable charm that is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face.