Troll 2: The 20th Anniversary Nilbog Edition [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - MGM Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Roger Nicholl & Noor Razzak (29th November 2010).
The Film

"Troll 2" sucks. Let’s get that out in the open. "Troll 2" really, really sucks. But it sucks in the way that lovers of bad cinema cherish. It’s not a lame-brained big-budget suck-a-thon. It’s not a dull drama of love amongst the middle-aged. It’s an all-out cheese fest of bad make-up, awful acting, terrible writing, ugly extras, and general infuriating stupidity. Even better, unlike some bad movies that lose their curiosity value after a few minutes, "Troll 2" throws wave after wave of fresh badness at the viewer, each wave more ridiculous than the last.

The movie opens on a twit being chased through the woods by little people in poor paper mache masks (a.k.a. goblins). The voice of an old man, Grandpa Seth (Robert Ormsby) narrates the tale, which he’s reading to his grandson Joshua. The story seems a little graphic for a kid since, after the twit drink some green goo, it seeps out of his head and he turns into a half-plant. This is the Goblins favourite food, and a lot of the movie revolves around them trying to turn people into it.

Then two disturbing things happen. We find out that his Grandfather has been dead for a year, and that his mother (Margo Prey) is even more terrifying than the idea of bed time stories from a dead grandfather. She’s meant to be a loving mother, but she’s more like a cross between Meryl Streep and Max Schreck.

Then we meet the “pretty” teen daughter Holly (Connie Young, a winner of "Best Youth Performer in Utah"). Her boyfriend Elliot (Jason Wright) climbs in her window and they start one of the most truly bizarre subplots in the movie. Not only does Holly’s father Michael (George Hardy) hate him (he says he’ll cut Elliot’s balls off and turn him into a “homo”), but he’s given an ultimatum: choose between his friends or Holly. Now this struck me as a little harsh, but Holly and her father keep this demand up throughout the movie. It’s entertaining because there’s no indication that their all-or-nothing stance is completely f**king insane.

The family is planning a house swap with a farming family in the small town of Nilbog (yes, it’s f**king Goblin spelt backwards). George Hardy (the most wooden, if not the worst, actor in the film) continually talks about farming and getting back to the land, but they never seem to do any while they’re there. When they get there the farming family has left a nice spread of food, but oh no, it’s covered in the dreaded green goo.

Cue the arrival of dead Grandpa Seth again to tell Joshua the Goblins will eat them all if they eat the food. I don’t know exactly what Seth is supposed to be in a spectral sense, but his powers seem remarkably random. He could appear before everyone, but doesn’t because they wouldn’t believe in him. He can stay as long as the plot needs him, and he can give out magic satchels (don’t ask). In this scene he has the power to stop time, so Joshua can think of a way to stop his family eating. Joshua pisses all over the food. Obviously the family’s angry, though they don’t seem to question how he materialised on the table with his dick out. Using "Troll 2" Logic they take his actions as a hunger strike challenge, thus conveniently getting rid of the food issue for about half an hour.

Just when things couldn’t get any sillier, they take a quantum leap into campness with a new character, Creedence (Deborah Reed). She’s something like the Queen of the Goblins and has a rock from Stonehenge in her house that gives them their power. Deborah Reed really grabs the role by the throat and gives it all she’s worth. She gives a textbook performance in hammy horror overacting. She’s all rolling eyes, and drawn out vowels. You had to applaud her for just going all out, even if it is a truly awful piece of acting.

She lures some of Elliot’s friends (they followed Holly to Nilbog) to her house as food for the Goblins. She also seduces one of them in a bizarre scene where they eat a piece of corn together which explodes into popcorn thrown by crew members off camera. But since she controls the piece of Stonehenge that gives the Goblins power, Seth tells Joshua that he has to destroy it. With a new power Seth transports Joshua over there, and they try to destroy the rock by touching it and concentrating.

Eventually the family fight off some Goblins and arrive to help them destroy the rock. They do, and the bad guys turn into a puddle of goo. But before we’re free, there’s one of those “the monsters aren’t really dead” scenes. This pretty much contradicts the previous scene, but by this point my mind could no longer quibble. I was exhausted from an hour-and-a-half of screaming in outrage at the TV. And I sort of wanted the mother to die anyway. Whoops, I ruined the ending. I bet you’re heartbroken.

I could literally go on for pages listing things that made me laugh or scream in this movie. But that would kind of ruin the fun for those of you who haven’t seen it. "Troll 2" is a trash classic, and deserves to be viewed in person, not vicariously.

Video

Presented in the film's original ratio of 1.85:1 in 1080p 24/fps and mastered in AVC MPEG-4 compression. Going into this Blu-ray release I wasn't really expecting much, after all this is one of the worst films of all time, add to this the low budget and expectations are set pretty low. To my surprise "Troll 2" looks good in HD, the image displays nice contrast, colors are nice and vibrant, blacks are deep and the print is relatively clean with a natural amount of grain and no evidence of DNR or any digital manipulation. The image has a few specks that pop up and sharpness is an issue, but overall it's a good image.

Audio

Two audio tracks are included in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mixed at 48kHz/24-bit as well as the film's original English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the film with its DTS-HD audio. Yet again I was surprised at how well the audio held up, while its not exactly a boom-a-thon like modern action films, the dialogue was clear and distortion free, surrounds were well used and the music made decent use of the sound space. it's an adequate surround track that doesn't let the film down... even though the film lets itself down... on more than one occasion.
Optional subtitles are featured in English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish.

Extras

MGM have included the bare minimum in this bare-bones release, despite one having their hopes up with the title "20th Anniversary Nilbog Edition" you get the sense that there may in fact be some extras on this disc like the documentary "Best Worst Movie" (2009), but no, there's nothing other than the film's original theatrical trailer and a DVD edition of the film as well.

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

The only extra on this disc is the original theatrical trailer in HD 1080p and runs for 2 minutes 19 seconds.

DISC TWO: DVD

This is a flipper disc, with both the widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film on either side. The disc also includes the same theatrical trailer which runs for 2 minutes 19 seconds.

Overall

The Film: F Video: B Audio: B Extras: F Overall: D+

 


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