Wednesday, 8 January 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 100

Only once a century is a project of this magnitude taken on. And once a century it is completed. Unless the reviewer accidentally violently stabs himself to death first. When I first decided that watching the IMDb Bottom 100 was a good idea, I apparently didn’t understand the underlying mechanics behind what determines if an idea is good or not. Because this wasn’t one. I’ve had some crappy good ideas in my time, but this one takes the proverbial cake. However, I don’t feel like quitting is really an option so there we are.  It should be noted, that the Bottom 100 list fluctuates all the time, due to people carelessly voting and debating which movies are actually the worst. For reasons of time constraint, I obviously cannot (or will not) review the new movies that appear on the list all the time, because I’d never get through it. So this incarnation of the B100 list is as of June 2013, I believe.

For your viewing/reading/puking pleasure, I present to you, with plenty further ado, all one hundred of the worst movies of all time, reviewed chronologically, and in full. During the course of writing these reviews and, more importantly, watching the associated movies, there was crying, blackouts, more crying and several occasions where suicide was seriously contemplated. And I’m not even close to being done yet. I might not make it, and if I don’t, I hope my last will of having my reviews printed out and stuffed down these filmmakers throats will be honored. So anyway, now that you know why this is something that is in the process of becoming real, I’ll let you get on to the review of the day.

Subliminal message much? Even then she knew what a travesty this was.

Troll 2 (1990)
It amuses me that I’m but one movie into this whole ordeal, and already I feel certain in saying, that this movie is actually the worst movie of the lot, possibly ever made. I know people often lay out that claim willy nilly, but guys… this is a movie so unfathomably shitty, pointless, bad in every single way and completely without mitigating factors, that I just can’t grasp how this was ever OKed at a bona fides Hollywood studio like MGM. It made me want to take to the street, and scream obscenities at the kids and elderly, while tearing what remaining hair I have from my head. Metro’s, Goldwyn’s and Mayer’s respective graves must be altering the earth's angular momentum from spinning so fast. The lion roars merrily at the opening logo of this piece of shit, and that is where things start sloping towards a fiery hell faster than Christian Slater’s career. MGM filed for chapter 11 (that’s the bankruptcy chapter, for those of you out there unaware there’s a crisis going on) in 2010, which may be 20 years after the conception of this hellspawn of a movie, but I still firmly believe Troll 2 is directly responsible for the studio’s declining profits. Any studio that accepts a festering dog turd like this movie, are bound to employ within their ranks, people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing. I doubt this movie looked good even on paper. But somebody somewhere must have thought it did, unless we start pondering the whole Uwe Boll (a man we will return to a few times over the course of this B100 endeavor) angle, which involves making movies deliberately bad, because some tax loophole somewhere enables shitty movies who bomb at the box office, to still make money somehow. I won’t bore you with details about that just yet, because from interviews seen with cast/crew, and what I can read of their experience, Troll 2 was an honest attempt at making a movie that was.. you know.. good. In other words, people behind this waste of time and space went about crafting this movie with the genuine feeling that it would be totally awesome. As I shall demonstrate in a moment, it was pretty much a textbook definition of something that is anything but awesome.

 
It's hard to find words for what is going on here. I don't even...

What the fuck is it about even?
This piece of cinematic douchebaggery is about a family living in the big city, who go on a, I guess, house exchange trip to the countryside. In other words, they switch houses with another family. How these cornballs got in touch with the other family remains hazy, but the fact is they are going to stay in this new house located near a little town with the totally inconspicuous name of Nilbog. To those reading and comprehension impaired few out there, who are miraculously piecing together words and sentences to fight your way through this review, Nilbog is Goblin spelled backwards. So there’s that. While living in this house, the owners of which were so awkward and weird that a cacophony of alarm bells should’ve chimed non stop during the encounter, the big city family learn that not everything in Nilbog is as it should be! To bring this already crazy situation to a peak, the daughter’s boyfriend and his ragtag group of homeboys decide to follow the family in an auto camper they have mysteriously procured. Basically the whole town is a cover for a legion of quasi-cannibalistic trolls, who, and this is where shit starts getting hairy, are vegetarians and feed on humans by turning them into trees. Kind of a roundabout way of doing things, I suppose but I guess it’s all the same to them. The movie doesn’t really specify if these are trolls or goblins. In fact the word troll isn’t mentioned a single time in this movie, and the title is thus rendered pointless which in turn renders it relevant again. They are for all intents and purposes creatures of trollish and goblinish descent. Of some sort.

Real Mall of America family, right? Wrong! 

The little son of the family has been told stories of magic and green sustenance by the ghost of his dead grandpa (we’ll get back to that sumbitch momentarily), and is of course the first one to suspect that something is rotten in the town of Nilbog. But because any other course of action would totally negate the whole point of the plot (if there ever really was one), everybody pigheadedly refuses to stare even the most blatant telltale fact in the face. While goblin shit hits the fan big time the kid, Joshua communicates with Grandpa Seth, through mirrors and other weird spirit summoning contraptions (sometimes, just sitting around a table with candles, concentrating hard, is enough). Grandpa Seth has the lowdown on the whole goblin situation, because in the spirit world everybody are omnipotent I guess, and implores Joshua to talk his family out of going in the first place. And later to stop his family from eating anything while there. He accomplishes this last feat, by urinating on the food set out for them by the weird country family (not only is having a full table set with food and drink suspicious, it is also green, and thus double suspicious), in front of his own family. In order to accomplish this without being beaten to a pulp by angry parents, Grandpa Seth has frozen them in time for 30 seconds (according to him. In reality it turns out to be 74 seconds). This triggers one of two hilarious scenes, in which the dad carries Joshua to his room, and scolds him for urinating on the food. He also, for some undisclosed reason, believes Joshua wants to have a hunger strike competition with him, which he totally agrees to. And we haven’t even gotten to the weird parts yet. 


Sure I'll eat suspicious food. Why the hell not!

Meanwhile, the friends of the boyfriend realize nobody brought any supplies for the trip, so while the two other dudes snooze on, in a slightly and unwarranted homoerotic pose, one dude treks towards town, in order to purchase a few goods. Ultimately a fruitless endeavor, as nothing exists in the general store but Nilbog’s own locally produced milk. By then the poor kid is done for. As it often goes in tales of this character, another of the friends soon embark on a rescue mission, alone, for his lost buddy, and is turned into a tree by a local witch that at first doesn’t appear to be connected with the tro…goblin storyline. She is, as it turns out, but might be a separate sleeper cell or something. It’s not elaborated upon, so I had to speculate here.

That's Grandpa. Not the cheeriest of fellas, but he plays a mighty fine basoon

The family, meanwhile, are getting cornered by an increasingly hostile village population. Lynchmob atmosphere spreads and the tension is palpable. Soon fisticuffs break out left and right, and everything starts falling into place for the big finale. Grandpa is back, stronger and more potent a magician than ever, and together with the kid, he takes the battle to the Goblin home turf… two large runestone type contraptions, that I am not entirely sure what is supposed to be. The witch shows up, and presents green stuff for eating, but Grandpa stands firm. He will take shit no more. Emotions run high, psyches are strained, but ultimately the dynamic duo defeat the dubious goblins, and all is right in the world. Or is it? They return to their own house (which the other family was supposed to stay at… weren’t they? Or what was that all about? Where the fuck are they even? And were they connected with this whole debacle? Or were they just glad to get out? I can’t make sense of this any more) where things are seemingly fine and dandy. But they were all of them deceived, and we end this massive pile of bovine feces with a fitting scream!

Guy with absolutely no bearing on the plot or story, eats a sweet ole' bowl of green. 

In the case of this flick, the guy who played the kid ended up making a documentary about the phenomenon that is Troll 2, called Best Worst Movie. I happened to learn about the existence of this feature length piece of cinema as I sat down to write this review, and managed to procure a copy for watching before finishing up my text. While the documentary doesn’t really change the fact that Troll 2 was a major hunk of dog doo, it does offer a few insights into why the fuck this movie was so abhorrently shitty. I found the documentary had a few scenes that were as hard to watch as the actual movie, but then I was always bad at watching stuff where people in the scenes seemed extremely uncomfortable. Which was the case sometimes in the documentary and at all times in the actual movie. I’d still recommend watching Best Worst Movie, just for a short glimpse of how people who were in the worst movie ever made managed to collectively get over the experience. I would not recommend watching Troll 2.

3 guys go camping with no supplies and just one bed. Happens every day.

Is it actually that bad, or are you just a pussy?
In lieu of nuanced opinions, I’ll go ahead and just say yes. Yes it is that bad. The woman (Margo Prey) who played the mom, a role that really fucking annoyed me in the movie and seemed extra awkward and unbelievable, came off as particularly delusional when discussing Troll 2. She compared Troll 2’s subject matter and overall feel to a movie like Casablanca. I don’t know if she meant it literally or whatever, but it was kind of hard taking her seriously at that point. Just the way she was dolled up for the camera, while wearing a sweatshirt with a huge cat on it, sort of gave me the impression that she had seen better times. Not that stuff like that is really important for this reviewer, but I suppose the general appearance and demeanor of a person is supposed to lend credibility to what they have to say, and hers did precisely the opposite.  The movie itself doesn’t really lose appeal from a few bad seeds behind the camera. It doesn’t have any appeal to lose. The acting is poor, the writing is abysmal, the plot is incoherent (a recurring theme with many of these B100 movies), the directing is less than inspired, there is a weird religious subplot that’s merely touched upon, but not really explored and/or explained.


Why aren't the movie execs who took Firefly from us shutting this down, Grandpa? WHY!?

The grandpa character needs a short paragraph dedicated to his honor. He was the quintessential creepy old dude supposed to look genial and familiar. Didn’t come off as anything but a weird confused dude who spoke in annoying riddles. Playing a character who had recently died, but was appearing to the son in the family as a bringer of warnings and bad omens et cetera, he just came off as laughable. Sometimes he could interact with the surrounding environment, sometimes he could only point the kid in the right direction, whichever that was. Sometimes he could use magic, other times he was as useful as a set of fine china in a bull store. Nothing about him made sense, which I suppose played well into the overall motif of the film. He didn’t do much with what little they had given him, and every time he was on screen, it got harder to understand how so basic a character can still end up making absolutely no sense.

You have to appreciate a diverse fanbase. Here's the Austrian chapter. 

And last, but certainly not least, the thing that absolutely pissed me off the most, was the costumes. Just look at this. It’s ridiculous. If I was a teacher, and my 9th graders came to me with this movie, and it had been their submission for the Annual Whatever High School Movie Crafting Workshop Extravaganza, I’d be impressed. Hell, I’d give them top marks! But this was a movie backed by MGfuckingM! It had several hundred thousand dollars to spend. Yes, that isn’t much compared to many other movies. But why on God’s green earth does the costumes look as if they were made by Helen Keller? They are horrible, and not in a good way. Just good old fashioned shitty. Every time one of those little goblin shitkickers were on screen I’d feel fresh waves of pure wrath fill my poor underdeveloped brain.

Costumes even a mother would frown at.

Why is this something that exists?
I think that is a question that, for many of the movies that I’ll be reviewing, has just one unified answer: Because fuck you, that’s why. I will try, however, to give a slightly more detailed opinion. In the case of Troll 2, it seems to have come into being mainly due to the conviction of the director and his wife, that it was a story that needed to be told. It was so important a movie, so potentially influential on society, that it would almost be a crime to humanity, or more specifically the movie industry, not to make it. Possibly it was because the wife of the director/scriptwriter had just experienced a lot of friends who became vegetarians, which pissed her off. So there’s that reason too.


For the record, he was bitching about people who laughed at the bits in the movie that weren't supposed to be funny. The nerve!
These two are directly responsible. Directly. They must be stopped!

Watching the Best Worst Movie documentary saw the director going off about this movie as if it was a rare gem that had always been unappreciated in its own time, but was finally beginning to get the recognition it deserved. He fluctuated between enjoying the limelight, and being annoyed with people asking critical or humorous questions, or actors dissing his work methods, which were demonstrated in the documentary when they were mock-remaking the pivotal pissing scene, and he was barking orders at the actors in broken English, much to everybody’s confusion and annoyance. He was quite a character, and his wife no less so. It was clear, that to both of them Troll 2 was a masterpiece slowly emerging from its cocoon, and if you disagreed with that, you were an ignorant asshole. They took this shit seriously, and a movie like this can not be taken seriously. It mustn’t, because if you make a movie like this, and honestly thing you are putting out a quality piece of work, you are effectively shitting all over everybody – both crew and audience.
 
You have to love double negatives. They just make sense!
With a script like that, can you really blame them?
You certainly have a lot of hate. Could you do better?
I am not the kind of dude who’d ever vouch for the opinion, that you needed to be able to top a given subject in order to suggest criticism of said subject. But in this particular case, bar perhaps a few of the crew’s roles, I would put it to you, that yes I could actually do it better. There isn’t a single job done in this flick that goes above middle school film project level. We’ve all gotten hold of a camera at some point in our lives, pointed it at friends fooling around and thought ourselves the new Spielberg or Shyamalan (before he let megalomania ruin his scripts). Hell even just a camera accidentally left recording at a frat party would feel better edited, with more convincing acting and costumes. And the sad part of it is, that a few of these people involved, took this thing so serious.


Subtle hints told him, this was serious business.

Fuck off, bro! You can’t convince me there isn’t one redeeming thing about this!
I don’t know. I’m inclined to just flat out say no. But I suppose I’ll try to be a little layered in my opinion. Admittedly, I absolutely hated this movie when I watched it. Granted, I don’t really subscribe to the whole so bad it’s good philosophy, where people will sit through movies that are god awful again and again just because it has a cult following. If a movie is shit, I will have no issue labelling it as such. When I watched Best Worst Movie, I did gain a little sympathy for a few of the actors, and it was interesting to see them talk about the movie, and how they went about dealing with it now. 

Even the little gratuitous nudity in this movie seemed forced

Same woman, amazingly. Also, what's with the corn on the cob. 

I guess I was surprised at the amount popularity this movie had gathered in the last few years. It did appeal a little though (yeah so sometimes big crowds can sway even the sternest of resolves.. sue me!) and for a fleeting moment, I thought about rewatching Troll 2. But you know what happened then, dearest of readers? I remembered how much dick that movie sucked, and how annoyed I felt after watching it. Annoyed that anybody could get involved in a project like this, and shit all over everything. I’m a huge fan of wasting time, don’t get me wrong, but even I had a hard time justifying watching this trash.

Only death by popcorn, that's what the fuck is up!

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