Troll 2 enjoys the dubious distinction of receiving the lowest score possible on the Rotten Tomatoes website (0.0). It’s one of those “so bad it’s good” horror movies that contain more than a few unintentionally hilarious one-liners. At first, the plot seems straightforward enough. A little boy discovers that the goblins his grandfather spins yarns about really exist, but the adults don’t believe him. Then, it starts to get weird: Eventually the evil, vegetarian creatures (no trolls are actually featured in the movie) threaten to turn his entire family into plants in order to eat them. Best Worst Movie explores, in part, which elements go into making a great, bad movie like Troll 2. Although it was released only on VHS and never saw theatrical release, the film boasts numerous fans worldwide that line up to attend standing-room only screenings. All of the players in the film were unknowns, and only a couple of them are still working actors. The acting is awkward, the special effects low budget, and there is absolutely no irony—the perfect storm for a great, bad movie!
Dr. George Hardy, who is featured prominently in the documentary, played the boy’s father. He’s a dentist living in the small town of Alexander City, Alabama, where he maintains a thriving practice and is beloved by all. Back in 1989, he was living in Salt Lake City, Utah, near where the movie was cast and filmed. After 17 years of living in relative obscurity, Hardy is gleefully pulled into a whirlwind of appearances surrounding the film’s renewed popularity. How far will the world’s best worst movie take him? Will he abandon his practical profession to pursue acting? The Italian horror movie director Claudio Fragasso collaborated with screenwriter Rossella Drudi to create a “serious” film that he contends deals with significant issues such as the importance of protecting the family unit. Like Hardy, Fragasso basks in the attention he receives during the film’s U.S. revival, but he bristles when viewers fail to appreciate it for the same weighty reasons that he does. Directed by Michael Stephenson, Best Worst Movie is streaming on Netflix now.