The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.
Words: Emmett Barlow
Some films, the true one-offs, brand themselves onto your conscious mind as permanently, and in many cases, as painfully as a non-metaphorical speaking red-hot iron.
The ‘magic’ of cinema is not wholly in the wonder and awe derived from production values and major talent. In my opinion, a clear signifier of ‘magic’ is the diverse reaction that a story played out upon the big screen can have upon the individual. How one person can hate and despise, and another can adore – endlessly re-watching and recounting word for word.
Best Worst Movie is first time filmmaker/child superstar Michael Paul Stephenson’s exploration of the film which IMDB rated as the single worst of all time; the ludicrous, monstrously tragic treat for the eyes, Troll 2.
The film is one best summed up by one of its ‘stars’, “it wasn’t acting, it was a troubled person talking”. And it really shows, yet as we progress and meet each member of the original cast, including the heart, soul, chest and haircut of both films, Dr. George W. Hardy – a less fabulous Fabio Lanzoni – there is a distinct, in part patronising, sense of sympathy towards these real characters. None more so than the dentist adored by everyone in his town, from the mayor, to the school superintendent to even his ex-wife, as he ventures with his co-star Stephenson across America, recounting his now infamous line “You can’t piss on hospitality, I WON’T ALLOW IT”.
On the surface Stephenson’s piece is a love letter to the film which he himself holds at arm’s length, yet underneath the facetious narrative, surprisingly poignant, sometimes intelligent, and accidentally anthropological themes are raised; such as the compromise the actors faced in choosing practicality and security over the exploration of their dreams of stardom.
Best Worst Movie is a worthy exploration into film cultism and its subsequent fetishisation, highlighting the sinews – ones void of all cynicism and full of reverence – that cause the congregation of the most die-hard and most Vitamin D deficient Troll 2 fans, to travel from every corner of the United States with the common cause of worshipping, re-enacting, partaking in ‘Trollympics’ and re-watching this un-holy piece of cinematic lunacy. This is the cherry of ‘fan culture’ documentaries, but what makes Best Worst Movie prevail is that the text it is based on is absolute garbage of the lowest denomination, and one every single person should endure.