The other day I watched a documentary called Best Worst Movie, which chronicles the making of and the recent cult following of an awful horror movie called Troll 2, about which its participants and fans agree that it’s the “Best Worst Movie Ever Made”, meaning it’s so badly made, that it is supremely entertaining to watch.
Having watched Troll 2, which was shot in 1989 by an Italian husband-wife filmmaker team in Utah, I don’t think it’s one of the most entertaining terrible movies ever made. I don’t even think it’s as terrible as people make it out to be.
It is awful, to be sure, with its ludicrous premise concerning vegetarian goblins (There aren’t any trolls in the movie) and its atrocious acting by everyone involved, but it ends up merely as a generically bad, albeit slightly odder, straight-to-video horror movie. I haven’t seen it and I hopefully never will, but I bet you something like Leprechaun in Space has worse filmmaking and unintentional humor.
Having surpassed the best worst movie midnight screening craze of Plan 9 From Outer Space and Rocky Horror Picture Show (Which is actually not that bad), there are some new movies in town, each one whose fans claim to be the worst movie ever made. But which one is the crowning champion of crap?
Watching Troll 2’s undying fans describe what it feels like to watch Troll 2 in Best Worst Movie, how it looks like it was made by an alien who only had contact with the human race for a couple of hours and was forced to make a movie involving human interaction, or how it is supremely inept at every single aspect of filmmaking, I felt like I was hearing the same words repeatedly applied to my favorite best worst movie of all time, The Room.
There seems to be three contemporary contenders to the best worst movie title these days that still enjoys midnight screenings to this day. Two of these films take place in the Bay Area, my turf. I can’t tell you how much I’m bursting with pride. These three films are Troll 2, Birdemic and of course, The Room.
Troll 2 is the oldest of the bunch, made in 1989 and released straight-to-video in the early 90s, it took a while to attain cult status and became a midnight favorite during the early 2000s.
Like I said, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t deserve the recognition of being considered one of the worst movies ever made because it’s just not bad enough. A small fraction of the filmmaking contains a little of bit of technical competence and even though it has great lines like “You can’t piss on hospitality!”, the overall script is not bad enough.
I’m sure a lot of Troll 2 “fans” would disagree. Maybe I am being too kind to it, but compared to Birdemic and especially The Room, it loses by default.
Birdemic, on the other hand, showcases a true ineptitude in every single aspect of filmmaking and creates the true Best Worst Movie in the horror genre, or attempted horror to be fair. Shot by an IT consultant with $10,000 he probably scraped together from repairing Macbook Pros, Birdemic made it onto the scene in 2008 and quickly became a midnight favorite.
Shot with the competence of a 4-year-old on Valium, it looks and sounds terrible, the actors are borderline mentally challenged (I suspect the lead actor suffers from some form of mental deficiency) and the special effects, oh those special effects… If you ever wanted to see 10 frames of terribly rendered CGI birds endlessly repeated before they dive into the ground and explode for no fucking reason, look no further.
Birdemic is so terrible and incompetent in every way, it takes a lot of balls to call it an actual film. Maybe that’s why it’s not re-watchable, except for certain moments of brilliance, such as the boardroom scene.
Which brings us to The Room, my absolute favorite. What sets The Room apart from the other two is the fact that, unlike all of the other best worst movies in film history, it is not horror or science fiction. It’s a straight indie drama, at least it tries to be.
Also, since it was shot for 6 million, money that came from god-knows-where, it had to have the miniscule amount of technical competence, which makes it that much more fascinating to watch. Every scene, every line in the film is a classic, and to me, it’s still the Citizen Kane of bad movies. It doesn’t get any worse than this.
So I think The Room easily bitch-slaps Troll 2 and Birdemic just in terms of sheel awfulness and endless re-watchability factor. But that’s just my opinion.