John Carl Buechler and Claudio Fragasso (director)
176min approx (length)
08 October 2018 (released)
23 October 2018
Don’t make the mistake in assuming the Trolls of the title are of the cutie-cutie variety, far from it! Yes, in good old Troll tradition these creatures create all sorts of mischief while at the same time transforming hapless human beings into mythical creatures or, in the case of Troll 2, bumping off innocent victims altogether.
UK label Eureka are offering both Troll as well as Troll 2 not only in Blu-ray format but fans of those ‘cult classics’ can get their hands on the Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase. TROLL: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION should delight all those with a taste for horror films so bad they are funny though it should be pointed out that the original Troll is actually rather hilarious whereas Troll 2 is not only utterly unrelated to the original but is simply little more than trash.
TROLL (1986) was directed by John Carl Buechler and concerns the Potter family consisting of Harry Potter Sr. (Michael Moriarty), Harry Potter Jr. (Noah Hathaway), mother Anne (Shelley Hack), and little Wendy Potter (Jenny Beck). Harry Potter? Yes, I know what you’re thinking… Perhaps J.K. Rowling is a secret fan of the movie and somehow felt inspired… something she strongly denies. Well she would, wouldn’t she?
Anyway, said Potter family move into a new apartment block in San Francisco though the only reason we know it’s meant to be San Fran is because during one scene a gigantic screen print of the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen though the movie itself was made in Italy.
Little Wendy and her brother are playing a game of ball when it rolls down the stairs and lands in the basement, with Wendy following in order to retrieve the ball. Suddenly she finds herself attacked by a bizarre looking little creature which is, yes you guessed correctly, a troll though later on we learn that he once was an influential wizard and had himself been transformed. He puts a glowing and strange looking green crystal ring on Wendy’s finger and soon her transformation begins too – not exactly in a physical sense but her behaviour becomes increasingly aggressive, something only her brother seems to notice. Soon, innocent looking Wendy is knocking on the doors of the other tenants to introduce herself and make new friends but low and behold, once inside their apartments Wendy transforms into the hideous gnome from the cellar and proceeds to turn the tenants into otherworldly creatures too, depending on their personalities. Even dorky Peter Dickinson (Sonny Bono from 60’s pop duo Sonny & Cher) can’t escape Wendy/Torok the troll. The fun doesn’t only stop here for the apartments too are transformed into entire fairy realms while Harry Potter Jr. strikes up a friendship with Eunice St. Clair (June Lockhart), another tenant who turns out to be a witch and is in tune with the world of the trolls. Can she stop trolls and fairies from taking over completely? Can she save little Wendy? Tune in on the Troll Channel and find out for yourself! Yes it’s all oh so silly but the special effects (in particular the troll make-up) and the fairy realms look fantastic and it’s great fun to watch. What am I saying, it even has a ‘Troll Symphony’ to offer!
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for TROLL 2 – “Oh my god!” This movie from 1990 was directed by Claudio Fragasso and despite its title is not related to the original TROLL. Here it’s the Waits family led by dad Michael (George Hardy)) who have arranged for a home exchange vacation, with the Waits taking up residence in a farmhouse in the rural farming community of Nilbog (Goblin spelled backwards). The night before the long anticipated holiday, son Joshua (Michael Stephenson) is visited by the ghost of his much-loved and deceased grandpa Seth (Robet Ormsby) who warns that Nilbog is home to vegetarian goblins who plan on transforming the Waits family into plants so they can have a feast. It goes without saying that neither Joshua’s parents nor his annoying sister Holly (Connie McFarland) believe as much as one word – well, would you? Even the green slime on the food their hosts have left for them won’t convince anyone except Josh. Meanwhile, Hollie’s brain-dead boyfriend Elliott (Jason Wright) and his equally brain-dead chums follow the Waits Family on their vacation so that Elliott can prove to Hollie that he cares for her at least as much as he cares for his mates… but it doesn’t long before one of his mates falls victim to local goblin’s queen Creedence Leonore Gielgud (Deborah Reed), a nasty Druid with a habit of turning her victims into plants ready for consumption. Creedence is the only good thing about this dire movie but even her antics don’t save this lamentable Z-flick from being one of the worst horror films ever made. As for the performances… the less said the better! Still, even TROLL 2 has managed to become somewhat of a cult movie over the decades, proving once again that there really is no accounting for taste!