IFFBoston Movie Review: Best Worst Movie

bestworstmovie

About twenty years ago, director Claudio Fragasso and his wife, screenwriter Rossella Druti, ventured into the pleasant rural community of Morgan, Utah, to make a horror thriller that would be remembered forever. They unquestionably succeeded, but not in the way they had originally planned. Since its release, Troll 2 has frequently been regarded as the worst movie ever made. It’s difficult for those who have never seen the film to comprehend the sheer terribleness of filmmaking on display, so here’s a great montage of the film’s “best” moments for the uninitiated [WARNING: Video is NSFW]:

Normally, a film this bad would vanish into the ether (AKA your local Wal-Mart bargain bin) never to be seen or heard from again, but in the ensuing decades, Troll 2 has inexplicably found a devoted cult following. Director Michael Stephenson, who plays the painfully annoying lead boy character Joshua Waits in Troll 2, has spent most of his life trying to escape from the shadow of the film. But in Best Worst Movie, which recently screened at Independent Film Festival Boston (and will be screening tonight and this weekend at HotDocs in Toronto), Stephenson turns the camera on himself and tracks down the actors from the film to investigate the phenomenon of Troll 2. The results are exciting and funny, but also tinged with sadness. In any case, Best Worst Movie is a great documentary, a must-see for those who are Troll 2 fans (and if you’re not in the latter category, I would recommend you see Troll 2 first to truly grasp its greatness). In creating this film, Stephenson has truly broken out as an exciting new filmmaker.
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In 1989, unwitting Utah actors starred in the undisputed Worst Movie in History: TROLL 2. Two decades later, Michael Paul Stephenson, the legendarily inept film’s child star unravels the improbable, heartfelt story of an Alabama dentist-turned-cult movie icon and an Italian filmmaker who come to terms with this genuine, internationally revered cinematic failure.

This is the plot synopsis for the documentary Best Worst Movie, which is an official selection of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival. I’ve always loved the concept of fandom, especially when groups of people come together in appreciation of something that is so bad that it is fun. This film looks like a absolute blast. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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