Okay, so my title is facetious, but know this: I am very close to enjoying Claudio Fragasso’s Troll 2 unironically, and it’s beginning to scare me. Start with the basic premise of the film. Obviously, a cheesy horror flick can go in about a million directions. It could involve a family starting a home-based cafe that becomes a murder den. You could have trucks and appliances springing to like (Maximum Overdrive-style), or how about just a rabid frickin’ dog (a la Cujo). Well, “Troll 2” is a dumb lil’ movie about city folk who want to experience country life, so they do a home exchange vacation with a family from the community if Nibog. And yes, “Nilbog” is “Goblin” backwards!

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait? Goblin? I thought this movie was about trolls!?” Believe me, we’ve all been there if we’ve seen this movie. However, as the inanity and insanity ensue, you’ll probably stop caring as much about this quaint deviation. Frankly, this clumsy classic is crammed with quaint deviations, so it’s hard to focus on just one!

Don’t Wait! Meet the Waits

The Waits family seems normal enough at first, but there’s something bubbling beneath. You see Michael (George Hardy) and Diana Waits (Margo Prey), a married couple looking to experience a brief excursion into farm life. Of course, the couple’s marriage begins to crumble as the bizarre events of Troll 2 unfold, it seems there’s a serious argument between them just around the corner. This is usually triggered by their son, Joshua (Michael Stephenson), who’s learned from the ghost of his Grandpa Seth (Robert Ormsby) that those pesky Goblins are out to poison his family (who hasn’t been there before, am I right?).

Basically, Josh ends up trying to prevent them from eating anything during their stay in Nilbog, which makes him both a nuisance and a lifesaver.
While this is a silly-billy movie by any sane standard, there are moments where it is vaguely serious. There are times where Josh seems deeply despondent (well, to the extent that child acting in a cheesy movie can convey it).

Also, much like a similarly panned-yet-classic movie Children of the Corn, there’s a sense of feeling alienated while in another town, and like the outsiders cannot trust anyone who offers to help them. While that hardly makes the movie deep, it is evidence that there actually is something there, whatever “there” ultimately is.

The Cheesy Wondrous Monsters of “Troll 2”

Honestly, no review can truly do this movie justice, whether trying to praise its eccentricity or heap piles of scorn onto it. It’s just a devastating, cheesy thrill ride, thanks to the intense overacting and the heavy doses of WTF moments. I could spend a full month examining every nook and cranny of Troll 2, but I’d probably end up in a psychiatric facility, so I’ll spare myself that level of treatment. Suffice it to say that Troll 2 will forever be remembered most for two key performances: Deborah Reed as Creedence Leonore Gielgud and Darren Ewing as Arnold.

Reed and Ewing are absolute rockstars for these performances. Due to performances such as theirs, Troll 2 somehow lumbers along at a breakneck pace. Yes, this movie somehow manages too slowly ooze along, while somehow hypnotizing some viewers like a bonafide action epic. The silliness helps you better appreciate this winding road of twisted vegetarian ethos, and you’ll become enamored as the goblins attack Joshua, his parents, and your goddamn consciousness (though you probably won’t be rendered comatose). You’ll risk being enamored with Josh who, along with his whole family, is at serious risk of consuming poisonous, green-tainted food!

Written by Rossella Drudi and Claudio Fragasso, you’ll ponder the nature of Stonehenge. You’ll marvel at goblins-as-troll-substitutes, human meat as vegetable substitute, human-to-tree transformations, and the seductive powers of corn. You’ll ask why Joshua’s sister (Connie McFarland) dances so oddly, and also why only Joshua is so attuned to their poisonous environment (why doesn’t grandpa just warn the entire family about the dreaded goblins?!).

In any case, there is always a new thing to be afraid of in Nilbog, and the mostly hapless humans are always expecting something other than what’s really there. Also, trust me when I say unto you: After you’ve seen Troll 2, you will not look at corncobs the same way again. And remember, you can’t piss on hospitality!

What are your thoughts on the bizarre journey that is Troll 2? Veg out in the comments!

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Wade Wanio is an author.

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