Pike’s Peek: It’s time for Western to experience the best worst movie ever made

Daniel Pike

In the mid-1990s, it appeared with surprising regularity on premium cable channels, albeit in less-than-premium time slots – often at, say, 2 a.m. Saturday on Cinemax, sandwiched between “The Bikini Car Wash Company” and “Buford’s Beach Bunnies.”

Many have seen it. Most have forgotten it. A few recall bits and pieces of it when prodded.

Fewer still are those of us who can’t escape it. We are a secret society, rarely seen. But you will know us by our maniacal reactions to a single word:

Nilbog.

Say it, and we will burst into crazed laughter. We will pump our fists. We will pass around high-fives. We will dance grotesquely. For we have found another.

We have found another who knows that the sellouts can keep “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Labyrinth.” Because we know that there is but one true cult movie, and it is called “Troll 2.”

We have found another who knows that there is bad, there is really bad, there is really bleeping bad, and there is so really bleeping bad it’s good. And then, soaring high in the stratosphere of uncharted ineptitude, there is “Troll 2.”

The movie was filmed on a porno budget, but executed with considerably less skill and artistry than the standard smut flick. Despite its title, “Troll 2” has absolutely no discernible connection to the original “Troll.” In fact, there are no trolls in it at all – only “goblins” portrayed by little people wearing rubber masks and what appear to be burlap sacks.

It’s an absurd amalgamation of strategic urination, bologna, a disturbing rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” chlorophyll, a pestering dead grandparent, Stonehenge and a strangely pro-vegetarian agenda. Its non-acting ranges from histrionic to corpse-like. It’s all shaky camerawork, ludicrous dialogue and careless editing.

Still, due to its oppressive foulness, “Troll 2” unfolds with unsettling grandeur, gradually overpowering your ability to make fun of it.

The most wildly nonsensical scene, in which an ancient Druid sorceress descends upon an RV to seduce a teenage boy with an ear of corn, is buried two-thirds of the way in, and it settles softly into your liquefied brain.

By that time you’ve surrendered the capacity for rational thought, so the end of the sequence – the sorceress, her lips inexplicably sheared off, shrieks at her reflection in the RV’s rearview mirror – feels like a natural plot progression.

After a worn-out VHS copy of the movie mysteriously disappeared from the Blockbuster Video in Glasgow a year or so ago, I feared I’d never see “Troll 2” again.

But last week MGM gave it new life, packaging both “Troll” installments onto one cheapo DVD.

So when the Herald vacuumed under the couch cushions and produced my paycheck on Friday, I made a beeline to Best Buy and forked over a substantial portion of my earnings for a new copy.

The “Troll 2” experience on DVD was astounding – matted widescreen! glorious mono audio! -?and an idea was born.

It occurred to me that most of this year’s freshman class was about 6 years old when “Troll 2” was released. They were around 11 when the film vanished from cable. Much of the tail end of my generation may never be exposed to this dubious classic, and I’m losing sleep over it.

That’s why the Campus Activities Board must add “Troll 2” to this semester’s Movie Night schedule. I don’t care how -?dump another film, create an extra night – as long as it is done.

This isn’t only for the youngsters. The movie is ranked No. 4 on the Internet Movie Database’s list of the 100 worst films of all time -?though it should be higher – and it ought to be required viewing for film studies minors, English majors and performing arts majors. It offers a gold mine of material for discussions and written responses; after all, sometimes you’ve got to know how not to do something before you can do it well.

I’m deadly serious about this. I’m officially offering my DVD for CAB’s use – if the board accepts, I will devote a future column to advertising the showing. I promise I will attend, and I’m confident there are several other Nilboggians lurking on this campus who will join me.

This must happen. The very prospect of introducing someone to the joys of “Troll 2” is cause for crazed laughter, pumping fists and high-fiving.

I’ll try hard not to dance grotesquely, but I’m making no guarantees.

Daniel Pike is the Herald features editor and a senior print journalism major from Glasgow. His column appears on Thursdays. Reach him at [email protected]