‘Best Worst Movie’: So Bad it’s Good?

“Best Worst Movie” is a new documentary about one of the worst movies ever made: Troll 2. This particular 1990 movie has achieved cult status due in large part to the qualities that cause it to rate as one of the worst films ever produced. The movie review website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 0% freshness rating (a rating that indicates terrible reviews across the board).

In a recent New York Times article documentary director Michael Paul Stephenson, who was 10 years old when he starred in Troll 2, claims that the cult following of the movie shows that despite the bad reviews the film is valued. Stephenson acknowledges that as a movie it was a complete failure “The acting – we were horrible. The directing, the writing, special effects. But it did not fail to leave an impression.” He also acknowledges that the movie doesn’t live up to its narrative or aesthetic goals. Nevertheless “Twenty years later you have hundreds of kids coming to a theatre to have a shared communal experience. How many films, really, would kill for something like that?”

The director of Troll 2, Claudio Fragasso has a different view of the quality of the movie. Fragasso claims that “In Italy you need to die before people can really admit that your movie was good. In America people can change their mind and then appreciate the movie.”

So how do we make sense of these differing interpretations of the movie? Continue reading “‘Best Worst Movie’: So Bad it’s Good?”