How many people can claim they starred in the worst movie ever made? Sure, it’s not
exactly the type of thing to be proud of. In fact, one might feel inclined to run far away
and hide from such infamy. Believe me, I know all about it. Almost twenty-years years
ago I was cast as the child star in the ultra low-budget film Troll 2 (despite that there
wasn’t a single Troll in the movie).
Intended as a horror film, it was indeed frightening but for all of the wrong reasons. Troll
2 haunted me. I’d have nightmares about sweating chlorophyll and being turned into a
tree. As a teenager, classmates would tease me by shouting my infamous Troll 2 lines in
the school hallways, “a double-decker bologna sandwich!”
I would forever be known as the screaming, whining, ten year-old brat who saves his
family by urinating on their dinner…not exactly what you would choose to be
remembered for in life. I hated Troll 2. And I swore that one day I would do everything
in my power to eradicate every copy of this movie.
Then, one day a strange thing happened. Emails began to pour in daily from people
around the world claiming to be “fans” of the movie. Fans mailed photos of their private
dress-up Troll 2 parties, begging me for autographs. Magazines, radio stations and other
various media outlets started contacting me about my role in Troll 2. “This must be some
sort of joke,” I told myself. In a sense, I was right.
Troll 2 was metamorphosing from a low budget horror flop into a laugh-a minute gem of
unintentional comedy. People genuinely love Troll 2 because it makes them laugh over
and over again. Thousands of “twenty-something” aged college kids throughout the
world list Troll 2 amongst their favorite movies on the popular social networking
websites, MySpace and Facebook – Shawshank Redemption, Lost in Translation, Saving
Private Ryan and then… Troll 2! What began as an earnest horror film gone disastrously
wrong has blossomed into a cult classic. How?
One late afternoon in April of 2006, I was driving through the open desert highway on
my way home to Los Angeles. My attention was held captive as I listened to the audio
book titled The Tipping Point in which the author, Malcolm Gladwell presented an
intellectual adventure story that draws from psychology, sociology and epidemiology, and
explains the phenomenon of word of mouth.
Gladwell’s book encompasses the belief that ideas, products, messages and behaviors
spread like viruses do. These “contagious” viruses can reach a tipping point which
Gladwell defines as a sociological term, “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the
boiling point” or… a social epidemic. Social epidemics often behave in very unusual
and counterintuitive ways and through these… societal trends are born.
My jaw dropped open upon realizing that Troll 2’s off-beat, underground popularity was
spreading like an infectious disease and was in its infancy of becoming a social epidemic
– a phenomenon.
The next morning, I awoke and said to myself, “I’m the star of the worst movie ever
made… that’s pretty damn cool.” It was time to embrace Troll 2. And thus, the Troll 2
documentary “Best Worst Movie” was born.
From 2006 to 2009, the production of “Best Worst Movie” has taken our film crew all
around the world. We’ve made new friends and met fans as far away as Budapest,
Hungary. We’ve filmed at more than a dozen sold-out screenings in major cities
throughout the country, we’ve talked with Special Operations Soldiers during a Troll 2
party held in Iraq, and we’ve picked the brain of Troll 2 mastermind and director Claudio
Fragasso while dining on pizza in Rome, Italy. We’ve interviewed the Troll 2 cast and
crew, including my on-screen father, who happens to be one of the most genuine people
you’ll ever meet.
You have to laugh at the curveballs life throws at you. Through a strange twist of irony,
the movie that I ran from for so many years has enabled me to tell the unlikely story of an
“awfully good” movie.