This week, with Lynnette here to visit, I finally succeeded in inflicting my current favorite movie ever upon the last family holdout: we made Eve watch Troll 2. I’m pleased to say that she enjoyed it much more than she expected; she was still talking about the infamous and inexplicable popcorn scene the next day. Most of the other ZDs were able to experience this steaming pile of cinema at Christmas, after Lynnette helpfully gave it to me for my birthday, a decision which she has only had occasion to regret two or three times since. Ziff and his kids saw it shortly thereafter, while Lynnette was visiting them. (I believe my sister-in-law abstained, as did Eve’s husband. I can’t fathom their sad choice to remain in cinematical darkness, but I respect their agency.) One nephew apparently asked gleefully, “Is this supposed to be scary? I’ve seen comedies that were scarier than this!” while the other got on to his mom’s Netflix account to give it zero stars.
My roommates and boyfriend first encountered this sublime catastrophe last October, one evening while I was distracted with something trivial like work or grading. Twenty minutes in, the plot took such a ridiculous turn that they felt they couldn’t keep watching until I could watch with them; truly this was the most devout marker of friendship I’ve ever known. We watched it together on Halloween, and felt the spirit (perhaps of Ed Wood?) whisper to us that this was truly, astoundingly, the worst movie ever made. I’ve never doubted it since.
I’ve seen it five times now, always with at least one new viewer: friends, neighbors, and family members have all heard the message of Troll 2 through me. Some ZDs (Kiskilili — or maybe she just liked the Amazon reviews) seem to have appreciated it more than others (Lady Amalthea, who still puts her fingers in her ears whenever it comes up). A few friends were lukewarm in their reception, while others organized a Troll 2 party to induct others. But at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve done my part. It turns out I’m a much better missionary of Troll 2 than I was a missionary of the gospel. I’m not sure what to make of that, but I do know that, from the stilted, unnatural script, to the trying-way-too-hard acting, to the plot that almost makes sense some of them time, to the electrified-aerobics-workout soundtrack, to the Walmart-clearance goblin masks, I love this movie with every fiber of my being.
I encourage all of our readers to gather their families, load up Troll 2 on Netflix streaming, and just let the shock and awe wash over you. Don’t forget the popcorn.