Friday, May 21, 2010

Check It. Best Worst Movie at the Nuart [Guest Post].

There are many films that vie for the title of "Worst Movie of All Time:" Manos: The Hands of Fate, Gigli, The Room, and Paul Haggis' Crash (boo!), to name a few. Yet there are a certain number of these films that develop cult followings (I'm looking at you, Battlefield Earth) and raise their status from "leave it in the VCR that you're taking to Goodwill" to "get wasted and watch with friends on low-key Saturday nights." One such film is Troll 2, and the documentary Best Worst Movie is a hilarious and sometimes troubling look at the cult surrounding this unbelievably bad film.

Best Worst Movie is directed by the child star of Troll 2, Michael Stephenson, and documents the film's journey back into popular culture after its straight-to-video release in 1990. Starting with a screening at Upright Citizen Brigade's New York theater in 2004, Stephenson follows some of the stars of Troll 2 as they take the film on the road to sold out theater after sold out theater (including our very own Nuart!).

At the center of the film is one-time actor and full-time dentist George Hardy. The father in Troll 2, George now lives in a small southern town, splitting his time between his daughter and his protein shakes. George is a kind, ever-smiling guy who is impossible not to like, laughing his way through Q&As (where he recreates his awful performance on stage for his adoring fans) and proudly boasting to his patients and friends that he was in the "worst movie of all time."

But as the film progresses, you begin to see George fall under the spell of his "celebrity." He even hosts a hometown screening of the film, making the receptionists in his office cold-call patients to ask them to attend. The visits made to some of Troll 2's cast are often sad and always utterly bizarre, and when the Italian director (who still makes films in Italy) and his wife who wrote Troll 2 show up to join in the festivities, things get seriously awkward (and funny!).

But for the most part, the film is hilarious and thoughtful. Though it never fully comprehends why Troll 2 has become such a favorite in the so-bad-it's-good line of filmmaking, the clips that they show sure make it look like a helluva good time.

Judge for yourself at tonight's Nuart midnight screening of Troll 2. Hardy and Stephenson will be there, as well as at the Friday and Saturday screenings of Best Worst Movie. I'd recommend watching Troll 2 before Best Worst Movie, or just check out the excellent "Best of Troll 2" youtube collection below.

Best Worst Movie is showing at the Nuart Theatre, located at 11272 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles, for one week starting tonight.

-- Daren Sprawls
Daren is currently unemployed, and available for birthdays and bar mitzvahs.

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