Wade on Birmingham

Sidewalk 2009: Horror plus time equals comedy


Movie review: ‘Best Worst Movie’

By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: The documentary “Best Worst Movie” provides a good look at how an unintentionally bad movie gets made.

Best Worst Movie

A scene from “Best Worst Movie.”

We’ve all seen bad movies. Once in a while, though, you’ll find a movie that takes bad to its logical conclusion, passes it, loops back on itself and becomes entertaining in its awfulness, like the horror flick “Troll 2.”

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalA documentary goes one step further. “Best Worst Movie” looks at the making of “Troll 2” and the camp celebrations and fandom that have sprung up around the unapologetically bad movie.

“Best Worst Movie” opens the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival tonight.

Director Michael Paul Stephenson, who played the lead role in “Troll 2,” focuses on the major players of the cast and crew, including director Claudio Fragasso, writer Rossella Drudi and Alexander City native George Hardy.

“Troll 2” — which, coincidentally, isn’t a sequel to “Troll” and doesn’t even feature any trolls — has spawned conventions, viewing parties and fan gatherings.

What emerges is a group of people best known for one of the worst movies ever made and their reactions to the growing fandom. (Novice filmmakers: Rejoice in the fact that you’ve probably made better movies for less money. There’s hope yet.)

Some of them have continued making movies or acting, while others have disappeared from the public eye altogether.

Most interesting, perhaps, is Hardy, the small-town dentist. Watching his earnest excitement grow and fall at being involved with “Troll 2” is somewhat charming, especially if you’ve ever known anyone who had a brief brush with fame.

Will he continue acting, or stick with his dental practice? Will fame go to his head, or can he remain an humble Alabama boy?

Watching “Best Worst Movie” is kind of meta. (I’m fairly certain that with some “Troll 2” cast and crew in attendance to watch themselves watching themselves, we will all fall through the rabbit hole that becomes an actual rip in the space-time continuum.)

Still, it’s a good look at what is becoming a cult classic, from the inside out, looking back.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”).

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“Best Worst Movie” will screen at 8 tonight at the Alabama Theatre.

Video: Trailer for “Best Worst Movie”

Video: “Troll 2” director Claudio Fragasso
discusses the audience’s reaction.


• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

1 Yip for “Sidewalk 2009: Horror plus time equals comedy”

  1. Wade on Birmingham » Blog Archive » The everything-must-go end-of-September blowout
    Friday, September 25, 2009, 12:48 pm

    […] Sidewalk 2009: Horror plus time equals comedy […]

Leave a Yip

Subscribe without commenting