Troll: Complete Blu-ray Collection

Monday, 24 September 2018 11:37

Eureka Entertainment’s Blu-ray box set contains “Troll”, “Troll 2” and “Best Worst Movie”, a documentary about the making of the second film. The set is a serious contender for the oddest release ever, not least because “Troll” and “Troll 2” are completely unrelated films. Banding them together almost seems unfair, but I am not sure which film is more hard done by – the 80s VHS schlock horror or the allegedly ‘so bad it is good’ sequel.

Troll - The Complete Blu-ray Collection

In “Troll”, the Potter family move into an apartment block beset by a magical troll whose devious plan is to turn every tenant into a bizarre, sprouting jungle infested by demonic creatures. “Troll 2” tells the tale of the Waits’ family’s move to a place in the country, only to discover that the entire town is occupied by goblins who trick people into eating contaminated green food that turns the consumer into gunky goblin food.

“Troll” in particular was released in an era when an eye-catching VHS case was enough to lure video store customers into taking a punt on an unknown film, before the age of IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Despite some mixed acting, I enjoyed it a lot. The simple story has some coherence, the solid physical effects hark back to the likes of “Gremlins” and the characters are mostly entertaining. Director John Carl Buechler specialism is effects work so it plays to his strengths.

Michael Moriarty (“Pale Rider”, Law & Order) stars as Harry Potter Sr (yes, really), with June Lockhart (Lost in Space, Lassie) as a friendly witch who helps tackle the pesky creature. It is the two Potter kids who feature most: Harry Jr. as the boy who knows something is up but of course nobody will believe him (Noah Hathaway – “The NeverEnding Story”, original Battlestar Galactica), and Wendy Anne (Jenny Beck – original V, “Tightrope”) who is body-swapped by the troll and creates all kinds of high-jinks.

Despite being the inferior film (by a long shot in my view), “Troll 2” will probably be the bigger attraction because of its Ed Wood/Uwe Boll-esque bragging rights as one of the worst films ever created. I cannot deny that it is truly derisory, featuring shockingly bad acting, nonsensical plotting, terrible special effects and barely any likeable characters.

Having only viewed the film once, I find myself sitting on the fence as to whether it really is in the ‘so poor it is worth repeat watching’ category. I can see why it has become a cult film, especially in the USA where special screenings and conventions seem to draw in hundreds (if the included documentary is anything to go by).

The movie shares similarly camp, laughable or outlandish qualities to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, albeit on a lesser scale, and many fans love to celebrate the rank underdog, those down-trodden releases that nobody else will give the time of day. After all, cosplay, acting out the dialogue and sporting t-shirts with iconic imagery or phrases, in this case ‘Goblin’ and ‘Nilbog’ (the name of the town and ‘goblin’ in reverse) at conventions and screenings can be a lot of fun (I should know!).

I would certainly counsel against watching “Troll 2” sober and before the night draws in, and if you must, please watch it with friends or partners who share a love of creature features, especially bad ones!

Finally, the documentary “Best Worst Movie” (ironically, easily the box set’s highest scoring content on IMDb) is a true love-letter to the second picture, directed by Michael Paul Stephenson who played the little boy in the film. Most of the cast seem genuinely moved by the fan affection they witness, many years after the flick’s original release.

Later on in the documentary, the Italian director Claudio Fragasso is featured but as one would expect, he is less enamoured by the cast’s tales of not having a clue what was going on, and more by the attention the film attracts. There are some touching moments in the film, as well as some uncomfortable encounters with one or two of the cast that possibly should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Special Features are as follows:

  • Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring artwork by Devon Whitehead
  • 1080p presentation of “Troll”, “Troll 2” and for the first time ever on Blu-ray, “Best Worst Movie”
  • DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio on “Troll” and “Best Worst Movie”, with LPCM mono audio on “Troll 2”
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for “Troll” and “Troll 2”
  • “The Making of Troll” (50 mins) - featuring director John Carl Buechler, producer Charles Band, Writer Ed Naha, composer Richard Band and more
  • Feature length audio commentary on “Troll 2” with Actors George Hardy and Deborah Reed
  • “Best Worst Movie” - over an hour of deleted scenes and interview footage not included in the final cut of the documentary
  • Interview with “Troll 2”’s Goblin Queen, Deborah Reed
  • Screenwriting Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, Michael Stephenson and George Hardy (audio only - 81 mins)
  • Fan contributions
  • Monstrous - Music Video by ECOMOG
  • A limited edition collector’s booklet featuring rare archival material

The high-definition picture quality is extremely good, perhaps an unwise undertaking in the case of “Troll 2”!

“Troll: The Complete Collection” (1986-2009) is released on 8 October 2018 on Blu-ray, courtesy of Eureka Entertainment Ltd. The 2-disc set has a running time of 269 minutes approx., carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £19.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com BY CLICKING HERE.

 

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