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Dec 08

Troll

trollGenre: Fantasy
Year: 1986
Country: USA

Director: John Carl Buechler
Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck, Sonny Bono

 

Apartment for rent. Inquire within…

 

Harry Potter (no, not that one) and his family is moving into a new apartment building that is filled with eccentric weirdos. The apartment got a witch, a sleazy 70’s swinger and an evil troll that is out to take over the building by turning the humans into fellow troll monsters.

The first victim of the troll is Harry’s little sister Wendy who is exploring the laundry room when the troll appears and uses his magic ring to make her disappear and make himself looking like the young girl. He then plays the part of a very spoiled brat who runs all over the place and has a good taste for hamburgers. Harry finds out that there are trolls in the building and that they are the reason for his sister acting up, but the only one who believes him is Eunice, the witch in the upper floor. She gives him the basics of magic that might help him succeed in fighting off the trolls and saving his family.

Troll is… a weird one. It’s a crappy movie, but it’s still kind of fun and filled with charm. It’s also basically a horror movie for kids and it would be appropriately scary for a 7-10 year old who would probably love it and remember it for years. And before anyone says that horror is not for children, this is scary in the same way that Disney movies are scary.

Let’s see if I’m able to summarize what we get in this movie. We get a main character named Harry Potter, made before the more famous Potter movies. It deals a lot with magic, so perhaps J.K. Rowlings, the author of Harry Potter saw this once, but more likely it’s a weird coincidence. We also get a singing scene with all the trolls, a midget shows up, people turn into plants, there’s a talking mushroom and Julia Louis-Dreyfus dances naked covered in ivy leaves. This stuff must be written by someone on experimental drugs.

The movie is produced by Charles and Albert Band with their Empire Pictures company, basically the company Band had before creating Full Moon. It’s got the same fun style that a lot of Full Moon movies have and also neat troll puppets that also is typical of Full Moon and Charles Band. The director of this is John Carl Buechler, who has done a lot of special effects and has also directed Friday the 13TH 7: The New Blood, Ghoulies 3 and a few other films. I’m not sure if I should call his work here good or not, I guess it all depends on what they where trying to accomplish with this before filming. He did make it entertaining, unintentionally or not.

The cast is also weirdly put together here. Michael Moriarty (Q, Law & Order) is an award-winning actor and I’m surprised that he ended up in this film. Weirder is perhaps the fact that Sonny Bono shows up as the sleazy neighbor. The former Charlie’s Angel Shelley Hack plays Mrs. Potter, and Noah Hathaway plays Harry Potter. He had done some TV work, including Battlestar Galactica before this one, but didn’t become a big actor after Troll. He is signed up to star in the remake of this, which has been in the works for a few years.

Troll is one of those strange movies that no one would probably love, but most want to see at least once. It’s not a good movie, but it’s a “good bad one”. I do think it’s a great one for kids, and perhaps for adults who are under the influence of a lot of alcohol.

 

 ★★½☆☆ 

 

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