Schlock Value, Issue #4: Troll (1986)
Charles Band has given us some pure gems over the decades, funnelling schlock flavoured turds through a gold plated trash compactor and spitting out deep fried genius on a silver plater for us all to sup from. This is far, far, faaaar from the last film with the Band brand that you’ll see on this blog. The architect of the Puppetmaster franchise is getting ready to bless the world with Evil Bong 666 as we speak (the 6th sequel to Evil Bong, or 7th…or 8th, if you count the Gingerdead Man cross over flicks). But if we take a moment to step into the way back machine, the dude produced a certified gem of concentrated trash a ways back. While connected to the most championed best of the worse films of all time; is itself a slice of deep fried what-the-fuck-ery.
Oh glorious readers, dark denizens of the dumb and dreadful; I gift to thee, the unappreciated bastard father of no blood relation to the most celebrated slice of corn filled shit (that joke will make sense when you see the sequel). This is Troll…
Once upon a time, Harry Potter (not THAT one, but fuck me is the film a gazillion times better if you pretend it is) and his family move into an apartment complex in the ‘you’re poor and still can’t afford to live here’ side of town. Complete with an eclectic bunch of tenants, from the guy upstairs who can’t help but announcing his need to nail the one night stand game like it’s a medal of honour (which would be a more nobel quest if not for the fact that the building looks three dead bodies in the hallway and a chalk outline away from being a fledgeling crack den in the making and the kind of business he’d be able to pull there probably costs by the hour…*wink*), there’s the over excitable ex-marine with a jogging fetish, and then there’s Julia Louise-Dreyfus and her perpetually red faced husband. Hardy-ha! Oh what goofy fun. Not long after moving in — get this — the nine year old daughter is lured into the basement of the building — hold on — by a Troll — wait for it — and then the Troll totally grab her and forces himself…in-inside…her, uh, her…body…
…oh…what goofy fun.
Calm down, the Troll just traps her soul in the gaudy plastic, $2 vending machine ring it wears and then magics itself to look like Little Girl Potter, but on the page that sounded dark as fuck, right?
To be fair though, there’s a metric fuck tonne of odd sexual innuendo throughout the film, and it’s not all kosher. After becoming the most progressive Troll in all of history not named Caitlyn, Little Girl Potter Troll runs riot on the family, from scoffing down burgers and drooling green ooze (a sight not questioned by mother nor father (yay, parenting)) to throwing her/it’s twice as tall brother across the room like it/she’s a second from growing a moustache, tearing off its shirt and calling everyone ‘brother’ (yeah…’vitamins’…sure they were, Hulkster). After laying the Smacketh Down on Bitch Boy Potters bitch ass arse, Little Girl Potter Troll talks a stroll upstairs to chill in Porn Staches sex dung- I mean, swingers pad. C’mon guys, having a little girl take a seat right on the couch where Porn Stache just tried to molest a woman into morning sex isn’t very Christian, now is it…I mean…the kids a girl after all — *ZIIIIING*.
Shit gets weird as fuck when Little Girl Potter Troll magics away its skin suit and jabs Porn Stache in the neck with its ring needle thingy and turns the walking sexual harassment lawsuit into what can only be described as a giant, pulsating, green, fleshy vagina…thing…that splits open and spews vines and tree shit all over the apartment.
…seriously though…the fuck!?
Not weird enough for ya? The fucking forest spewing vagina then goes and births a whole mess of mangled looking Troll babies that look like someone replaced a jar of playdoe with dog plop and gave it to a six year old to craft a mess of nightmare fuel bog monsters. It’s weird as fuck. This movie, is fucking weird as fuck. Fuck.
I would love, absolutely LOVE to wake up one morning and hear on the news that some kid looking to spend an evening watching that new Trolls movie with all the not quite Disney singing and not close to Pixar dancing and whatnot, wound up with a copy of this nasty little gem in their christmas stocking instead. Who need wide eyed, big haired cuddle creatures to send you to bed when you can doze of with visions of these visiting your dreams…
The bad Jim Henson acid trip continues with Little Girl Potter Troll going from door to door and turning each tenant into human fertiliser for its ever expanding family of slimy green vagina forest monsters. That is until it/she meets, Malcolm, who…would you fucking believe it…is a dwarf. Not a mystical dwarf, just your stock standard little person dwarf. A movie about little troll monsters and they chuck a dwarf character in there. Put your hands together everyone, for the slowest of slow claps.
Little Girl Potter Troll befriends Dwarf Man…because…y’know…they have so much in common. It/she even invites the littl — *ahem* — she invites the vertical specially challenged fellow to dinner with the family, who seem waaaaay more concerned with the fact that he’s a little dude and not that in the space of twelve hours befriended some random ass guy off the street, invited him to dinner and touched him gentle as they hugged. But sure, the guys height is the real concern here…priorities.
I…really need to stop for a second and make sure you fully comprehend just how weird this film is. Every next scene somehow takes it up a notch. From a musical number by the troll babies hiding out in the apartment complex while Dwarf Man recites a fairy prayer at the dinner table, to our would be hero Bitch Boy Potter confiding in the worldly old woman upstairs — Miss St. Claire (who as a living mushroom creature that used to be human and now lives in a pot plant on her desk) that he has no friends here (dude, it’s been all of a day, pull it the fuck together) and his sister’s acting strange (seriously, High School dating’s gonna lay him out, run him the fuck over, and drag his mangled body kicking and screaming up the road). There’s a near full minute break at one point so the sweat box father can dance like someone went and strung up a balding, mid-life crisis marionette puppet and slid the other end of the wires across a car battery.
Did I mention that Little Girl Potter Troll goes and turns Julia Louise-Dreyfus into its smoking hot, flower haired, pet pixie who dances and giggles like LSD Barbie at her first trip to Ibiza? Cause that shit happens too.
Oh, also, that old woman upstairs? Turns out she’s a witch from way back when. She’s kind of a gate keeper, holding back the terrors of the trolls from taking over the world. Y’know, just old woman shit.
She and Bitch Boy Potter take up arms and concoct a plan to save their little strip of 8-Mile from the Trolls…but not before taking a solid five minutes to sit over a cuppa tea so Miss St. Clair can break out a big ass story book and literally explain the whole contrived backstory that both the audience has either already figured out and the film doesn’t really need. But hey, you do you, it’s not like there’s literally minutes left until the trolls have enough power to fuck major shit up or anything like that. It’s not like in the last scene you explained the stakes only to SIT THE FUCK DOWN FOR A CHILL LITTLE STORYBOOK SESSION IN THE MIDDLE OF A CLIMACTIC TROLL APOCALYPSE!!!
…I’m good now.
Side note. In the story that St. Clair tells old mate Bitch Boy Potter; she mentions that his little sister is still alive because the leader of the trolls — the one who took her captive — will make her princess of the fairies…or trolls…they jump around a lot when it comes to what they’re called (and don’t get me started on the sequel…christ!) So she’s gonna be the princess…as in…his princess…y’know, this movie’s already gone to some pretty bad places and touched one too many of its n0-no spots, you can see where this is going. Aaaaaaanyway…
Y’know in every 90’s teen movie where the ugly girl lets her hair down and she’s instantly hot? Yeah, St. Clair does that and literally turns back the clock about 30 years. Seriously, completely different actress. I guess they needed sex appeal in there somewhere, and if rumours are true Julia Louise-Dreyfus was none too pleased with being it, or in the film for that matter. So why not turn the eighty year old biddy up stairs into a hot thirty year old math teacher. Go nuts. It doesn’t matter anyway, she gets turned into a talking pot plant five minutes later (I’ve honestly stopped questioning anything that happens from here on out — this shit it whacked, yo!)
Bitch Boy Potter goes and puts his big boy pants on and while passersby look on as the whole apartment building goes and grows long green tentacles like someone poured liquid Japanese on it, he busts into the Troll world, fights a big ass winged troll monster and save his little sister and locks the Troll world behind him as the family drives off into the sunset.
There’s a cliffhanger at the end that leaves it open to a sequel, but…well…I guess you’ll see in the next issue of SV how that all pans out.
Here’s the thing. Troll’s actually, kinda, sorta, maybe a little bit of a twisted, real messed up kids movie. If not for all the touchy-touchy, no means no undertones. It’s goofy as fuck. Beyond goofy actually, it’s straight up touched in the head. It’s the special kind of retarded that you need to be high as fuck to fully appreciate the work of art unfolding before your eyes. Even if you’re not high, you’ll swear you were.
Speaking of high, get ready kids…
In the next shit-tastic issue of Schlock Value, Issue #5: Frankenfish!