Tag Archives: Mussolini

Troll 2: The Worst Movie Ever Made

This is not a horror movie. This is misleading.

This is not an understatement. Troll 2 is considered one of the worst movies ever made. This is so true that because the movie is so bad, it has created a cult following of fans who watch the movie much the same way Rocky Horror Picture Show is done, minus the nudity and horrifying aspects. (Or whatever goes on there…) There’s no true way to talk about this movie, and I would recommend watching the documentary Best Worst Movie immediately after. It’ll open your eyes to just how unprepared people were for this movie to meet their eyes and ears.

To try to convey how strange this movie is, let’s talk about the fact that the director, an Italian man named Claudio Fragasso, didn’t understand exactly what he was trying to do with this movie. He and his wife, Rosella Drudi, wrote the script for this movie, without understanding much English. This leads to the language barrier and the fact that most of the lines in the film aren’t natural things people would say. For example, “You don’t piss on hospitality!” Or the creepy singing of Row Row Row Your Boat in a car trip on the way to Nilbog. Figure that one out.

With an all Italian crew and actors picked off the street like vagrants, the shopkeep in particular is actually a crazed man. No one had any idea what they were doing, and, in true Mussolini fashion, the Fragasso ordered the actors to do the script as he had written it. This leaves plot holes and some of the strangest scenes I’ve ever witnessed to be shown onscreen. There’s a sex scene with popcorn, a creepy molesting grandpa with the ability to save the family, and one of the strangest 80’s workout dances I’ve ever seen. Also, if you’re dad is a hardass, he’ll cut your boyfriend’s little balls off, and eat them. Some of these lines will stick with me forever. And haunt me.

Ah, the Trolls!…

It’s not to say I don’t see the appeal of a film like this for a cult audience. There are a lot of elements, like The Room, that would contribute to a lot of memorable moments in this film. And there are. What’s funny, coupled with the documentary, is a few of these actors have gone on to try other things, but it hasn’t necessarily worked out for them as they thought it would. Just look at Michael Stephenson, the child star of the film playing Joshua. He’s a cute kid and all, but his career was killed at this point. He did make a great documentary though. I commend him for that and would love to show him my appreciation in a future review on the topic.

But this film goes way out there with a lot of elements. George Hardy plays the typical Nuclear Age father with a bit of a bite to him, and I thought he was one of the more refined actors in the film, with no prior acting experience. His segment of the documentary is great, and well worth the watch. His lines are strange and zany, and left me laughing quite a bit. If only this movie had been registered as a comedy… There’s Margo Prey as the wife and mother, Diana. She’s a wonderfully kind and quiet woman, but she seems to be in some sort of daze in this film. It’s as if she has no idea what’s going on… I felt quite sorry for her and her situation though. She keeps to herself and that should be respected.

Look at that delicious icing pie!

Other than that, there are quite a few memorable lines by the secondary cast of the movie, mainly the boys who follow Holly (Connie McFarland) the daughter of the family. These boys never leave Elliot (Jason Wright) and he never wants to leave them. It leads to their downfall.

And what is that downfall you may ask? It’s that the goblins of this little podunk, country bumpkin town are attempting a house swap, and use the newly found humans as their food. The encourage them to eat this Hook inspired gobbledygook in order to become plants that they can feed on. I was the tiniest bit impressed by some of the makeup effects in the film, and found it to be quite entertaining watching some of the characters turn into plants. (This movie also contains what is considered one of the worst delivered lines in the film of all time. You’ll see.)

There are no words.

This movie, if you have a sense of humor about bad films, will keep you laughing all the way through. There is some ridiculous and absurd crap that gets tossed around like a monkey on speed. You’ll enjoy it thoroughly and maybe it’ll become one of your favorite films to pop in for you and your friends when it comes down to testing that friendship. Who knows? All I know is this movie is worth checking out as the all time worst movie of all time forever and always. Rating it as the worst film, it gets a 10 out of 10. As a normal rating, I’d give it a 1.1 out of 10. Work them Trolls, I mean Goblins (who have nothing to do with this film or its unrelated prequel.)

 

And here’s that scene I was talking about…

 

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La Vita e Bella: Life is Beautiful

This movie has been a personal favorite of mine. It’s touching and heartwarming nature, despite the context and parts of the film, have made it a classic since the day it came out (December of 1997 to be exact). Pulling off the feeling of being filmed at the time of the content’s occurrance, this atypical film about the Holocaust and its effect on a recently formed and loving family reshapes just exactly what the years of WWII were. And I would argue, for the purpose of this film at least, that despite all the death and destruction, there was an underlying element of hope.

There are two halves to this movie. Sorta like Hostel. Not one parts boobs and one part blood (not to degrade this film to a horror movie, as good as that horror movie may have been for the genre). This particular movie is one part love and whimsy and one part survival and protection. Directed, written, and starring who I would consider to be the

Greatest family of all time? Yes.

greatest foreign actor of all time, Roberto Benigni, comes a movie that holds within it just what it means to be a decent human being in a time of great struggle. Begnini plays Guido Orefice, a peasantly and pleasantly kind and funny man out to make his way in Italy. He finds love, adventure, and the courage to do for his son what I imagine would be the hardest thing on Earth.

Ahhhh, true love of the silver screen.

Let’s start with the beginning of the movie to keep it light. Guido comes to meet this beautiful girl while travelling with his friend. This brings about one of the greatest lines of all time. “Buongiorno Principessa!” Upon every time that Guido runs into the love of his life Dora (Nicoletta Braschi, his actual wife) he utters this phrase, surprising her and sweeping her off her feet with love. Eventually, through his slapstick-like antics, he goes out of his way to encounter Dora and steal her from the stiff and businesslike man who has been arranged to marry her.

A wonderful duo.

I have to say that I love these opening scenes in this movie. With the first 50 minutes of the film comes some of the best crafted scenes of chance and happenstance that I’ve seen in any similarly styled movie. Convincing an Italian government man to eat what someone else didn’t want, attending the school in which Dora works by impersonating that man, and mesmerising Dora with all the things that happen on their romantic date in the rain is just straight out of the older films of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. By even evoking this style comes a sort of magic you wouldn’t expect from a movie of the 90’s.

And then comes the turn. Happily married, Guido, Dora, and their small

A father who will do anything for his son.

wonderful child Giosue (Joshua, performed by Giorgio Cantarini) live happily in a fantastic old mansion of Guido’s uncle’s. In the rising regime of the Italians comes Mussolini and his sympathies and alliances with Hitler. What does that mean exactly? That means the persecution of Jews. Guido, a Jew himself is hauled off one day with Giosue and his uncle. Being the person that he is and the fun and laughable father that every child would need at Giosue’s age, Guido comes up with the idea to shield his son from what is actually going on around him in the Italian Axis Nazi camp.

The ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout the second half of the movie, there is still humor. There is still love felt between Dora and Guido and the son they have raised. But there is a looming danger of death around any corner. Giosue must hide at all times from the German guards in order to avoid the gas chambers that eliminate the young and elderly. Guido must perform hard labor in the yards with next to no food, water, or rest. And yet, every day Guido comes to find some way to describe their experience in this concentration camp as a game. A game, that, if won, will bring the winner a tank. Through every loving action of his father, Giosue comes to realize, as an adult we never actually see, that his father made the ultimate sacrifice in order to save him and his mother.

This is wonderful to know. Life truly is beautiful.

With a heartbreakingly sad scene towards the end, you still see Guido shining until the very end. Guido and Giosue are never in pain, never upset, never crying or despairing over their situation. Despite what every viewer of this movie knows about the Holocaust and what could happen to any of these characters, you have this hope for them that they will make it out. And, if not, you realize just how amazing of a dad that Guido truly is. If I had to give him a level of Dad Points for this film, he would set the high for it. Let’s see:

In the course of this film he:

1. Finds love and creates a child.

2. Cares for that child so deeply that he will do anything in order to make his son’s life better and despair free.

3. Sacrifices his life in order to save his son’s and his wife’s.

4. His son remembers the sacrifice his father gave and is forever indebted to him.

5. Guido as a dad was just to legit to quit.

You bring together all of these elements and you have a Dad that gives a million and one percent. For sure. And, told in one of the most amazingly

Buongiorno Principessa!

heartfelt and romantic ways possible for any film of this genre, and you have made a classic ahead of its time. I am in love with this film. Its title truly does justice to what the aim of this film was. Life is Beautiful. So appreciate it while you have it and know that with the love and life you put into it, great things can come of it. 10 out of 10.