Directed by John Carl Buechler
There’s a lot of films that are just plain bad. There are a few though that can transcend the steamy birthing pit of awful and become something truly enjoyable. Troll is one such film and it was a distinct pleasure to watch. I felt like the stars had aligned, the tides had synchronized, the rubber band at the crux of the universe had been perfectly tightened. I locked into the Troll mythos and never looked back. This is truly one of the crowning gems of the Empire International catalog.
Troll tells the story of a family moving into a new apartment building. Upon their arrival the young daughter of the clan explores the downstairs laundry room and is accosted by a troll! The troll assumes control of her body and takes her place amongst the family. Immediately it is obvious that she has changed, as she ravenously tears into an open-faced hamburger and then wigs out with the thrill of consuming meat and runs around the entire building screaming, “Ratburgers!” The troll continues its rampage throughout the film, slowly taking over the entire building, one apartment at a time.
Now for those keeping score, this film is directed by FX man and puppeteer, John Carl Buechler. His FX work may not be genre-defining, but his creations are some of my favorite B-movie creature effects. He is also confident and capable behind the camera, allowing me to shut the brain down and have a good time. The acting is passable from all involved, with Phil Fondacaro once again being my favorite. I’ve already talked about how much I enjoy his acting in my Ghoulies II review, so I’ll just say that he steals every scene he’s in with his fine performance. The film also features a number of small roles for otherwise notable people such as Sonny Bono, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & June Lockhart from Lassie and Lost in Space.
Troll sets out to entertain and it wildly succeeds. Like Ghoulies before it, this is horror aimed at the younger crowd, but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable for the whole family. It’s pretty rare to see a horror/fantasy hybrid that manages to pull off both genres successfully, but Troll does it well. For fans of 1980s movies, this is an absolute must.
Come back tomorrow for my review of Dario Argento’s second film, The Cat o’ Nine Tails! I hope it’s as good as his début movie!