Starring in a bad movie is a hurdle any good actor can get over. George Clooney has gone on to greater things since Batman & Robin and even though Ben Affleck and the phrase "good actor" are two very questionable things when put together in the same sentence, he still has managed to keep his career since Gigli. Both these actors have even gone on to become pretty decent directors themselves. Unfortunately for first time actors who are average everyday people without millions of dollars already, you're pretty much forever screwed to a life of obscurity... Or are you?
Best Worst Movie is a documentary that follows the lives of the stars of a notoriously bad movie from 1990 called Troll 2. More specifically the cameras remain fixated on the film's most recognizable actor George Hardy who is not an actor working in the industry at all, but is a dentist from Alabama who just auditioned for the movie on his day off and got the part. You would think that after the movie went no where, Hardy would return to a normal peaceful life of drilling cavities and reminding kids to floss without ever having to hear about Troll 2 ever again, but that's not what happens. Surprisingly enough, the movie is rediscovered over a decade later on DVD and is made popular by fans who find enjoyment in watching bad movies and like them for being... well, for being bad of course. Hardy is suddenly thrown into the limelight when him and his co-stars who he hasn't seen or talked to since the film are invited to a screening of Troll 2 in New York City. From then on, a movie he was once embarrassed about every time it was brought up by friends or family becomes a moment in his life he takes great pride in. Can a movie really be all that bad when hundreds of people around the country love to watch it and laugh at it? For Hardy, it no longer matters what makes a good movie and what makes a bad one; with all the fans and attention he is getting now after spending 15 years of his life peacefully hiding from this film, who cares? When people love you now for it and you're able to make a name for yourself from it, you're willing to embrace that moment in your life and stop being embarrassed, for the sake of not wanting to return to a normal life where nobody outside your hometown knows who you are.
This new path to fame however takes Hardy and his former co-stars on a strange path that not only takes them to film screenings with crazed fans who have Troll 2 tattoos, but also to Sci-Fi expos and horror movie conventions where Hardy learns that not everyone is going to take a liking to his film. He even meets other obscure actors from old movies like Nightmare on Elm Street part 5 who are still mooching off any remaining fame they might have had from several years ago when they first starred in their movies. Suddenly meeting these people makes him think that being in Troll 2 all those years ago doesn't seem to be as big of a deal as he thought it was, and maybe being a dentist is more important than all this.
The documentary's other most fascinating character is the director of Troll 2 himself, Claudio Fragasso who still barley speaks any English since he first came from Italy to America to direct the film. It is shocking to see how this man has no idea that the movie he made is bad as he speaks passionately about the themes and motifs that only he seems to be able to pick out in the film. Its actually comical for us to see that he's not in on the joke that everyone else is in on, but it is also sad to see a man who put so much passion into making the best movie he could fail miserably and attend his own movie screening where the audience laughs at all the wrong moments that weren't meant to be funny, but at the same time cheer him on for reasons he can't understand. Unlike Hardy, Claudio's willingness to embrace the fact that people enjoy his movie for being bad is not so easy.
Best Worst Movie is a documentary with a sense of humor but at the same time is able to find a deeper meaning behind all the laughs without nailing it in too hard. This is a great film that I would especially recommend to anyone who is thinking of working their way into the film industry as either an actor or filmmaker because it offers a few lessons on how there will be many hurdles to overcome and perhaps a movie or two you won't be willing to put on your resume. Even if you haven't seen Troll 2 prior to watching this, you can still have an easy time following along with the characters behind the movie, but I can guarantee you you'll be wanting to rush out and get Troll 2 the moment you're done watching this.
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