The “Best Worst Movie” is a documentary about the making of the film “Troll 2” (1990) and how it went from being named the “worst film of all time” to a widely popular cult classic. It was made by Michael Paul Stephenson who was a child actor in the film itself. The documentary mainly follows dentist-by-day George Hardy who became a cult star due to the sudden popularity of “Troll 2” in the past few years, 20 years after the film was originally released with little response.
Whilst I have not seen “Troll 2” the documentary tells basically all you need to know about it to fully enjoy this strange cult classic phenomena. Directed by Italian filmmaker Claudio Fragasso, the film was originally titled “Goblin” But was then changed to “Troll 2” to give it more comercial value despite having no connection to “Troll” (1986) and not even mentioning the word “Troll” throughout the film. From the clips shown in the documentary the film looks hilariously bad. From the acting to the costumes even the plot line and dialogue. None of it connected, and none of it making any sense.
The documentary is a great look into the making of a cult classic. It reiterates many times that “Troll 2” is a bad film, and there’s no reason that it should be this popular. But somehow it is. I think there’s something very interesting about what attracts people to genuinely bad films, there’s obvious aspects such as comedy and making fun but what’s different about a bad film in comparison to say a bad novel is that dozens of people were involved in the making of it. This isn’t just one persons creation, lots of people came together and created something terrible. Which possibly just adds to the hilarity of the concept of bad films.
There are points in the doumentary that do make you feel bad for all the laughing. Most of the actors in the film have never worked again, there is even one point in which Connie Young who played the daughter in “Troll 2” knows that if at an audition someone recognises her from “Troll 2” she knows she is not getting the part. That must definitely be a frustrating thing for her to be haunted by a role she played 20 years ago when she was a teenager. Not to mention that the director, Claudio Fragasso completely believes that he made a good film. As someone who wants to make films I did sympathise with him, it must be difficult for your project to be laughed at when you truly believed in it.
All in all, I did thoroughly enjoy the documentary. It was funny, thoughtful and interesting. I recommend!
Naked Debate+Blurred Lines
Last night I attended “The Naked Debate” which discussed the issues surrounding Page 3 in The Sun newspaper. The debate was about whether this page consisting of topless women should be allowed to still be printed in this day and age. The founder of the “No More Page Three” campaign; Lucy Holmes was present to give her argument against the use of Page 3.
The night consisted of four people; Phil Ives, a writer for “The Knowledge” and Charlie Green, the Vice President of the SU for Plymouth University giving their argument in favour of Page 3 followed by the Women’s Rep for Plymouth University (Jessica Horner) and Lucy Holmes giving the opposite view. Lucy Holmes’ speech was a particular highlight as she was particularly articulate and passionate on the subject (as you would expect from the founder!). Upon entering the debate you had the opportunity to mark whether you were for or against page 3, this was repeated at the end to see if the debate had changed anyone’s minds. I, however am 100% against Page 3 and my mind did not change throughout the process. The results will be posted online within the week, it will be interesting to see the results. All in all, “The Naked Debate” was incredibly interesting and though provoking whilst being a great platform to see both sides of the argument.
Interestingly, the same night the documentary “Blurred Lines” was aired on BBC Two. (It’s still on iplayer if you’re interested!) The documentary hosted by Kirsty Wark explores our culture showing how acceptable it is to show women in a sexually explicit and often abusive way in the media and whether the internet has made this behaviour more socially acceptable by blurring the lines of what is “casual banter” and what is serious sexism and misogyny posing as a joke. Throughout the hour Kirsty Wark covered a lot of issues surround this topic, often not having an in depth discussion about each of the areas but I feel that the point of this was to show a much broader view of how wide spread this issue is in our culture. The angle of the documentary was very much about how our culture says “anything goes” and if you’re offended you simply don’t have a sense of humour. The documentary raised a lot of interesting points on both sides of the argument in relation to online and offline misogyny and it worth a watch if you can.
It’s hard to remember what started the fad of 3D films again. It was probably James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ that started the trend “Must See in 3D” which you can now see at the bottom of many film posters.
3D was a huge novelty in the 1950s; films such as Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” were released in 3D even though Hitchcock himself was dismissive of 3D, calling it “a nine-day wonder, and I came in on the ninth day”. 3D films quickly subsided when the novelty wore off just like it is starting to now. However, most films released now still have the option of seeing it in 3D unnecessarily such as Disney’s “Frozen” and “The Lego Movie”. Furthermore, some old films are re-released in 3D such as “Beauty in the Beast”, “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Titanic”. My question is most of the time, why bother?
Even flicking through Empire Magazine’s “20 Best 3D films” I agree with very few that it was worth seeing them in 3D at all.
Although it may have died down a bit in cinemas the 3D trend has spread to our TVs and I just can’t see the fascination with it.
I feel like it very rarely adds a new layer of depth to the film (With exceptions such as “Gravity”) and can often make special effects look less realistic.
Also, when Filmmakers use the cliche trick of having objects ‘fly off the screen into the audience’ I think it can actually take you out of your engagement with a film rather than engrossing you further.
Obviously there are good aspects of 3D technology such as stated by a study done by Mindlab who found that people are 7% more attentive watching films in 3D than they would in 2D.
“3D is a fully immsersive format, increasing engagement in viewers. The fact that subjects were witnessed as having increased eye movement and head movement is testament to this. The 3D technology draws attention to peripheral images on the screen and, coupled with Blu-ray quality definition, it is able to deliver footage that increases engagement and emotional response over all the formats”. – Mindlab’s Duncan Smith
However all in all, I think most 3D films are not worth spending the extra money for.