“I won’t allow it!”
Bad movies are something of a common occurrence. Some fade away into nothingness (as they should), while most get sent up to the Satellite of Love for some questionable experiments. Very few find a cult following, but are forever inducted in the “it’s so bad it’s awesome” hall of fame. Troll 2 happens to be the mother of all awesomely bad movies.
If you’re not familiar with Troll 2, it’s okay. Not a lot of people are. The story is so damn confusing that even those who starred in it have a hard time explaining it, but I’m willing to give it a try. The Waits family is planning a vacation to the town of “Nilbog”, a quaint little out of the way place. Yet young Joshua has been getting warnings from his dead Grandpa Seth that the place is crawling with goblins, and that they should take their vacation elsewhere. Thinking his son is just imagining these visits from Grandpa Seth, dad Michael takes the family anyway and we are taken on a complicated adventure of goblins, witchcraft, and vegetarianism.
Twenty two years after its initial release, Troll 2 has found a massive cult following. This following is so big that Michael Stephenson (who played Joshua in the film) took it upon himself to make a documentary about it. It’s called Best Worst Movie and it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.
I was able to catch up with actor/professional dentist George Hardy on the phone this afternoon. Even though I interrupted his shopping for game-day munchings, George put down the chips to answer a few questions for this dedicated Nilbogian. Get ready to tighten your belt by one loop, because here we go:
First, and foremost, what inspired you to become a dentist?
Oh wow, well, when I was in high school I was involved with a lot of art and did a lot of painting, and enjoyed the sciences as well. I wanted to try and find a way to combine the two and dentistry was it.
Was it difficult shooting the film while trying to fight gingivitis at the same time?
You know, it was not too bad. When they told me that I’d gotten the part for Troll 2, I panicked. I wondered how I could juggle acting and being a dentist. But I would do dentistry for a few days, then go shoot for a few days, then go back and do dentistry, then go back and shoot.
Have you ever had a patient come to see you just so he could say he had his teeth worked on by the dad from Troll 2?
haha Yeah, yes, a few times. In fact, one time about 10 guys from Auburn made a road trip just to see me, and that’s a 45 minute drive.
I think he was so direct with his intentions on how he wanted the scenes to be. He’s Italian. But the language barrier was the hardest part.
If you were the one in the director’s chair, what things would you have done differently?
I would’ve added more interpreters. Everything was so rudimentary (the writing and such) so it was hard to know what was going on.
If it came down to blows, who do you think would win in an all out brawl: Grandpa Seth or The Drugstore Owner?
I’d say Grandpa Seth would end up winning. He’s got the powers of good on his side.
What is your fondest memory from Troll 2?
I think what I really enjoyed the most was going out and filming in Heber City, Utah in the house where the seance was held. Having 5 day old pizza wasn’t fun, course it was good on the first two days haha.
Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow Troll 2 cast members?
With best worst movie of course haha.
Have you sat down for a viewing of “The Best Worst Movie” yet?
50 to 300 times, yeah haha.
Do you feel you get recognized more often now because of The Best Worst Movie?
Yeah yeah I have. I was in Birmingham this week and I was in a sandwich shop and someone came up to me and wanted an autograph.
Have you seen any movies that you felt were on the same level as Troll 2 in that same “it’s awesome because it’s so bad” kind of way?
I’d have to say that scene in Tarzan with Bo Derek when she eats a banana was pretty bad.
I know you’re not a fan of horror movies, mostly because of your brutally honest opinions in The Best Worst Movie. But would you ever consider doing another convention?
eehh I kinda doubt I ever would, it’s not really for me.
Are there any projects you are currently working on?
Right now my daughter Lilly and I are in a film called Junk, and the girlfriend from The Room and I are filming Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws.
We at RBM would like to send George our deepest thanks. He is one of the most genuine, friendly, and kind people I have ever had the pleasure of talking with, and I do hope I get to meet him in person at a future Troll 2 viewing. In the mean time, I suggest you all watch Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie if you haven’t’ already. Also, make sure you send George a happy hello over on Facebook. Don’t forget to look for Junk and Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws as well.