Documentary filmmaking relies a lot on luck: Will the people you interview behave in strange and interesting ways? Will something happen in the course of your filming that will add drama, or create a narrative? Will your mom’s checking account have enough cash in it to pay for some time in an editing suite? In Best Worst Movie
, director Michael Stephenson gets plenty of such luck, mostly because he picked the perfect topic: the movie Troll 2
, sometimes called the worst film ever made. Having starred in Troll 2
as a 12-year-old in 1990, Stephenson rounds up some old cast members, finds the egomaniacal and delusional writer/director, and tours the country trying to figure out why and how bad can be good. The answers come from the odd assemblage of talents involved in the film; they show that rough edges and bad ideas often make for more entertaining cinema than a thousand focus groups and $100 million worth of blue aliens, boy wizards, teen vampires and high-heeled colonialists.
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'Best Worst Movie' entertains—and makes one think about the nature of art