Raquel, Please Come Back

So. After The Kid With The Golden Arm, Dave decided that he was ready to hurt us, by which I mean he was also drunk enough to not mind too terribly much when the stray shrapnel from his offering hit his chair. And I have to admit that this time he was prepared, for his choice was the infamous Troll 2.

The first remarkable thing about Troll 2 is that the original Troll apparently made enough money to warrant a movie attempting to piggyback on its “success”. The second remarkable thing is common knowledge: there are no actual trolls in Troll 2; they’re all identified as goblins, though one or two have a superficial resemblance to the title character of the first movie.

So this suburban family is taking a vacation by swapping houses with another family for a week. The other family in question live in a town called Nilbog, which is, of course, Spanish for “spider”. Haha, I am kidding of course, Nilbog is actually German for “witch”. Hoho, fooled you again, Nilbog spelled backward is actually “Natures”. No, no, I’m having you on, Nilbog spelled backward is Goblin.

And it takes seeing a street sign backward to cue the kid main character in to that fact. He would also likely be stumped by the genteel foreign chap wearing a cape whose name is “Alucard”. This is the same kid who keeps talking to his dead grandfather, who is apparently also not so good at reversing odd-looking names but knows a hell of a lot about goblins. For instance, if you eat goblin food, you turn into a human-vegetable hybrid, which the goblins will then eat.

There are two incredible acting jobs in Troll 2. One is the store keeper, Don Packard, who looks like Ernest’s more intense older brother. Seems the guy was actually in and out of mental institutions, and when he saw the finished movie, verified that during his scenes he was not having a good day, if you catch my drift.

The other is Deborah Reed as the Goblin Queen, who, in her guise as Hell Librarian, effects the most amazing pseudo-Romanian accent that DRRRRRRRRRRAAAWS out EVVVERRRRRRRRRRRRRY THIRRRRRRRD WORRRRRRRRRRRRD or so. She also turns into a way uglier version and, at one point, into a corn cob wielding hottie. Really.

There is apparently a robust fan community for Troll 2, one big enough to support the making of a documentary, Best Worst Movie:

Well, all you folks who babble about how Troll 2 is the worst movie ever? You are a bunch of fucking dilettantes. Oh, it’s not good by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, anyone who comes to me sniveling about how Tron: Legacy or The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is “the worst movie ever made” is going to be strapped in a chair and forced to watch a double feature of Troll 2 and Dondi. I am the goddamn bad movie cenobite, and I have such sights to show you, asshole.

Well, I touched a nerve there, didn’t I? I always knew that some day I was going to have to watch Troll 2, and now I have. Not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, by any stretch. But it is amazingly bad.

At this point, as we have come to expect, Paul and Alan wussed out and left. Leaving just me, Rick and the two Daves. Ergo, it was time to watch something with female nudity in it, so we could abuse the two wusses with that knowledge later. We eventually caved to Rick’s whinings and put in my shiny new disc from Warner Archives (a company formed solely to vacuum money out of my wallet): Pretty Maids All In A Row.

My sweet lord.

A major flop in 1971, this sometimes known as the movie that killed Roger Vadim’s career (although Vadim himself seemed unaware of that). Hell of an odd pedigree: Produced and written by Gene Roddenberry. Rock Hudson is a high school guidance counselor/football coach/former football star who seems to spend most of his time screwing the female population of the high school, when he’s not manipulating a new teacher (the ever-toothsome Angie Dickenson) into deflowering his protegé, who most of the time seems to be the only male student in Awesome High School.

The plot gets under way when one of the cheerleaders shows up dead in the boy’s restroom, to be followed by two more in rapid succession. It’s pretty common knowledge among filmgoers that Hudson’s character is the killer – hell, it’s right there in the poster- which is something a pre-Kojak Telly Savalas can’t prove, but the incompetent Sheriff (and Corrupt Authority Figure) Keenan Wynn seems to know, but the coach is just too valuable to arrest.

This is jet-black comedy, the free love movement of the late 60s taken to a ludicrous extreme, violating the taboo against teacher-student sex, and violating it hard. Vadim makes sure every girl in the school wears short-shorts and mini-dresses, and damn few bras. Not only would this movie not be made today, it couldn’t be made today.

As Rick said afterwards, “There are immoral movies and there are amoral movies – and that had to be one of the most totally amoral movies I have ever seen.”

Well, there’s not much I can add to that. Except I would have totally slept with Angie Dickenson while I was a senior in high school. I’m amoral that way.

6 Comments

  1. You…
    forgot…
    ISIS!

  2. I love your comments re: Troll 2. When I went to see that at one of Boston’s fine rep theaters, the Brattle, I was shocked that so many people were there. To me is was just another amusingly bad movie; but these were true believers. They actually interviewed my friend Bova Fett and I for that documentary, but I assume they didn’t use our footage since we both openly scoffed at the idea that the film was “the worst ever” or even “The Best Worst Movie” ever, and offered alternatives like Massacre Mafia Style and Skullduggery.

  3. As Yes, it’s Dave points out, I did indeed forget Isis. Which is weird, as while I was roughing out this entry in my head this morning, she was certainly in there.

    What Yes It’s Dave is referring to is JoAnna Cameron. one of the Pretty Maids and number two on Mr. Hudson’s hit list, went on to portray the title character in TV’s Secrets of Isis, which apparently meant the same thing to a young Dave as Raquel! meant to a young me.At least judging from the shrieks of, “Look! It’s Isis!”

  4. And Mort? You dare to have a differing opinion from the one the documentary director demanded? You… you iconoclast!

    • We were really hoping we’d make the cut, especially as I made them wait while I put on my top hat and cape, put in my monocle and got out my cane.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Professor Mortis, Freeman Williams. Freeman Williams said: BLOG Raquel, Please Come Back http://wp.me/pW9Gs-ls […]


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