The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got.



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First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Troll 2 (1990)


I have been meaning to get to this one for a long time, and I knew my buddy had it on VHS, but it was in storage or something, and I just forgot about it. Then I found out it was on Watch Instantly, but I realized that I was nearing my 600th post, and figured this would be perfect for it. Troll 2 is a camp horror classic, at least in my eyes, in the same sentence as Bad Taste or Street Trash-- maybe just a notch below Evil Dead 2. Absolutely great stuff, and it's a travesty that it's taken me until post 600 to make it happen, but as we in The Biz say, "better late than never!" Also, Mr. Gable's Reality did a great post on this recently which you should definitely check out. He included video clips of some of the more memorable scenes.

Troll 2 is actually not about trolls, but goblins. It centers around Joshua, a young boy whose dead grandfather reads to him about the creepy creatures. The kid's inept father signs the family up for some country bumpkin exchange program, where his family lets a farm family live in their house, while they live out on the farm. The farm is located in the small village of Nilbog... duh duh daaaah! As Joshua's dead grandfather comes back from the grave to try and warn Joshua of the impending doom his father is sending them to, Joshua has to convince his family that he's not crazy, before the goblins turn them into plants and eat them.


This is one the best bad movie night films ever. This is what you came for: bad acting, script that wasn't proofread, hilarious villains, it's all there. Load up the beer or soft drinks and other assorted junk foods, and have at it. I mean, I don't know where to begin with how awesome this is. Let's start with the name: Troll 2-- only there aren't any trolls, they're goblins! Then you have this kid's dad, who is either whining or aggressively overbearing, yet always poorly acted; or the grandfather, who also whines, kind of looks like Ernest Hemingway, and has all sorts of weird powers, the least of which is coming back from the dead. There's also the popcorn sex scene, the girl who decks her boyfriend because he hangs out with his friends too much, the mom who often has zero expression and seems hellbent on becoming goblin food, or the Elvira wannabe who is all hopped up on overacting pills. That doesn't even touch the people who turn into trees, or the line "you don't piss on hospitality". No sir, you do not.

This film celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, and it's only gotten better with age. You can keep your Saw 33 1/3 or Hostel Part Deux, but I like my horror campy and gory. I mean, I've seen those other movies, and they're just as dumb, if not dumber, and what's worse, they take themselves so much more seriously than the awesomeness that we have here. Hey, if people like that other kind of brutal horror, by all means, take it, and put it in 3-D for all I care, I'll stick with my Troll 2.


According to imdb, this is number 62 on their Bottom 100. I believe that makes the sixth film on that list that we've covered, the others being Pocket Ninjas (8), Simon Sez (80), Battlefield Earth (84), American Ninja V (88), and Alien From L.A. (97) (as an aside, Fat Slags is also in their, a Dolph Lundgren film from England that we haven't done...). It seems like we should've done more of those here at the DTVC, doesn't it?

There really is nothing like watching a film with a script that wasn't proofread. Sometimes words and terms are repeated in the same sentence, sometimes words are used that are so unnatural-- "what if my dad discovers you up here?"--, and then there's my personal favorite, when items are referenced incorrectly. In this you had two kids running from the goblins, and they come across a church, which in the original script was just a house, and they didn't change it after they scouted the location, so the kids say "let's hide in this house." Later, in an even funnier attempt to rectify this error, one of the townsfolk refers to it as "the old church that's now a house." Just more of why I think this movie is so awesome.


Troll 2 is chock full of product placement. As a sports geek, I love all the vintage pennants and posters on the kid's wall, especially the Daryl Strawberry one. No Boston teams though, which was a bit of a downer. Also, the kid rocks a G.I. Joe shirt, while his sister has a Garfield zodiac night shirt, Aries, with Garfield sporting a couple horns. There's also a too sweet Batman poster, from the Tim Burton movie, in the kid's room. My personal fave was this Johnny Depp poster his sister had. There was also a Tom Cruise one. It was a reminder to us that there are real actors out there, just not in this movie.

I watched this for the review on Netflix Watch Instantly, but they don't have it available on DVD to rent. Also, Amazon has it every way imaginable to buy, from VHS all the way to Blu-Ray. I know there's a trend in the low-budget movie watching community to get gems like these on VHS, as a form of nostalgia, and I can't think of a better movie to do that with than this one. Get the crew together, load up on the booze and junk food, and let 'er rip. Troll 2 is the reason why you have bad movie night.

For more info:


  1. An insanely bad movie....
    Excellent review!

  2. I'm gonna use my Mortal Kombat II analogy again. This movie is perfect for both the novice and the experienced. This is the Liu Kang of Bad Movie cheese.

    One thing that you forget to mention is the scene where Elliot is actually in bed with one of his friends shirtless. To make things even more ambiguous, the daughter says "You take your friends to bed with you and I don't do group sex" (It could've been threesomes she said) Making this even more WTFiness(As in what the fuckiness)

    Um, did sour milk actually have any effect and why was it all that was sold? Uh, the mother who seems pickled and a witch who just overacts beyond redemption.

    A classic flick. Hilarious and perfect like any cheese classic should be.

    This is up there with R.O.T.O.R, American Kickboxer 2 and Undefeatable.

  3. That's a great analogy, the Liu Kang of bad movies, because it is in that category. Really, too, you can be as active or as passive as you want in watching it, because it's so bad often all you need to do is laugh.

    The two shirtless guys sharing a bed was another excellent one, along with the "I don't do group sex". From start to finish, this film didn't quit. The milk thing was great too, because it was like "do you want them to drink it, because you know it's all chunky, right?", but I think the guys making the movie were like "oh yeah, make the milk all chunky and stuff, that'll be great!" The kitchen sink approach is always great, just ask PM Entertainment.

  4. Congrats on the 600th post! Troll 2 is classic bad film-making.


  5. Thanks man! Yeah, 600 is a lot. Let's hope I can keep the train moving for another 600!...

  6. This movie is amazing. And if you get it on bluray...I hear the transfer is REALLY GOOD.

    I love this movie. Actually...I love introducing this movie to people. It seems every 10 minutes when something awesome is about to happen I'll look over to them and say, "Get ready to laugh."

    And each time I watch it, I find something new that I missed before. So much badness for one movie. It just never ends!

    And the general store owner...what an amazing man. He's crazy...literally!

    Everyone should watch this movie. And then they should watch the documentary about it, Best Worst Movie, which I can personally vouch for as being a VERY GOOD movie.

    And I watched an interview recently with a guy that's working on Troll 2 Part 2. The guys that played Joshua and his dad will be in it. Except the dad is playing some meat market guy. So that movie is about meat I guess...instead of plants. I can only imagine...

    But filming is supposed to start this 3D. Wow. Can you believe that?

    I love Claudio Fragrasso. Please search for another of his films (written by him...and starring him) on youtube called Robowar. It's really really hard to find but the entire thing is on youtube. Watch it. I promise you will not be disappointed.

    It's like watching Predator. But made by the Troll 2 people.

  7. And I forgot to mention that Troll 3 is on Netflix Instant Watch. It's like Troll 2 in the way that is has absolutely nothing to do with the previous films...actually its about killer plants.

    It's called Contamination .7 on Netflix. The first hour is watchable...but more story. Some killing. It's worth it though for the last half hour.

    Pure bad movie gold. The helicopter scene is second to none. You can read the review on my blog. And see the helicopter scene.

    Like I always say, "Get ready to laugh."

  8. Troll 2 Part 2 sounds amazing, I can't wait to see it. I'll also check out Troll 3 on Watch Instantly soon, and the documentary sounds great too. This movie is one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

    As far as Robowar goes, Mr. Sutekh at Explosive Action actually sent me a copy, and I've seen it, I just haven't gotten around to reviewing it yet. It was amazing though, I love Reb Brown, and you're not the first person to mention it, so I should probably get it reviewed sooner rather than later. Maybe the week after this one.

  9. Troll 3 was also released as The Crawlers on VHS. Troll 2 is amazingly great in terms of bad movies. Great review.