You want to direct a film, something which promotes your ethical convictions while also condemning the unquestioned societal horrors which you are forced to withstand day in, day out. But it’s 1989 and there’s not a half-way in hell that someone is going to watch your radical vegan documentary, let alone fund it. And even if it did get made, the chances of its being critically and commercially successful enough to spread your message and effect change are roughly as realistic as making an intentionally bad film laced with subversive metaphors in line with your abolitionist worldview, and it becoming crowned the worst movie since the dawn on film and going on to become a cult classic with its own dedicated yearly festival. Wait a moment… that’s genius! But why stop there? Why not give the film a misleading title to lure in fans who will flock to the cinemas, believing it to be a much-anticipated sequel?
And that is the thought process which culminated in Troll 2, directed by Claudio Fragasso aka Drake Floyd, the Italian-born mastermind who co-wrote and directed this terrifyingly bad (as in a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes bad) schlock-comedy. Taking the name of an established – albeit similarly poorly rated – film, Troll, with which this movie has nothing to do, and tacking a ‘2’ onto it, Fragasso-Floyd was emulating the old Spaghetti-Western tradition of gaining traction for an awful movie using false advertising.
Goblins are the antagonists of Troll 2, not a troll, nor two trolls either. They are vicious forest-dwelling midgets (picture a Game of Thrones version of Ewoks) that feast on the decaying flesh of any human who has the folly to enter their kingdom of Nilbog (read backwards) and eat their magically delicious plant-based foods. No, not Lucky Charms. When the forbidden fruit has been partaken of, the glutton who nibbled it slowly turns into a gooey Vegemite mass which the goblins can then feast upon. It is their sole sustenance. It is a fair trade: visitors to Nilbog have the opportunity to decline, and if they can’t resist, at least they have one last succulent meal before being taken to the place of endless dreams. They’re quite hospitable, really, these goblins. And you can’t piss on hospitality.
Of course, Fragasso is the ultimate troll (look at the poster up top, that’s a ‘squared’, not a ‘2’ ) and the goblins are not fiendish villains of mythical origin. They are a representation of the cycle of life. And they are, insofar as morality and sustainability go, better than the ‘good guys’. Where the Waits family pollute, consume, and destroy, the goblins protect, create, and recycle. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The body is just a walking conglomeration of nutrients which will be absorbed by the earth once its internodes collapse. Observe one clip here, from the infamous “Oh my God” scene, in which a young man presented with a physical manifestation of the inevitability of his own death and decomposition has a full scale emotional breakdown.
Did you spot the fly crawling up his forehead? That insect was put there on purpose – a premonition of what will happen to him, no matter how hard he screams. Flies will feast. Bacteria will flourish. Nothing will be left untouched. Another character, the Waits daughter, claims to be hungry enough to eat a horse. Observe the subtle insertion of Fragasso’s pro-veganism message, superimposed on the line which she actually says. Evidently what she means is that she could eat as much as a horse; great quantities of wholesome plant foods to provide her with essential vitamins and healthful energy. But she misspoke, because her poor diet of cheese and duck tongues made her brains work bad. As the uploader of this video puts it, this truly is amazing line delivery.
Then come little Joshua Waits’ hallucinations of his Grandpa Seth. Joshua is so feared of death that he finds comfort, as do many children (and adults, come to think of it) in fairytales. Goblins, although nothing more than make-believe, seem somehow more fathomable than the eternal blackness which eventually claims all the living. Joshua’s visions of his dead grandfather reinforce this argument because the boy is so devastated by the loss that he turns to his imagination for solace. Grandpa Seth does not actually enter the physical world; every action Joshua takes throughout the film can be attributed to he and he alone. He ‘saves’ the day by eating a double decker Bologna sandwich, which causes the
trolls goblins to cower in fear, before imploding.
Is it so inconceivable that a child could have packed his own lunch? No, yet many viewers take this as confirmation of his grandpa’s reincarnation. Really, the consumption of this dead animal’s flesh – most likely from a cow slaughtered 10-12 years before the end its natural lifespan – was a means of distraction from his own mortality. They call it shamanism, (or sometimes animaphagy, or endo-cannibalism), the belief in expanding one’s own life essence by tearing into the flesh of another to absorb its power. All nonsense of course, because all it gives you is high cholesterol, digestion problems and, eventually, cancers and arterial blockages. The goblins were lamenting Joshua’s poor dietary decisions and double-standards of morality, for they actually really did care about him, but now they must mourn for another lost soul as does Fragasso-Floyd for our species in its entirety. At the end Joshua’s mum gets eaten. How do you like that, Joshua?
There you have it. Troll 2 is a deliberately bad movie about animals rights and healthy living, confirmed. I leave you now with a clip from Troll 2 featuring a certified-insane patient who turned up on set for filming one day. He’s a true hero of the anti-species-ism front, and an inspiration to us all. Please read some more of my blog afterwards, and share it with your friends also.