A Day with George Hardy from Troll 2: Prologue

I often talk about how my own sense of nostalgia gives certain stupid things a pass.

Troll 2 is not one of those things.

Because it is totally bitchin. Without any nostalgia, or irony, or anything else like that.

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I saw the first Troll movie when it came out. That would be 1986. Well, I saw it on home video when I went over to a friend’s house who had a betamax and had Troll and Red Dawn on beta. In fact, it may have been the first movie I ever saw on home video (it’s a contender with Red Dawn and Clash of the Titans, both of which I still love. Apparently there’s a Red Dawn remake coming out, which is stupid).

Come closer and allow me to stick you with my ring that has a concealed weapon inside of it that will turn you into a cucumber.

Looking back on it now, Troll was either made for kids or for people on a permanent acid trip, because I don’t remember having any trouble understanding it back then. A story about an apartment complex where a troll has moved in and is poking people with a ring that turns them into cucumbers. That made perfect sense to me when I was 10.

Plus, I think it turns out that the ultimate goal of the troll isn’t entirely evil: he basically wants to turn the earth into fairyland… starting with this apartment building. Not a bad deal if you ask me, plus as a 10-year-old, having the world turn into fairyland meant no school!

Troll and House (also 1986, clearly a magical year for quality cinema) were my first exposure to horror, not counting Scooby-Doo, and I loved it (as a side note, for those of you snickering at me for calling Scooby-Doo horror, there is an episode of the Scoob that I still cannot watch. “The Diabolical Disc Demon”. Watch it yourself, if you don’t believe me. It is terrifying.). It wasn’t until my parents let me watch the first Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) that I lost any sleep because of something I watched.

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I don’t specifically remember the first time I saw Troll 2 (1990), but I distinctly remember this vhs case:

do what???

Let us have a little look-see at this cover, shall we?

First off, this kid is not even in the movie Troll 2.

The tagline, “It horrifies you in your sleep, and haunts you for life” makes absolutely zero sense. I don’t know what qualifies trolls as the “original boogeyman”, but I guess they are, so it’s a good thing that the family in Troll 2 faces goblins, and not the “boogeymen” trolls.

And the troll looks like a werewolf… with an axe… and really short legs.

I’m fairly certain that, as a now 13-year-old, that I had to beg my mom to rent it for me. And it must not have made much of an impression, because I didn’t remember anything about it until I picked this up, mostly to relive my memories of Troll 1.

late night double feature picture show

I first watched Troll 2, as an adult, merely out of curiosity after buying the double feature. I wasn’t too keen on watching it, but felt like it was a waste of money to have a film and not watch it, at least once.

Operating under the assumption that anyone reading this post has already seen Troll 2, I’ll just say that I was perplexed, rather than go into all the how’s and why’s of Troll 2’s greatness.

It’s hard to say what makes a “bad” movie. To me, Troll 2 is infinitely greater than most of the movies at the theatre these days. I would take Troll 2 over anything by Michael Bay anyday, and say, with all seriousness, that it is genuinely a better movie.

That said, Troll 2 is a perennial contender for “worst movie of all time”. Duking it out on the frontlines of the imdb rankings with such worthy opponents as “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and its more contemporary rival, “The Room”, Troll 2 seems to outshine them all, due in no small part to this movie:

a fitting title, if ever there was one.

As I said in the caption, Troll 2 is truly the best of the worst. I love Plan 9, truly (though as mentioned before, Bride of the Monster is my favorite Ed Wood popcorn chomper), but it at least makes sense. Aliens want to resurrect the dead to keep Earth from discovering a bomb that can explode sunlight.

Troll 2? Goblins, in human form for some reason, are vegetarians, and thus they must turn humans into vegetables before they can eat them. The writer describes it as political/social commentary or something like that. Nonsensical rubbish, no matter how you look at it.

In fact, that makes it sound more logical than it really is.

But to get back to how I wound up spending a full day with George Hardy, arguably the star of this masterpiece, it really goes back to my friend “Ralph” (name changed to protect the innocent).

Ralph is probably the biggest fan of Troll 2 that I have ever met, and he is the person responsible for telling me to go back and watch Troll 2 with my adult eyes, and see it for the work of art that it truly is.

It wasn’t long after watching it again, and discussing it with Ralph, that the documentary “Best Worst Movie” was billed to come to a local theatre, complete with a post-film, Skype-powered, Q&A with none other than George Hardy.

I was sitting in the movie, enjoying every second of it, when it is revealed that George Hardy went to Auburn University (the same school I went to). Not only that, but he was a cheerleader!!!!

I described it later as “a bomb went off in my brain”.

Why? Because one of my best friends of all time runs the website The War Eagle Reader, which has a column entitled “Tiger Pause” (clever), whose tagline is “tracking Auburn in pop culture”. Basically, this column is all about finding references to Auburn University in all sorts of media, no matter how obscure.

I had just finished writing a piece for the Tiger Pause column about Swamp Thing 2 (I interviewed a kid who wore an Auburn tshirt in the film).

Obviously, the fact that George Hardy went to Auburn, and was a frackin’ cheerleader, was just about the most prime material for Tiger Pause that I ever could have imagined in my wildest imaginings.

I wasted no time in calling my friend, “Dude. You have to see a movie called ‘Best Worst Movie.'”

It was not long after that that I was headed to Auburn with a copy of Troll 2 and a copy of Best Worst Movie on dvd (which had coincidentally come out on dvd the day I left for Auburn).

My friend had gotten in touch with George Hardy and we were going to meet him.

The stars aligned, Auburn won a football National Championship, and we spent a day with the man himself, George Hardy.

Our plan was to do a huge George Hardy article for the Tiger Pause column, but it never really materialized because this was around the time that AU football really took off, so TWER was busy covering all that. Then, you know how it is, the longer we went without doing it, the harder it was to get it done.

So I’ve been sitting on this interview, these pictures, and tiny snippets of video (like the one below) for like 2 years…

 

Up next! the day that we spent with George! Stay tuned!

 

 

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This entry was posted in About Me, About Media, General dorky shit, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Day with George Hardy from Troll 2: Prologue

  1. Jeremy Henderson says:

    You can’t just tease your readers—I WON’T ALLOW IT. More, mofo!

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