Troll Film Details
Overview: A wicked troll king in search of a mystical ring that will transform him to human form invades a San Francisco apartment complex where a powerful witch lives.
Tagline: Worlds of Magic, Mystery and Menace.
Review: Troll is set in San Francisco where Harry (Michael Moriarty) his wife Anne (Shelley Hack) & their two young children Harry Potter Jr. (Noah Hathaway) & Wendy (Jenny Beck) move into a new apartment building. Wendy decides to go play in the basement & is kidnapped by Torok the Troll (Phil Fondacaro) who takes her physical form, Torok the Troll was once a prince who was turned into a Troll & is now using his magical powers to flood the Earth will Trolls in an attempt to rule it… This Canadian American co-production was directed by John Carl Buechler who is also credited with the special effects & was another cheap horror film that Empire Pictures specialised in during the home video boom of the 80’s before they went belly up in the 90’s, founded by Charles & Albert Band they would rip-off various well known films & make cheap horror flicks out of them. With Troll they seem to almost rip themselves off & one of their previous films Ghoulies (1985) which was a big success on video even though it was crap, anyway I quite liked Troll for what it was despite the low IMDb rating & plenty of ‘this is the worst film ever’ type comments & message board threads. The script by Ed Naha who would go on to write the impressive Dolls (1987) for Empire Pictures as well certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously which is a big plus point & if your in the right mood Troll is an enjoyable light hearted fantasy horror flick. There are plenty of ambitious ideas here, witches, living mushrooms, Trolls turning people into pods which then sprout all sorts of Troll foliage, turning individual rooms into Troll forests, magical powers, the end of the world type stuff & it even has Michael Moriarty in a totally bizarre & off the wall dance scene. I mean any film which has a character say ‘your sister isn’t an alien, she’s something much worse’ in a serious tone can’t be all bad, can it? At a little over 80 odd minutes (for some reason the IMDb lists the US version as lasting for 30 minutes!) the film doesn’t mess around & it moves along at a really fast pace which means at the very least it isn’t boring. Special effects man Beuchler does alright in his second directorial effort after another Empire Pictures flick The Dungeonmaster (1985) a poster for which can be seen on Harry Potter’s bedroom wall as well as other posters for Empire Pictures films. Speaking of Harry Potter ones mind instantly turns to the JK Rowling penned books, I suppose it’s a testament to how much the character of Harry Potter has now become part of popular culture & searching through the message boards there are threads which ask if JK Rowling saw Troll & named her hero after the character’s in this, I think I can in all honestly say with complete confidence that she hasn’t seen Troll & if she had why would she have called her hero Harry Potter? It’s an unassuming name & surely she’d have thought of another one, even subconsciously I doubt she’d have wanted anything to connect Troll to her books although the fact Troll does contain magic, witches, sorcerers, goblins & monsters does make one think. To get a family friendly rating Troll isn’t violent or gory, there’s a slightly gross scene of someone changing into a green pod but otherwise there isn’t a single drop of blood in the entire film. Technically the film is alright, it’s reasonably well made with some decent special effects from ugly looking Trolls to animated plant vines to large monsters to a few basic but functional optical effects. Although set in America Troll was actually shot in Italy & I am almost certain I read an interview somewhere in which Michael Moriarty only agreed to make Troll because he wanted a free holiday in Italy as he’d never been there before. The acting is OK, Moriarty is good, one time husband of Cher the late Sonny Bono has a small cameo while Julia Louis-Dreyfus who appeared in over 170 episodes of Seinfeld (1990 – 1998) makes her screen debut here. Troll is one of those film that you’ll either love or hate, I thought it was mucho fun over it’s short 80 odd minute duration. It doesn’t always make perfect sense & it’s silly but who cares when somethings this entertaining? Followed by an unconnected sequel Troll 2 (1992) ironically made by Italians in America whereas this was made by Americans in Italy! A remake has been announced, again directed by Beuchler & apparently in production Troll (2009) should be with us soon & I just hope the cute living mushroom is back or I’ll boycott it!
Country: Italy, United States
Duration: 82 min
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Also known as: Troll,Peikko,Trol,Torok – O Duende,Troll… el duende diabólico,Torok, o monstro da floresta,Torok, el troll,Troll – O Mundo do Espanto,Тролль,Троль,Η Συνωμοσία των Δαιμόνων,Troll: la criatura del mal