I had first seen the acclaimed “Best Worst Movie” Troll 2 when I was still a teenager, when this direct to video film started running on HBO. The acting was horrible, the direction seemed non-existent, and the plot was ludicrous. However, unlike many other horrible movie, somehow I couldn’t look away.
The movie tells the tale of a family from the city, who decide to swap houses with a family from the country for their vacation. Upon arriving in the small town, the family begin to notice that the townsfolk are quite odd. The main character of the film, “Joshua Waits”, guided by his dead grandfather that only he can see, learns that the townspeople are really goblins. Hence the name of the town they are visiting, “Nilbog”, which simply is goblin spelled backwards. The goblins intend to feed the family food that will turn them into plants, so they can eat them, because yes, these goblins are not only creepy, but they are vegetarians.
The movie itself was destined to film oblivion. The actors of the film themselves tried to distance themselves as far from this debacle as possible, going so far as omitting this film from their professional resumes, until over the next couple of decades it began to pick up sort of a cult-following, fueled by many celebrities and comedians, such as two members of the comedy troop “The Upright Citizens Brigade”, stand up comic “Patton Oswalt”, and a writer for the Conan O’Brien show, who decided to make mention of the film on the show (before Coco’s whole NBC debacle began).
The new found interest in the film, years after it’s original release to video and run on HBO sparked many public screenings of the film, drawing thousands of fans from all over the globe. Organizers of the screenings began contacting the stars of the film, inviting them to the screenings, where they found a new audience of followers and fans, allowing sort of a sense of redemption for the actors of the movie.
The star of the film, Michael Stephenson, whom had played the “Joshua Waits” character, even decided to make a documentary regarding the film, documenting many of the screenings and fans, and visiting many of the people involved in the making of the B movie, getting their personal take on the production, and their retrospect of Troll 2 all of these years later. The documentary picked up positive praise in many film festivals across the country, and sparked even more interest in the “Best Worst Movie”.
Michael Stephenson (a.k.a. Joshua Waits)
Stephenson, the child actor who’s first film credit was “Troll 2” has been in four other movies, including “The Bulkin Trail” (1992), “The Paper Brigade” (1995), “Before He Wakes” (1998), and his self-directed documentary of “Troll 2” aptly named “Best Worst Movie” (2009). He also starred on such television shows as “Miracles and Other Wonders” (1991), “Encyclopedia Brown” (1995), and “Touched by an Angel” (2001). Stephenson also appeared in the 2010 Spike TV’s “Scream Awards”, alongside castmate George Har dy, who played his father in “Troll 2”. He currently lives in Westwood, California with his wife, Lindsay Rowles Stephenson.
George Hardy (a.k.a. Michael Waits)
Before the filming of “Troll 2”, Hardy was a certified Dentist in Utah. He continues his dental practice in Alabama, and since the release of the documentary “Best Worst Movie”, has found his niche in B-movies such as “Street Team Massacre”, as well as “Junk”, and is currently filming “Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws”. Hardy revealed in the documentary “Best Worst Movie” that his acting career was always his dream, but he was pressured into a more stable career by his parents, hence he earned in degree in dentistry.
Connie McFarland (a.k.a. Holly Waits)
Perhaps the actress in the film who most tried to distance her self from the movie “Troll 2), McFarland (now named Connie Young), has since actively pursued her acting career, appearing in such films as “Fugitive X” (1996), “The Singles Ward” (2002), “Sons of Provo” (2004), “Jupiter Landing” (2005), among others. She has since worked with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Lab, and has recently hosted two informercials, for NordicTrack, and “JumpSnap”, and rope-less jump rope.
Margo Prey (a.k.a Diane Waits)
Prey has not worked in the industry since “Troll 2”. She still currently lives in Utah, and takes care of her eldery mother. In “Best Worst Movie”, she claims to still want to break into the acting world, but claims her life is “complicated”.