Newest Reviews
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
  Troll Who Needs A Bridge?
Year: 1986
Director: John Carl Buechler
Stars: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck, Sonny Bono, Phil Fondacaro, Brad Hall, Anne Lockhart, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gary Sandy, June Lockhart, Robert Hathaway, James Beck, Dale Wyatt, Barbara Sciorilli, Viviana Giusti, Jessie Carfora
Genre: Horror, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: The Potter family are moving into a ground floor apartment, and once they have finished shifting their packing boxes into the place, son Harry Jr (Noah Hathaway) is instructed to look after his younger sister Wendy (Jenny Beck) which he is not happy about, so sits down on the front step and loses himself in a comic book. Wendy meanwhile goes exploring and ends up in the basement, which doubles as a laundry, but as she recites a nursery rhyme and bounces her ball, she attracts the attention of a troll (Phil Fondacaro) who uses his magic ring to spirit her away and take her place, disguised as the little girl...

As you can discern from that, there was a strong element of the fairy tale to Troll, as if Empire had finally given in and made a horror movie for kids. There was certainly a juvenile aspect to this, though some of it seemed strangely inappropriate which of course was guaranteed to garner interest from the type of fans who sought out the tattier end of the horror market, all the better for the unintentional chuckles. Of course, this little item was soon to be utterly overshadowed by its sequel, the ever-notorious (and also Italian-made) Troll 2, which bravely took on the mantle of worst horror movie ever made, though whether that was an accurate description was a matter for the viewer.

That sequel is commonly said to have been made with no connection to its predecessor, but there were similarities should you care to seek them out. Well, there were trolls in both obviously, but there was one scene which appeared to have inspired the director of the follow-up in his anti-vegetarian ranting when the Potter family settle down for a hastily bought dinner of fast food which regulation wacky dad Harry Sr (Michael Moriarty) terms "ratburgers", thus sending the Wendy changeling into a frenzy because they appear to be vegetarian comestibles. In Troll 2, the baddies are determined to make the hero eat his greens, so you could perceive that they had learned something from the magical fairyland in the first instalment.

But we're ignoring the elephant in the room here, and that was the name of the main character. Harry Potter was that teen, and ever since this was rediscovered fans of both have been wondering whether J.K. Rowling had viewed Troll and gotten a selection of ideas from it; this seems doubtful on actually watching it, as while there were parallels with the sorcery and young boy hero you could say that of any number of fantasy movies the makers of this were inspired by. If anything, Troll belonged in its derivation to the Jim Henson efforts like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth with its variety of puppets devised by director and low budget makeup effects master John Carl Buechler with more ambition than efficiency.

The troll is on a mission to take over the world by turning everyone into a troll with his plant-based powers, or at least everyone in the apartment, so be begins with Sonny Bono of all people, whose political career never seemed so far away and here plays a womaniser who supposedly brings home a different woman every night in spite of looking like a middle-aged Sonny Bono, cheesy grin and all. In a weird scene (which may be a redundant observation) he is transformed into an Invasion of the Body Snatchers seed pod, which bursts open to reveal the former Mr Cher as another rubbery troll puppet. The actor playing the title villain, Fondacaro, has a dual role as an English professor who lives upstairs, which is unfair on him to have to climb that staircase considering his physical difficulties you would have thought, but he's one of the most reasonable presences when you also have June Lockhart as a witch who keeps her lover as a large mushroom, or Moriarty dancing manically to a not very good Eddie Cochran cover apropos of nothing. Music by Richard Band, including the troll song earworm.

[This film is available on blinkbox, a service providing hundreds of movies and television episodes without subscription, just a one off payment to either rent or buy your choice. You can watch blinkbox on your SmartTV, Xbox 360, iPad, Blu-rays, Set-top boxes, PC or Mac or TV connected to your PC or Mac. Click here for the details.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2867 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: