Midget Horror Movie Binge

May is truly one of the best months in London. Summer is right around the corner, your vitamin D intake sky rockets, and we get two Mondays off of work thanks to labour unions and someone else but I’m not sure who. In my mind, there is no better way to celebrate the long weekend than getting stoned and watching movies.

I noticed that I have not written double feature review in quite some time and, as luck would have it, I had two movies on my “need to see list” with a common theme: dwarfism. Sure, it may not be the most politically correct thing to write about but if you’re a fan of political correctness then what the fuck are you doing on my blog? Either way, the long weekend finally afforded me an opportunity to binge on campy 90s little people horror and thank God it did because I had a blast.

Leprechaun (1993)

Leprechaunposter

Genre: Horror, Comedy

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Aniston’s original nose, Warwick Davis

Synopsis: After coming to the US to reclaim his lost pot of gold, a leprechaun goes on a killing spree.

In Hollywood, I would say that there are only two dwarfs who get regular work: Peter Dinklage and Warwick Davis. Leprechaun is the movie in which the latter made his career debut….and what a debut it is! If there is a movie that is more offensive to both the Irish and short people, then I haven’t seen it. At first, I felt bad laughing at what was happening on screen because, in some ways, it felt exploitative but then one of the characters comes out with the line: “burn in hell ya little green bastard” and all that reticence was forgotten.

The great thing about Leprechaun is its unabashed campiness. This is a film in which a bow-legged leprechaun waddles along, says things like “where’s me pot of gold?”, all the while killing people in really fucked-up random ways like jumping up and down on their chests with a pogo stick. This is a movie that knows what it is and Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist it is most definitely not. Moreover, it’s a movie that willingly pokes fun at itself while introducing us to a villain who, on closer inspection, is actually pretty freaky. Some of the kill scenes are grim and I for one wouldn’t want to be chased around the woods by this guy….although I’m pretty sure I could out run him. I mean, those little buckle shoe things can’t be that comfortable.

Another thing that’s quite strange is seeing Jennifer Aniston in what is also her debut role. I grew up with Friends and the idea of Aniston as a comedy actress so seeing her in a horror movie while wearing typical 90s LA gear and one great big schnoz (that’s British slang for nose) was all very surreal. Having said that, she isn’t terrible in the role as she’s essentially playing a younger and slightly more spoiled version of Rachel. In many ways, she’s actually one of the draws of the film because it’s refreshing to see her humble beginnings and realise that she did not have her career handed to her on a silver platter.

High-lights:

  • Surprisingly quotable.
  • While not especially terrifying, it does have quite a creepy feel in places.
  • It’s so late 80s/early 90s!
  • Watching a leprechaun eat lucky charms.

Downers:

  • Davis and Aniston aside, the acting isn’t that great.
  • The guilt one feels for laughing at little people.

Summary:

Leprechaun is the sort of movie which should be watched by people who do not have the stomach for the more intense staples of the horror genre such as The Shining or Scream. Injecting comedy into the film certainly made it more palatable. If it had not been done, Leprechaun would have been a disaster. If, however, you are the sort of person who cannot stand horror movies at all then I recommend the fifth film in the series: Leprechaun in the Hood. I hear it’s a riot.

7/10

Troll 2 (1990)

Troll_2_poster

Genre: Horror, Comedy

Cast: The inmates of an insane asylum

Synopsis: A family of four go on holiday to a town called Nilbog and are confronted with some crazy ass people and a bunch of trolls who eat flesh after it has been turned into plant-matter.

I can never forget the first time I watched this movie. In Los Angeles there is a wonderful theatre called the New Beverly Cinema, which I believe is owned by Quentin Tarantino. The theatre shows all sorts of films ranging from classics from the Hollywood golden age to obscure and little-known grindhouse features. The cinema also puts on a lot of specialty nights which are always popular. Some friends and I managed to rustle up tickets for a showing of Troll 2 and the documentary Best Worst Movie. It was brilliant: everybody in the audience was drunk or high and there was a great deal of participation. We were all shouting out quotes and, from time-to-time, cradling our faces in our hands to mask the fact that we were crying with laughter. This is a film that needs to be watched by everyone at least once.

From the paragraph above, you may think that this is a very good film. Quite the contrary, this is a film that was clearly made by people who lacked the ability to see and think. Nothing in this movie was executed in a manner which would be described as good or even competent. It’s a complete car crash, as a matter of fact. However, as you all know, car-crash cinema is my favourite!

If you watch the documentary Best Worst Movie beforehand, you’ll get a behind the scenes look at why this movie is so terrible and why it has developed such a cult following. If you watch this movie fresh, you will be bombarded with WTFs because nothing in this movie makes any sense. The dialogue feels like it was written by people with a poor grasp of the English language (because it was) and the characters are so two dimensional and wooden you would think that they were created by a greeting card company. The special effects (if you can call them “special”) primarily involve watery goop, green food colouring, and someone off-set throwing popcorn at the characters during the most bizarre sex scene known to cinema…yes, even more bizarre than that one from Wolf Children where she has sex with a man-dog.

There is simply too much to say about this movie in one review. In fact, three reviews would not be enough because this film is a veritable cornucopia of hilarity; finding a starting point is virtually impossible. If there is only one piece of advice you ever take from me then please, let it be this: watch this movie.

High-lights:

  • “They’re eating her….and then they’re going to eat me. Oh my Goooooooooooood!”
  • The corn-on-the-cob sex scene. Wut???
  • Creedence Leonore Gielgud…..why is she adding emphasis to weird words and why isn’t she looking anyone in the eye?
  • The troll masks are just the shoddiest thing you have ever seen.

Downers:

  • I watched this after watching the documentary and, on second thought, it’s actually quite sad to think how crazy one member of the cast became and how they were all duped into thinking this was going to be a huge Hollywood blockbuster when it was clearly a front for getting Italian money into this US.

Summary:

This is the sort of film you should watch with a group of friends. My advice would be to watch this and then, if your interest is peaked, watch the documentary on Netflix. That way you won’t get depressed by the sadness behind the laughs. Weed is not a necessity with this film but it will certainly heighten the experience.

9.5/10

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10 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Good, Horror, Mind Blowingly Awesome

10 responses to “Midget Horror Movie Binge

  1. Saw Leprchaun and the sequels plenty but never saw Troll 2. Need to see that 😀

  2. The Best Worst Movie is so, so, so wonderful. I always knew Claudio Fragasso was that kind of asshole–nice to have confirmation! (If you haven’t seen Rats: The Night of Terror, something tells me you will get a real kick out of it. Go sativa for that one–you definitely don’t wanna be paranoid when you turn it on…)

  3. Warwick Davis’ debut was actually not in Leprechaun, but as Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi. But I’m so excited you saw Troll 2! The “OH MY GOOODDDDDDDD!” scene alone made the experience worth it, though the movie actually seemed rather sad after I saw Best Worst Movie. What I also liked about Best Worst Movie was how Michael Stephenson, who played Joshua in Troll 2, demonstrated himself to be a FAR better filmmaker than Claudio Fragasso.

  4. Mandy

    I loved this post. My friends and I used to hold a ‘(bad) horror movie night’ back in college. We definitely picked some winners, but If only I had known about Troll 2 at the time.

  5. Oh fuck me. The Capitol Theatre in Cleveland is showing Troll 2 on the big screen in November.

    Soooooooooo stoked.

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