Hot Docs Day 1

Best Worst Movie: How does a bad movie turns into a cult film? For example Troll 2, a 1989 movie that’s ranked as one of the worst movie ever made. Critics hates it, the actors of the movie wouldn’t put Troll 2 on their resume. But yet Troll 2 is become such a phenomenon that many fans are gathering and hold screenings at different cities. The Best Worst Movie is a documentary about this phenomenon. The director Michael Paul Stephenson was a child actor in that film; dreaming one day becoming a legit actor, instead the dream was shattered when he watched Troll 2 on VHS.

We then meet George Hardy, who was one of the main character in Troll2, but now work as a dentist. He appears in all these screenings and fans always wants him to say the signature lines. He is very well liked by everybody, and he seems to enjoy the fanfare. The best character of the movie is the director of Troll 2 Claudio Fragasso, who actually thinks he made a really good and serious movie. He doesn’t understand the criticism of it, and also doesn’t understand why the fans are laughing at lines that he didn’t think it’s supposed to be funny.

If there is a flaw in the film, it’s that it doesn’t have anything new to say after 30 minutes. We see George Hardy meeting fans and we see actors of the movie trying to recall the experience of the movie. But that gets old after a while. While Best Worst Movie is very funny at times, it doesn’t have a lot of substance. When George Hardy said that he is tired of going to these conventions/screenings, I feel the same way about the movie. Grade B-

Zombie Girl: Francis Ford Coppola once said that in the future there will be more people making movies with the camcorder as technology advance. Zombie Girl is the remarkable story about Emily Hagins who is directing a horror movie called Pathogen. What makes Emily unique is that she is 12 years old. She’s a big fan of Peter Jackson’s Lord Of the Rings trilogy, and she wrote him a letter and he encouraged her to watch more movies and hook her up with Ain’t it Cool News Harry Knowles. Knowles asked her to go to one of a horror film festival and it’s there where she saw Undead, an Australian horror movie and she decides to write and direct a feature film. Emily isn’t alone in the process, she is helped by her mother Megan who is also a movie lover. The dynamic between the two is the most interesting thing about the movie. Megan has her day job plus she is a mother but she is also Emily’s assistant. She is also way over her head in terms of helping to make a movie. She and Emily clashed on certain things, and they have different visions of what the movie is going to be. Emily is young, and inexpereince but she is very determined. Making a movie is such a difficult grind that most adults couldn’t go thru. It’s quite remarkable how Emily is able to maintain her composure during the making of the movie even with some major setbacks.
If there is a fault in the film is that the directors of the Documentary didn’t access any clips or any reactions when Emily shows her film to the audience. Regardless, Emily has directed another movie, and hopefully we will hear more of her in the future. Grade B+



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