Troll (1985)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Release Date - Jan 17, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Many B-movies attempted to rip off the success of Gremlins during the mid-'80s but few were as inventive or oddly entertaining as Troll. Make no mistake, Troll is a B-movie: it's got some flat-footed attempts at comedy, more than a little overacting, hit-and-miss special effects, and has a general tone of goofiness to its proceedings. That said, Troll manages to be a lot of fun because it's imaginative and never takes itself too seriously. Ed Naha's script is unique in that it goes for fantasy instead of straight horror and offers a lot of bizarre set pieces involving fantasy creatures and magical plant life. Director John Carl Buechler isn't sly enough in his approach to pull off the film's humorous moments, but he handles the barrage of special effects with skill, giving them a comic-book style liveliness. It also helps that the film has a wonderful B-movie cast: Michael Moriarty is a hoot as the hero's oddball dad, Sonny Bono steals a few scenes as an obnoxious "swinger" neighbor, and June Lockhart gives a spirited turn as a grand dame with a lot of fighting spirit. In short, Troll is modest, Saturday-matinee-type fare, but it is inventive and bizarre enough to entertain B-movie fanatics.