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Troll (1986)

A movie directed by John Carl Buechler

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Troll - 1986

  • Jun 18, 2009
  • by
Pros: good acting ensemble

Cons: the list goes on and on

The Bottom Line:
"I bought a Troll
I bought a Troll for you
The one you wanted was blue
But they only had Yellow"
~Jimmy Fallon

Frankly I don’t know where to begin with Troll. It is bad on so many levels but so funny on many more. I can’t tell if it was a horror story laced with comedy or a comedy on its’ own merit.

We start with a wholesome American family moving in to an apartment building. Half way through the move, with boxes and bags still scattered on the street, dad decides to run off to the corner store to pick up some ‘rat burgers’ as he so gleefully called them. The family, known as the Potters, consists of: [drum roll please] Harry Potter, Sr., wife Anne, son Harry Potter, Jr., and the darling daughter, Wendy. No, don’t cough, they truly are called that. In addition, Harry Jr. has a penchant for magic.

Although this was filmed in the 80’s it is a typical throwback to the 50’s era with this family core. She’s in a floucy dress, heels, and pearls … on moving day for cripes sake … and toting the boxes while the kids languish idly by and dad runs off to get dinner. Brother, an early-age teen, is given the chore of watching his sister, a bratty 8-9 year old. Of course he doesn’t do that well or how else would we have a story?

Wendy is playing ball and it rolls down the stairs, into the basement shared laundry room. She is hesitant to retrieve at first and why not, the place looks eerie even in bright daylight. However, to the basement she goes and the room appears empty, until … yep, a bare 5 minutes into the show we have our Troll. He ain’t pretty folks.

Apparently he and Wendy become one and she is now the proud owner of a glittery magic ring. She also has a complete transformation from mildly annoying bratty child into an aggressive and violent brat. The parents sort of poo-poo the entire thing, offing it to ‘the move’ while Harry, Jr., becomes the target for her wrath.

He escapes and seeks counsel from an elderly lady on the top floor, one Ms. Eunice St. Clair, played by June Lockhart. A pompous sort that just happens to have an apartment filled with weapons and, oh yeah, this talking mushroom that sits by her side on a dish. It’s about 8” tall and has the most irritating voice. Never fear, Ms. St. Clair is also a witch, on the spot for dealing with the troll. Later in the movie she transforms herself into her younger guise, played artfully by her own daughter, Anne Lockhart.

Is that all? Heaven’s no … the apartment house also includes the typical bachelor swinger that lives upstairs, his apartment encased in things that make him think he is the end-all and do-all to the female set. I may as well tell you right now, the part of the swinger, Peter Dickinson, is played by Sonny Bono. ‘nuf said. Sonny is turned into a vibrating green vagina later in the movie by the troll, belching out gruesome looking babies that look like they have seen too many Godzilla movies.

The next apartment is where the actress wannabe resides, Jeanette Cooper, offered for our enjoyment as her debut into the acting world, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I thought she lived there with her boyfriend but since he comes knocking at her door looking for her, I guess I was mistaken. Much to our pleasure, the troll takes it upon himself to give us a tantalizing treat of the nude and extremely beautiful Dreyfus later on when he turns her into a cavorting fairy in the woodland. Of course, the nudity is partially concealed, but still …

Could that be all the apartment building holds? Of course not. The dear Phil Fondacaro takes on the dual role of, of course, Torok the Troll, as well as an English professor, Malcolm Mallory. What is interesting is the fact that the troll [Fondacaro] turns himself into a troll-like creature, more in the guise of an elf, and he is the only one that resembles his former self, unlike Bono although it is more than appropriate he was turned into a vagina, considering his penchant in the movie.

Despite all the grim and gory details, extremely bad acting, awful puppets, the one high point was watching Harry, Sr., dance around air-guitaring his way through Summertime Blues like some crack-hyped Tom Cruise/Risky Business wanna be. He was fully clothed though. Still, he dropped his formal and staid appearance to act like a complete idiot. Bravo to you Michael Moriarty.

Troll was directed by John Carl Buechler who co-wrote it with Ed Naha. It carries a PG-13 rating and was actually nominated for one award. No extras on the DVD except trailers.

I want to say avoid it like the plague but it is incredibly campy humor even if it isn’t that well made.



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January 05, 2011
I love this movie and I adore Moriarty and Fondacaro in it. Lockhart was hard to take and it was a little sad to see how bad Gary Sandy ( W.K.R.P in Cinncinnatti ) was looking, but it was still a lot of. Where else do you get lines like; 'I don't know about you, but I'm doing what that tree said!'? And then there was that whole running joke about the horror movie on TV that was convincing the broy that his sister was a "Pod person from the planet Mars" or was it Venus? If you want to avoid something like the plague, I'd suggest 10,000 B.C.
February 02, 2011
it was a ridiculous movie on many levels but so dang fun. I loved Moriarty, so rare to see him branch out this way :)
February 16, 2011
The movie is just a lot of silly fun--and I'm a big fan of Moriarty's. He was great in another horror flick too. In fact he's always said it was his best performance! Q; THE WINGED SERPENT which he made for Larry Cohen.
February 16, 2011
OH! Quetzalcoatl What a great flick. Moriarty is one of those actors that doesn't really have to say anything, he has the best facial expressions :)
February 17, 2011
I love that flick because all of the sacrifical victims have to be WILLING which I thought was a nice twist.
December 30, 2010
this movie was guilty fun!
More Troll (1986) reviews
Quick Tip by . December 30, 2010
This movie is guilty fun! That said, this is not a QT of the movie but targeted at someone who is an internet troll.      This movie about a TROLL is cooler than Internet trolls! Trolls like to complain when you catch them in their mistakes, they also like to block you and not allow you to say that they are being creepy. They also do not like it when you catch them making up facts in their reviews. Trolls always call on others who disagree with their opinion and yet, once …
review by . April 08, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Sonny Bono, Julia Louis-Dreyfus along with the incomparable June Lockhart & her real-life daughter Anne Lockhart sharing a role!  EXCELLENT PG-13 FILM for kids and adults alike.This film has an interesting plotline, mindblowing special effects and a WONDERFUL SOUNDTRACK. Goblins, Trolls, Fairies, Elves, Witches, along with an adorable Talking Toadstool are the chief players that inhabit the underworld.This movie will hold kids' attention & …
review by . February 09, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
TROLL takes place in a suburban apartment complex. The Potter family (more on that later) moves in to their new home in the bottom apartment. On the day of their move Wendy Ann Potter stumbles into the laundry room where she meets a troll who kidnaps her and uses his magic ring to make himself look like Wendy. One by one, the troll enters each apartment in the complex and turns the occupants into trolls and their dwellings into doorways to a fantasy dimension. If he succeeds in changing all the …
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About this movie


 A nasty old troll named Torok transforms the denizens of a San Francisco apartment house into mystical creatures.

  Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy and Suspense/Horror   Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min.   MPAA Rating: PG-13   Distributors:
Empire Pictures

Troll (1986) Poster
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Director: John Carl Buechler
Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: John Carl Buechler, Ed Naha
Runtime: 82 minutes
Studio: Live / Artisan
First to Review

"Scary Kid's Movie."
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