Michael Paul Stephenson

The American Scream

Editor’s Note: The gang covering Fantastic Fest really loved this one, and now it’s playing on the Chiller network on October 28th, 8pm EST before hitting theaters in November. If you can’t find an upcoming screening near you, you can request one through Tugg. Here’s another chance to read Luke’s review… The world is pretty much made up of two kinds of people, those who have seen Troll 2 and those who haven’t seen Troll 2… yet. But thanks to filmmaker and former Troll 2 star Michael Paul Stephenson, more and more people have recently become exposed to Troll 2 through his documentary about being a part of the infamously terrible film, Best Worst Movie. Best Worst Movie was such a fascinating film that fans have been anxiously awaiting Stephenson’s second project. Thankfully, he doesn’t disappoint and his second documentary, The American Scream is another captivating window into a world of passionate fans.

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American Scream crew

With October on the horizon, as well as that glorious holiday there contained, many of us are gearing up for haunted house season. In many ways the last vestige of the roaming carnival days, companies come in every year, occupy some abandoned retail space, and commence with a nightly regimen of shrieks, jumps, and frights that carries us screaming into November. But what happens when those with the desire to create an effective spook house don’t have the benefit of such monstrous budgets? The more organic, love-labor-intensive community haunted houses are the results of an entire year’s worth of work by blue collar artists and their families. The process by which they transform their own homes into cathedrals to low-budget scares, called home haunts, is the subject of Michael Paul Stephenson’s (Best Worst Movie) latest documentary: The American Scream. A touching, fascinating, and deeply sincere testament to unflappable creative spark, The American Scream found easy purchase in the Fantastic Fest lineup this year. In fact, beside the theater, in what used to be a scooter retailer, the Alamo Drafthouse partnered with Manny Souza (a featured subject in the doc) to quickly, and with a MacGyver-like resourcefulness, build a miniature home haunt right next door. It was in this hallowed place that we were fortunate enough to sit down with Stephenson, producer Meyer Shwarzstein, and another featured home haunt artist Victor Bariteau to talk about the film. Even in the light of day, the appropriateness of this meeting place was not […]

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Film School Rejects had the indescribably fortunate opportunity to speak to writer/director Michael Stephenson, and actors George Hardy and Jason Steadman about the documentary Best Worst Movie, which chronicles the cult phenomenon of Troll 2.

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Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to finally see Best Worst Movie, Michael Stephenson’s delightful documentary about the fan culture surrounding the “worst movie of all-time,” Troll 2. It was excellent. And now it’s invading Austin and the rest of the country in style…

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SXSW is less than two weeks away, so it’s only appropriate that one of the cinematic champions of SXSW 2009 is making noise. Best Worst Movie, the charming and hilarious documentary chronicling the cult phenomenon of the movie Troll 2, has been picked up by Area23A.

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The Troll 2 cult phenomenon is seemingly unexplainable. That didn’t stop Michael Paul Stephenson from directing a fascinating documentary, Best Worst Movie, about the transformation of the film from a movie mess to must see territory. We had the chance to talk to Stephenson, an incredibly gracious filmmaker, at SXSW about the chance to exorcise the goblins from his life.

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How do you combat the burden of being an actor attached to Troll 2, the worst film of all time? If you’re Michael Paul Stephenson, you film a stunning documentary, Best Worst Movie, that chronicles the unexplainable phenomenon that has turned Troll 2 from a bargain bin film into a cult classic.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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