Interview: The Cult Heroes Behind ‘Best Worst Movie’

By  · Published on April 23rd, 2010

I love film in all its forms and have devoted much of my life to its appreciation. While moving across the country for a movie theater and the opportunity to be exposed to an entire spectrum of cinema I would not otherwise have known may seem excessive or even insane, there are moments that crystallize that decision as being the best I ever made.

Seeing Best Worst Movie is a golden example of one of those moments. It may seem incredibly esoteric to make a documentary about an in-name-only horror sequel from 1989 that doesn’t even register a blip on the radar of film as a craft. But Troll 2, while holding the distinction of worst film ever made, hibernated for two decades before exploding into a cult phenomena. Best Worst Movie captures the wonder and magic of something so inconsequential becoming absolutely beloved by scores of people. Personally, as a cinephile, I found the film touching and life-affirming.

I had the indescribably fortunate opportunity to speak to writer/director Michael Stephenson, who played the young boy in Troll 2, actor George Hardy (who played his father) and Jason Steadman (featured as one of Troll 2’s doomed teens). These are people whose lives were forever changed by this tiny, terrible little horror film, and whose cult luminary statuses are canonized and redefined by the beautiful documentary Best Worst Movie.

Editor’s Note: Please excuse the shoddy camera work in the video below. Neil Miller is not certified to do anything besides write (poorly) about movies. Also, please excuse the background noise. This interview was recorded at The Highball in Austin. And while it’s a lovely establishment, it gets rather loud during happy hour…

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Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.