ⓘ Troll (film)


ⓘ Troll (film)

Troll is a 1986 American comedy horror film directed by John Carl Buechler and produced by Charles Band of Empire Pictures, starring Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck and Sonny Bono. The film was shot in Italy in the Stabilimenti Cinematografici Pontini studios near Rome. It is unrelated to Troll 2 and the two Troll 3 films.


1. Plot

The Potter family move into a new apartment complex in San Francisco. While unpacking, their young daughter Wendy is attacked by a grotesque little creature, who had long ago been mutated from a powerful wizard into a troll. Using a magic crystalline green ring, he captures Wendy and disguises himself as her. After meeting the other eccentric tenants, the family notices Wendys unusual behavior, but they attribute her behavior to the stress of the move. The only one that notices something is terribly wrong is Wendys brother, Harry Jr.

Frightened by his sisters sudden and violent changes, he seeks solace in the company of a mysterious old woman named Eunice St. Clair, who lives upstairs. When he tells her of the strange goings-on, she reveals to him her real profession: a witch. Harry asks Eunice to teach him magic, but she says that there isnt time. She does instruct him as to the ways of a hidden magical world, and tells him of her long history stretching back to a time when she and a powerful wizard named Torok were in love. At that time the world was divided between fairies, which includes trolls, and humans. The realms were equal and independent of each other; however, Torok and some of the fairies challenged this balance resulting in a great war in which the humans prevailed. Torok was mutated into a troll as punishment. Eunice stands guard, as she has for centuries now in her apartment, waiting patiently for Torok to challenge the realms again, which is happening now. The troll wizard has already begun his secret war, going from apartment to apartment, attacking the tenants and mutating them into mythical creatures according to their personalities, such as goblins, nymphs, an elf and a bugbear, and it mutates their rooms into lush fairy worlds. When every apartment is mutated the world of the fairies will burst forth into the world of the humans.

Harry is told by Eunice that Torok can be stopped by plunging a magic spear into the heart of Toroks world. Eunice tells Harry the heart of the new fairy world will be a large and vicious magical creature. Armed with magic spears which shoot bolts of energy, Eunice and Harry launch a final attempt to stop Toroks hostile takeover of the world and enter the trolls magical alternate universe. Eunice is attacked by Torok and mutated into a tree stump, and Harry finds his sister trapped in a coffin of glass à la Snow White. Suddenly, Toroks great batlike monster attacks and disables Harry. When it goes after Wendy, Torok kills it, destroying his carefully constructed fairy realm. As the magic world collapses around them, Harry and his family are given a chance to escape, leaving just as the police arrive. Eunice is restored to normal as well as she bids Harry farewell and departs. As the police investigate the house, one of them is drawn into a remaining fragment of the alternate fairy world.

Toroks arm rises into view, preparing to use his ring on the cop. The door closes while the film goes black. The credits roll.


2. Cast

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Jeanette Cooper
  • Sonny Bono as Peter Dickinson
  • Phil Fondacaro as Malcolm Malory & Torok the Troll
  • Frank Welker as the voice of Torok the Troll
  • Michael Moriarty as Harry Sr.
  • Noah Hathaway as Harry Jr.
  • Anne Lockhart as Young Eunice St. Clair
  • Gary Sandy as Barry Tabor
  • Jenny Beck as Wendy Anne Potter
  • June Lockhart as Eunice St. Clair
  • Shelley Hack as Anne

3.1. Release Box office

The estimated budget for Troll was between $700.000 and $1.1 million. Troll opened in the U.S. on January 19, 1986 on 959 screens, earning $2.595.054 that weekend. The film placed ninth on the box office charts for opening weekend.


3.2. Release Critical reception

The film received poor reviews by critics, including by Janet Maslin, Patricia Smith, and Alan Carter. Rex Reed had a few positive comments, but was predominantly negative. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 25% based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10.

Despite the negative response, the film did become a cult classic, and an unrelated 1990 movie initially called Goblins was renamed Troll 2 in an attempt to misleadingly market itself as a sequel to Troll.


3.3. Release DVD/Blu-ray releases

Troll was released on a double feature DVD with Troll 2 by MGM on August 26, 2003. Scream Factory released a double feature Blu-ray of Troll and Troll 2 on November 17, 2015. The first 5.000 copies included a DVD of Best Worst Movie, the documentary about the production and legacy of Troll 2.


4. Legacy

Troll s plot has no relation to the film Troll 2 or the two Troll 3 films, which are intended to be more horror than fantasy. Its first "sequel", Troll 2, produced under the title Goblins, is considered one of the worst films of all time, and was retitled Troll 2 to cash in on the success of the original. Over time, it has developed a cult following.

The films Creepers also known as Contamination.7 or The Crawlers and Quest for the Mighty Sword both adopted the name Troll 3 at some point as an alternate title despite neither having a plot relation to the two previous Troll films with the exception that the Hobgoblin in Quest does resemble the Goblins in Troll 2.

In August 2011, rumors circulated of another sequel. In July 2015, new plans arose in the form of a prequel, titled Troll: The Rise of Harry Potter Jr., along with an animated series. The film, starring Patricia Arquette and Baxter Bartlett, was released in 2017, with the animated series broadcast on 2018.


5. Similarity to Harry Potter

Since the release of the Harry Potter books starting in 1997, some of those involved in the film have accused J. K. Rowling of "borrowing" elements from Troll. Producer Charles Band stated in an interview that "there are certain scenes in Troll, not to mention the name of the main character, and this of course predates the Harry Potter books by many years. In 2008, John Buechlers partner in the Troll remake, Peter Davy, said about Harry Potter: "In Johns opinion, he created the first Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling says the idea just came to her. John doesnt think so."