1990 in Review

One Interesting Film from 1990

I just talked about a Paul Verhoeven movie with Robocop a couple years back, so instead of talking about Total Recall (which is excellent), I’m going to talk about Troll 2.

I am a connoisseur of terrible movies, from MST3K, to the “works” of Neil Breen, to The Room, and Troll 2 is absolutely in the pantheon of most entertaining bad movies. The story behind the making of the movie is legendary, and was covered in the great documentary about the film called Best Worst Movie, but or those who are unaware: this movie was made by Italian director Claudio Fragasso (under the pseudonym Drake Floyd), who wrote this movie with an English cast (with almost no trained actors) and filmed in Utah, yet spoke almost no English himself, nor did anyone on the production crew with one exception; the script and dialogue make no sense, and yet when the actors tried to correct him on the grammatical or syntax errors, he demanded they deliver the lines as written; the costumes for the “trolls” (who are goblins, not trolls and the movie has nothing to do with the original) were made out of rubber store-bought masks and burlap sacks; there’s a character who appears to be insane-he was not acting, he was actually recently out of a mental hospital and high on pot.

Everything is a glorious trainwreck in the best sense, with horrendous overacting, nonsensical line-readings, horrible effects and costumes. But it also has what makes something that’s always necessary for a great bad movie as well-as opposed to something like Sharknado, which is intentionally cheesy and terrible, everyone involved was trying to make something good (or at least profitable). That element of sincerity is crucial, because if the people making the film are in on the joke, it becomes desperate and unfunny and they can’t replicate the unintentional magic movies like Birdemic and Space Mutiny. For those into schlock and bad movies, Troll 2 gets the highest of recommendations.

Other notable films from 1990

Home Alone

Pretty Woman

Total Recall


Life is Sweet



The Hunt for Red October

Miller’s Crossing


Jacob’s Ladder


Edward Scissorhands

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Grifters

Reversal of Fortune

1990 Nominees in Review

Goodfellas: A

Dances With Wolves: B (Won Best Picture)

Awakenings: B-

Ghost: C+

The Godfather Part III: C

If you take out Goodfellas, this is one of the weakest fields probably ever in my opinion. History has vindicated Scorsese’s film as far and away the best of the year and Dances with Wolves as a well-meaning and gorgeous looking and sounding film that’s often hollow. The other three films range from mediocre to pretty good, and it’s still embarrassing that The Godfather Part III got nominated despite getting very mixed reviews even back in the day.

For next year: the only (primarily) 2-D animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture; after Warren Beatty saw Annette Bening’s audition for the leads, he said “she’s terrific. I love her, I’m going to marry her”-he would later do just that; Oliver Stone released an annotated and sourced version of his screenplay due to how controversial his claims in this movie were; George Carlin was in a Best Picture nominee?; and the last Best Picture winner to have been released between January and April, and the only one from January since 1953.


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