Directed by: John Carl Buechler
Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Jenny Beck, June Lockhart, Sonny Bono, Phil Fondacaro, Brad Hall, Anne Lockhart, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gary Sandy
Troll 2 (1990)
Directed by: Claudio Fragasso
Starring: Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie Young, Robert Ormsby, Deborah Reed, Jason Wright, Darren Ewing, Jason Steadman, David McConnell, Gary Carlson, Mike Hamill, Don Packard, Christina Reynolds, Glenn Gerner
Produced by Charles Band and Empire Pictures, Troll is a bizarre little film that takes its villain from Norse mythology and Scandinavian folk tales, although I guarantee you won’t confuse it with those stories, or anything from the world of Tolkien. Directed by John Carl Buechler, a makeup effects man who would go on to direct Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood, it’s an underwhelming, mediocre piece of dark fantasy about a sneaky troll who slowly takes over an apartment building made up of 80s era malcontents, like yuppies, swingers, and Nam veterans. Into this building moves the Potter family, with daddy played by Michael Moriarty (a Larry Cohen favorite), mom played by Shelley Hack (who would appear in The Stepfather a year later), little girl Wendy Anne (Jenny Beck, looking like Heather O’Roarke’s lost twin), and her older brother Harry (Noah Hathaway). Yes, that’s right – his character’s name is Harry Potter, Jr, and this movie arrived over a decade before J.K. Rowling flooded the world with those damned books. Now, did Rowling lift her Harry Potter character from a low-budget monster/fantasy flick from 1986? Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, but besides the fact that this movie stars the late Sonny Bono as a swinger and features the debut of Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing a nearly-naked wood-nymph, the Harry Potter question is the most interesting thing you’ll take away from Troll.