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“Hilarious!” — Clark Collis, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Fascinating and sweet” — Daniel Carlson, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“Never before has a doc tried to get to the root of what exactly makes a film a cult film, and while it might be impossible to figure out completely, they get farther into it than anyone ever has” — Alex Riviello, CHUD
Director: Michael Paul Stephenson
Screenplay: Michael Paul Stephenson
Cast: George Hardy, Michael Paul Stephenson, Darren Ewing, Jason Wright
Producers: Mary Francy Groom, Lindsay Rowles, Michael Paul Stephenson, Jim McKeon
Distributor: Magic Stone Productions
In the small town of Alexander City, Alabama lives George Hardy, a divorced father who works as a dentist and invests a great deal of time and love in his community. Known for his kindness and boundless generosity, Hardy is admired and respected by all the residents of Alexander City. Behind his charming smile, however, lurks a dark secret. No, no, he didn’t kill anybody. What he did do, however, is play one of the lead roles in what many regard as the worst film ever made, Claudio Fragasso’s TROLL 2. Hardy considers that very brief episode of acting to be a closed chapter of his life. He’s moved on to live a worthwhile life. But the past has a way of catching up with you. TROLL 2 has since become an object of adoration for countless trash-o-philes. Across the globe, they gather in cinemas in large numbers to celebrate its awfulness. Surprised that despite himself, he’s at the centre of a unique cultural phenomenon, Hardy decides to attend one such screening, and that’s where the adventure that is BEST WORST MOVIE begins.
This debut feature documentary from Michael Paul Stephenson, the actor who portrayed little Joshua in TROLL 2, is one of the surprise successes of the year. After making a big splash at South By Southwest, it hit the festival circuit to reverberating applause from audiences and critics alike. The reason for this lies in the amazing human dimension at the heart of BEST WORST MOVIE. While it’s chock full of anecdotes from the set of TROLL 2, this is no mere “making-of” featurette. Rather, by following Hardy through a series of late-night screening and sci-fi/horror conventions, Stephenson explores the subculture of trash-film lovers and their gatherings. In their efforts to grasp why so many adore something so crappy, the director and his subject dig up much of their erstwhile cast and crewmates. Some have forgotten the matter entirely, some insist it’s a misunderstood masterpiece, some seem trapped in the role they never let go of. All, however, are the stars in a brilliant documentary on cult cinema that will have you shedding tears of sympathy—and uproarious laughter.