photo courtesy of Kelly Sepulveda
For those of you who haven’t been blessed with at least one viewing of Troll 2, allow me a brief introduction: it’s a mesmerizing, god-awful, hilarious, bottom-of-the-barrel budget film of rare form. As kids, my brother Aaron and I screened it over and over, rewinding the tape to review favorite scenes of unspeakably bad acting, wardrobe malfunction, and the remarkably “special” effects. There are countless bad movies out there, but few are as captivating and bold. We felt we had discovered a secret little nugget of inept genius and that no one else had ever seen this movie; and yet, as it turns out, many, MANY kids had a very similar experience. Over time they indoctrinated others into the fold. And so began the rise of Troll 2 to cult status.
This past weekend, my pal Jen and I attended a screening of Best Worst Movie – a documentary about Troll 2 directed by its young star, Joshua (Michael Paul Stephenson). We were unaware that we’d be treated to appearances by members of the cast so were happily surprised to meet George Hardy (the dad) and Jason Steadman (Drew). (See photographic proof below.) At the center of the movie is Troll 2’s father figure George Hardy, a super friendly and likeable guy who has a successful dentistry practice in Alabama. He and some of his Troll 2 cohorts ride the wave of notoriety that’s kicked off by a Troll 2 screening at the Upright Citizens’ Brigade in 2006, and we witness their unlikely celebrity. The movie truly was very touching and inspiring in addition to being incredibly funny, and I feel confident in saying that viewers new to the trash masterpiece will agree.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Sepulveda and Kris Lozanovski who made these AMAZING goblin costumes based on the creatures in Troll 2. They became a part of the documentary as well after attending a Nilbog Invasion event in Morgan, UT in full regalia. Kelly was kind enough to share some information about how and why the goblins came to be.
I was surprised to hear that the soon-to-be pharmacists had never sculpted anything before this ambitious undertaking (though Kelly does some embroidery, sewing, and scrapbooking). They started their journey with a mask-making kit from Monstermakers.com that included basic instructions. Using still images from the movie for accuracy, Kelly tackled the heads and Kris made the hands using plasteline clay. Here are some excerpts from Kelly’s note about the process:
As far as a technique for figuring out the sculpting process, it was basically trial and error…The sculpting tools I had never used before, so I just had to get used to which tools would be best in working with any particular part of the masks I was currently working on. I am pretty anal about my art, so I did want the masks to look as close as possible to the originals with the time I had to sculpt them…I actually sculpted one of the ears and then cut it off in order to sculpt the other ear so they would both look similar. The hair, eyes, and teeth were all purchased from ebay. The hair is goat/llama hair, eyes are real WWII prosthetic eyes, and the teeth are real shark teeth. I also sewed two burlap sets of shirts and pants and a pillow-case sort of stomach that you could strap around your waist to help complete the costumes. We made spears from some fallen tree branches and bought spearheads from ebay.
The pair met while interning together during college and found that they shared a passion for B-movies, and so Troll 2 came to play a role in their developing romance. When they heard about the costume contest at the aforementioned Nilbog Invasion, they got to work.
I’m all for tackling totally new mediums and am inspired by their story. And their artistry! In addition to the trolls, the couple has also made a board game called Alley Cat inspired by a cat they adopted from the streets. If the pharmacy biz doens’t work out, I’m sure you guys will have plenty of other options.
The goblins are touring the country to help promote the doc and have been seen in Austin and NYC with an upcoming stop in LA. Go see this movie!!
Awesome process shots of the goblin masks below courtesy of Kelly Sepulveda.