The horror genre has delivered some of the greatest films of all time, but has also delivered some painful, pathetic excuses for movies. It's these stinkers that have given the genre a bad name over the years. To think it was kicked off with classics like Nosferatu and Vampyr. Horror used to produce films with class, and then someone figured out that audiences will watch anything with gore and tits. This week I'm taking a look at one of the worst ever. It doesn't even have tits.
For whatever reason, I've decided to torture myself twice this month with one of the worst movies ever made. Well, it's not exactly torture, because it's hilariously bad. Not really a situation of, "so bad it's good", because it is anything but good. It's hard to explain and a lot of people may not see the humor in it.
What is really mind-boggling is that the husband and wife duo that wrote and directed think they've made a masterpiece. This speaks volumes of their psyche and what kind of delusional mind it takes to produce something like this.
The film has obtained a bit of a cult following over time, but only due to its laughably bad quality. Apparently fans interact with the movie during theater screenings, much like they do at Rocky Horror Picture Show. A documentary was even made about the movie called, The Best Worst Movie, which shows what kind of weirdos were working on this film. So here it is, the cinematic travesty known as...
First thing you may notice in the beginning of the movie is that the narrator keeps referring to goblins and the kingdom of the goblins. I can't explain why, but the long and short of it is that this movie is about goblins and not trolls. It's all downhill from here, just one fuck up after another.
So we hear a short narration about the origin of goblins sorta and what they do to people. They disguise themselves as humans and feed people slop that makes sap drip out of their head. Then they turn into green mush and the goblins, in true form, slurp it up. All of this being told to a child by an apparition of his recently deceased grandpa. The boy, Joshua Waits, is the main character of the film and his family just thinks he's in extreme grief and seeing things.
We're introduced to Joshua's sister, Holly Waits, through a sweaty montage of flashy nonsense editing as she bench presses 10lbs. like a beast. Her boyfriend scares her as he sneaks in the window and they exchange some excruciating dialogue in the worst possible way. She tries to talk him into going on the family trip but he wants to bring his goofy friends along.
The family packs up the next day to head to Nilbog to trade houses with another family for the weekend. One of the big twists of the movie is that Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards. "Oh my god", right? I know, I couldn't believe it either. While approaching closer to Nilbog, Joshua has a nightmare that he turns into a tree and his family turns into goblins. After waking up in a sweat he sees his Grandpa Seth holding a sign saying, "go back".
Obviously the family tells the kid to shut up and dismisses his crazy talk about goblins and avoiding Nilbog. It's never really explained why Grandpa Seth knows all this shit about goblins or how he can appear at random. As they drive away Holly notices her boyfriend and company following in an RV and gets pissy because he was supposed to ride with her family on the trip.
As they arrive in Nilbog, everything is seemingly abandoned and the townspeople are weird and hiding from the Waits family. They make the house exchange with the weird family from Nilbog and are greeted with a table full of bizarre looking food. They don't question what the hell it is, they just sit down and get ready to chow down. Grandpa Seth meets Joshua at a window and tells him to stop them from eating the goblin food. Grandpa somehow has the ability to stall time for 30 seconds. That's long enough for Joshua to come up with a plan to stop them. His plan? Well, he unzips his pants and stands on the table and pisses on all the food. I'll repeat, the little boy pisses on the food his family is trying to eat.
Now, when I was a kid my parents could find any reason to beat my ass, so I can't imagine what they'd do had I urinated on their dinner. What does Joshua's father do? He carries him to his room while giving him a lecture about hospitality, "you can't piss on hospitality". Then he tells him that the whole family has to tighten their belts to fight off hunger pains. It's absolutely ridiculous. They make no attempt to go get food in town at all. There's nothing appealing about this town at all . Not sure why they didn't just stay home.
Holly tracks down her boyfriend and takes him back to the house with her. Meanwhile his friends end up separating. Arnold goes to the rescue of a young woman running through the woods. He confronts the goblins who were chasing her, thinking they were midgets in costume. They end up taking him hostage and giving him over to the hotty of the movie, Creedence. She's a bizarre, witchy looking lady with rotting teeth. She's actually a goblin in disguise so I wonder why she chose the most suspicious appearance. She puts Arnold in a pot and starts to grow him like a tree. The girl he went to rescue isn't so lucky. She turns into plant sludge and is eaten by the goblins.
On the other side of town, Drew is in search of something to eat and gets picked up by the sheriff and taken into town. Sheriff gives him a nasty looking sandwich to snack on which makes him start to feel sick and he starts dripping tree sap out of his head. While looking for food he encounters a weirdo in a store who gives him some Nilbog milk for free and encourages him to drink. Nilbog milk is like melted paste and makes him puke in the woods before stumbling into Creedence's lair.
Drew finds Arnold totally immobilized and sprouting vegetation from all over his body. He's rooted into potted soil and can't escape on his own. So Drew tries to drag him out, only to get caught by Creedrnce, who disposes of Drew and tickles Arnold with a chainsaw. I'm assuming this is his death scene even though he's laughing and there's no confirmation. There are plenty of loose ends in this one.
Joshua and his Dad browse the streets in search of food and don't find anything open. Joshua needs a car mirror to figure out that Nilbog is goblin backwards cause he's a complete idiot. He runs off on his own to explore even though he's aware he's surrounded by goblin people. Like I said, he's a complete idiot. He gets caught by group of goblins having their version of a church service. They condemn the ingestion of meat while trying to force feed Joshua some chunky Nilbog ice cream. Another flabbergasting detail is that the goblins are vegetarians. In order to eat the humans they have to feed them weird shit that turns them into soupy puddle of chlorophyll. Why they don't just eat all the vegetation surrounding them in the forest is a mystery.
Dad comes to the rescue and gives a suspicious look as the residents explain their intentions. As the Waits head back to the house they are surprised by an invasion of Nilbog locals and a huge feast that consist mainly of cake. These people haven't eaten in what seems to be about 2 days straight. Perhaps this is why they decided to be thankful for the uninvited guests instead wondering why the fuck 20 slack-jawed yokels entered the house without permission. Joshua is the only one that finds the situation strange and so he's sent to his room, where he meets up with Grandpa Seth. Grandpa was having issues finding the right room to appear in earlier in the film. Somehow he has the ability to stop time and pop in and out of existence, but he doesn't have a GPS to point him to the right bedroom.
The responsible, old Grandpa Seth gives the little boy a Molotov cocktail, which he uses to set one of the locals on fire. His Dad runs out to extinguish the flames which reveals the true form of the Nilbog residents. The goblins have the perfect opportunity to ambush the family, but choose to just stare at them menacingly as they retreat to the house. The Waits have the brilliant idea to contact Grandpa Seth through a seance, which none of them have any prior experience with. They leave it all up to the little shite kid to figure out how to conjure up a dead man.
While the Waits are running around in circles from the invading goblin horde, Creedence is making herself look desirable for the last member of the RV. Brent sees Creedence strutting on tv and she tells him to meet her outside. He's freaking out, but let's her in because why not. She desperately over sexualizes an ear of corn and tries to feed it to him. They end up making out while eating the corn that's sandwiched between their lips. Popcorn starts flying everywhere because this scene is so steamy. One of the best scenes in the film if you can imagine.
Grandpa Seth and Joshua teleport to Creedence's lair where they find the source of goblin power, a piece of Stonehenge with a glowy bit in the middle of it. The only way to defeat them goblins is to touch this stupid rock. That's it, that's all they have to do. So Creedence starts flipping out and leaves Brent in the RV buried in popcorn and still alive. We hear nothing more of Brent even though he survives all this. She returns to her lair just to meet defeat by a prepacked bologna sandwich that Joshua eats in front of her. For the love of Pete, this is so fucking dumb. I have no idea why I watched this more than once.
The happy ending turns tragic as the Waits return home. Joshua's mother chomps on an apple which is so obviously gonna turn her into pudding. Joshua runs through the house looking for her, knowing the goblins are inside. He finds her partially consumed on the kitchen counter. The nice goblin offers Joshua a bite, but he rudely declines. Yay, it's over.
This is definitely a shit film that most people are going to be turned off by. You'd be lucky to even finish the damn thing. For people like me, this is a great flick to watch maybe once a year. It enhances other films by comparison. It's mere existence is just so confusing to me. Who thought this script was good enough to throw money at? The ridiculous dialogue is further butchered by an extremely poor delivery. You know it's bad when the best actor is an 8 year old boy. The goblins themselves aren't remotely frightening. You can see the eye-holes on the masks on close-up shots so it's hard to suspend disbelief.
With all the negative, there is something strangely enjoyable about the film. It's definitely a disasterpiece. IMDB rating is 2.7, which is probably fair. I'm gonna give it a 5 just because I do enjoy watching it regardless of what an abomination it is.
There's still plenty of Halloween left in the month, so check out all the horror inspired Needless Things on the site. Come back next time for more of the disturbing and obscure in Devlin's Domain.
About Me: I have a couple of different aliases, but for this column I will use my middle name. I am Devlin and I currently reside in Atlanta, GA. 33 years of age and still feeling immortal. Former Rockstar, current Pro Wrestler and hell, I'm still a Rockstar at heart. I got my first taste of obscure cinema when I was about 8 years old. My Dad would take us to the video store every weekend to stock up on classic horror films to watch on his projector. They were mostly harmless, PG-rated horror films like the great Universal monster movies. Then one night he rented a movie for himself to watch after we had gone to bed. I was so intrigued by this film that I wasn't allowed to see. I begged and begged and he eventually caved. That night I was exposed to a film unlike anything I had seen before. Ever since that night I wanted to find more films that gave me that same sensation. I wanted to feel shock and disgust. I found my place in the Horror aisle. The film I watched was Faces of Death. Thanks Dad.www.facebook.com/DevlinValek