Friday, December 9, 2011

The original Harry Potter vs the Magical World

Troll (1986)
Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Phil Fondacaro, June Lockhart, Anne Lockhart, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Sonny Bono
Director: John Carl Buechler
Producers: Albert Band and Charles Band
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Teenaged Harry Potter Jr. (Hathaway) and his eccentric family move to a new city, but even before the boy has a chance to make new friends, an evil, shapeshifting Troll-king (Fondacaro) begins to transform the apartment building, unit by unit, into a replica of the world as it existed when fairies reigned supreme. Harry is called upon by an ancient sorceress and fairy princess (June Lockhart/Anne Lockhart) who has been waiting for this crisis to arrive to save not only his family but the entire modern world.


"Troll" is often described as a horror/comedy, but I think it's best described as one of the best fantasy films ever made. While there certainly are a few scary scenes, it's far more fantasy and fairy tale oriented than it is a horror film.

While the film is great fun and is decently enough acted and written, it does sport some pretty bad puppets and even worse special effects, even by the standards of the early 1980s. However, the humor and fast pace more than make up for these shortcomings. (As does the sequence where the fairy creature puppets sing a nonsense song that's both funny and creepy.)

Funny, suspenseful, magical, I think this is a fantasy film the whole family can enjoy.

By the way, Harry Potter and Harry Potter Jr. (portrayed by Moriarty and Hathaway respectively) in this film are the original Harry Potters. One wonders if Rowlings didn't "accidentally" take the name from this film, given that it's a story of secret magic in modern times.

2 comments:

  1. The puppets and special effects were the best part! I'm nostalgic for those sort of movies, they were great fun! It's interesting that the only photo posted was from what had been IMHO, one of the more pointless parts of the movie.

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  2. When the review was written, Dreyfuss hadn't completely faded from public view, so I chose her. (It was either that or the scene of singing critters... which is one of my favorite moments from the film.)

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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I love seeing what fellow fans have to say!