PROVO — Ever wonder what it would really take to make the worst movie ever?

Try a budget roughly the size the average person's credit card limit, a clueless production staff, and a confused group of actors who filmed almost every shot in one take and didn't know what the movie was about until they saw the final product.

Or you could skip all that and just watch "Troll 2."

A handful of actors from the 1990 film were in Provo on Thursday for a special screening of the film and a question-and-answer session with a surprisingly large contingent of fans — more than 100 strong — to marvel at the film's recent resurgence in counterculture circles and its rapid ascension to cult-classic status.

The film has shot up — or plummeted, depending on how you look at it — to No. 4 on the The Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) "Bottom 100," the fan-driven list of the most awful movies ever made. It has also been appearing on cable movie channels with growing frequency, and a documentary about the film is in the works.

And it was filmed in Utah, mostly in Wasatch and Morgan counties.

At the cast reunion Thursday, the movie's actors marveled at the newfound success of the film and got in a few zingers at its expense.

"We had no idea what this movie was, what it pertained to, and this is the first time I've seen it," joked Don Packard, who played a small-town drugstore owner. "I don't think I could sit through it again."

The popularity of "Troll 2" is derived from its laugh-out-loud silliness and, at times, its monumental stupidity. Or as reunion organizer Blair Sterrett of The Lost Media Archive puts it, there are two kinds of bad movies — the disturbing ones that you never want to see again and the ones that you want to run out and share with everyone.

" 'Troll 2' is definitely in the latter group," Sterrett said as he presented the movie on Thursday.

The flaws of "Troll 2" are obvious from the start. Despite its title, the villains of this movie are pudgy little goblins with comically hideous masks

who are capable of disguising themselves as humans.

This trick makes it easier to share their special foods — laced with a radioactively green goop — that turn people into human/plant hybrids that the goblins can then use for food.

Actors said the movie's production crew, all Italians, didn't speak any English and couldn't communicate. Their only link to the actors was a translator, whose English was broken at best, which is possibly the principal source of the movie's comical problems.

"We didn't know what was going on, and they didn't know what to tell us," said Lance Williams, who played one of the goblin townsfolk.

George Hardy, who played the father of the Waits family, which the townsfolk of Nilbog (goblin spelled backward) are after, said the language barrier made an already confusing script downright impossible to understand.

"I had no clue what was going on in the film," he said. "It was so discombobulated. We'd all try to read through the script and figure it out, but we couldn't do it."

Now that the kitsch film is becomingly increasing popular, Hardy said he hopes it takes its place in American pop culture alongside such movies as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

And while they won't hesitate to knock their product, the actors at Thursday's reunion don't apologize for it, either, unanimously agreeing that the whole experience was a blast.

Perhaps Deborah Reed, who turned in an over-the-top performance as the movie's arch-villain, Creedence Leonor Gielgud, put it best.

"If you can't be in the best movie ever made, you might as well be in the worst one," she said. "It's fun."


E-mail: jtwitchell@desnews.com