1/4 stars if watching sincerely; 4/4 if watching while wasted
A less discerning viewer would likely write off Troll 2 as the work of a 10-year-old with ADHD, a crate of green food coloring, $75 worth of deeply discounted Halloween USA costumes and access to their father’s camcorder. But a more rigorous evaluation reveals a fantastical world with a carefully constructed mythology possessing layers of political subtext and sociological exploration, not unlike Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
The Troll 2 Guide to Etiquette is an often overlooked companion piece to the film and a critical component of the Troll oeuvre. Below, Rental Rehab shares some of the more salient pieces from the guide, which should serve to make your next viewing of Troll 2 all-the-more fulfilling.
The Troll 2 Guide to Etiquette
Welcome to Nilbog, our magical country home, and ideally, your final destination. You may be wondering about the etymology of the word N-I-L-B-O-G, particularly if you don’t readily see the connection between that word and trolls. First, let us just say that Llort was far too difficult to pronounce.
While visiting Nilbog and referring to trolls, you may not call them “you people,” but instead, can use the identifiers “goblins,” “elves,” “leprechauns,” “shut-ins,” zombies,” “witches,” “vampires” and/or “those Stonehenge guys.”
These names have been self-designated by the residents of Nilbog, the “trolls” who live in “goblin town,” based on their culturally rich shared heritage: they all have tattoos in the shape of clover leafs (leprechaun), tend to lurch rather than walk while moaning (zombies) and recognize a leader with an Estonian accent (just like Twilight!). And, spoiler-alert, to reunite the troll collective, the clan must kiss the Blarney Stone/Stonehenge boulder found in the aforementioned witch/vampire’s lair.
When you start to feel like you’re in a Spinal Tap video shoot, you’ll know you’ve reached Nilbog.
(Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards, you dolt.)
In these pages, you will find the secrets and ancient wisdom needed to endure enjoy a visit to our beloved village.
•Be daring when decorating the home that you will use to ensnare the humans that you will later turn into genetic mutant half-plant, half-mammal troll food. Feel like hanging a painting near the ceiling line? Go for it. Have some avant garde sketches of goblins devouring children? Those will look nice in the 9-year-old’s room.
•It is most polite to convey your ominous messages of doom through the use of sporting goods. The preferred method is a hand-written note in green puffy paint on a baseball that is hurled at a child’s feet. This is a playful and non-aggressive way of getting your point across.
•Every day is St. Patrick’s Day in Nilbog, so expect plenty of festively dyed food and libations. Besides the customary green jelly-filled donuts, try green jelly on English muffins and a few carafes of green Kool-Aid. But if your college kegger days taught you anything, you’ll remember what happens the day after consuming a pitcher of green food coloring. As such, keep plenty of Cottonelle wipes handy in the guest bathroom.
•On the topic of dining, if the family staying in your quaint little hamlet is skittish about eating the neon-hued baked goods you have prepared for them, encourage them to partake by gathering around them, watching and clapping in off-beat non-synchronicity. This should relax them enough to the point where they will let down their guard and commence with eating, particularly if you are close enough to allow them to catch a whiff of your troll breath.
•If an insufferable young Juggalo drops trou at the dinner table and urinates on the spread that you have carefully laid out for his family, don’t fret; he’s probably just pissed that he’s missing the ICP concert this weekend, not to mention the lack of Faygo in your farmhouse. (If, later, you hear this young Juggalo shouting about how “the voices” made him do it, just assume he’s singing “I Stab People,” a lovely little ditty from ICP’s Amazing Jeckel Brothers album. Do what any parent who has a child with obvious psychological problems would do: lock him up alone in his bedroom for the night with no dinner.)
•Don’t make a big deal out of it if the person with whom you are conversing is constantly looking over your shoulder as they talk. They’re just checking in with the cue cards so they don’t “lose track of their train of thought.” This is a complicated storyline, and a bit of patience is much appreciated, as we didn’t all go to “acting school.”
•To seduce the fairer sex in Nilbog, corn on the cob will aid you greatly. (As will Joe Cocker’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” Play this incessantly to get any local witches/sexy librarians/vampires/women from Estonia in the mood.) In Nilbog, lovers like to each grasp one side of the sexy feed grain in their mouths and breathe heavily while staring into each other’s yellow eyes. Watch out for kernels in your teeth! If you want to fast-track the seduction experience, try a popcorn orgy. The younger generation prefers to roll around in the hot puffs in their pull-out beds. If this doesn’t sound like normal mating behavior to you, bear in mind that this is what sex looks like if your town was imagined by a 10-year-old boy whose parents retired to their bedroom to “have some popcorn” and watch Goblin Porn.
(Corn on the cob is possibly the most erotic of the produce family.)
•Speaking of popcorn stuck in your teeth, yes; an evil sorceress from a long-ago forgotten time can have braces. Just because she can control the rising and setting of the sun doesn’t mean she can’t benefit from the advances of modern orthodontia.
•Contrary to popular belief, it is actually more rude to stop a video shoot, shoo the fly away from your young actor’s forehead and reshoot the scene. What “experts” consider unacceptable errors of filmography on the most basic level may just make your film look more “arty.”
•Coffee is the devil’s drink. Try some thick, unrefrigerated milk, instead. No; no explanation. But trust us; nothing is as refreshing on a hot summer’s day after a long run. Mmmmm, mmmm. Milk.
•Parents appreciate when strangers notice their children’s assets and a well-timed compliment will go a long way in earning the trust of your new human neighbors, particularly if you are the town’s resident old hag. If you notice they have a teenage daughter who spends a lot of time in half-shirts and Garfield nighties, for instance, tell the lady of the house that her daughter is “very appetizing.” If that arouses suspicion, you can always back-pedal with a casual “I meant provocative.”
•The eerie “echo” effect in post-production will make up for anything lacking in the script.
•In Nilbog, we respect our elders. And our dead. And our dead elders who keep coming back from beyond to do things like ineffectively kill the town’s zombies or float as a disembodied head around the house. If you ignore Grandpa Seth he might just go away, but don’t plan on him staying away, no matter how many times he announces that he is not coming back. Alzheimer’s is a bitch.
• Nilbog’s man of God is Mike Hamill, also a personal trainer. Nobody knows how to blast the devil out of your pecs like Mr. Hamill. His training sessions are hell, but the results – heavenly!
•The most important ideal put forth in Nilbog is that vegetarians are bad. It is likely that a young protagonist, Joshua (shudder), will reverse his family’s peril by consuming a bologna sandwich to help his family return home after making out with the Blarney Stonehenge in the sexy librarian/witch’s house. The witch will scream in pain and shout things like, “What about the toxins?! What about all the cholesterol?!” There will be an appetizing close-up of Joshua shoving processed meat in his face. You can use the ever-shifting powers of Nilbog to jump 10 years into the future and you’ll likely find Joshua as the star of hit television show “I’m 18 and Morbidly Obese.”
Rental Rehab review by Kelli and Tricia