BEST WORST MOVIE (Michael Paul Stephenson). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (October 29) at the Royal. See Indie & Rep Film. Rating: NNN
As a child actor, Michael Paul Stephenson had the (mis)fortune to star in Claudio Fragasso's 1990 horror turkey Troll 2. Now an adult, he's made a documentary about the cult that's sprung up around the movie, accompanying other members of the cast and crew to a series of revival screenings - including one at Toronto's very own Bloor Cinema in 2008.
Best Worst Movie, which is getting a Halloween run at the Royal, is good for a few cheap laughs - particularly when paired with its inspiration, which the Royal will screen immediately after Best Worst Movie Friday and Saturday nights.
There's a perverse thrill to be had in watching deluded talents like director Fragasso and actor-dentist George Hardy (who played Stephenson's father in Troll 2) slowly realize that people are laughing at their work rather than with it - but that's about as deep as it gets.
That said, cheap laughs are still laughs, right?