Wednesday, January 20

Movie Review - The Crawlers / Troll 3 review

    I'm sure many people have heard of Troll 2 by now. It's legendary status of cinematic brilliance is known throughout the internet, and the world. With that, let's start my Troll 3 review.

    It was actually kind of hard to find this movie.In fact, I had to buy a former rental VHS copy on Ebay. At first glance, this movie looks nothing like Troll 2, but they're actually connected in a well disguised way. This movie actually has a number of titles: The Crawlers, Contamination.7, Troll 3, and the GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME! How nobody knows about it will forever be a mystery.

    Anyway, the movie starts off with two girls on a bus. For now, I'll just call them girl 1 and girl 2. Girl 1 says,

    "I'm going to visit my boyfriend. I haven't seen him in months. I can't wait. Do you have a boyfriend?"

    Girl 2 says, "No."

    Such engaging character dialogue deserves the academy award this movie never recieved. We then reach a gas station, where the bus driver runs toward the washroom. Girl 1 gets off the bus, we're not quite sure why, but the bus driver comes back and takes off without her. She asks the old gas station owner when the bus is, and he answers "Thursday". This mean's she's stuck there for a couple days unless someone else can give her a ride. She pets the old man's dog for a couple minutes, showing us the important development that she likes dogs. After a while, some middle aged dude with messy long hair offers her a ride. Being the smart girl that she is, she accepts the offer from the obviously friendly stranger.

    We then move to Girl 2, named Josie, who arrives at her parents place. Josie gives her 10-year-old brother a present. He unwraps the present instantly between shots and reveals it to be a Venus Fly Trap.

    "I hope you're still into plants," She says.

    Her brother is purely joyful for this carnivorous plant, which shows that he obsessed with plants. This carnivorous plant is also vastly important foreshadowing.

    Her brother asks Josie if she's going to marry Matt, her boyfriend, because they love each other so much. Judging by the fact that she told Girl 1 that she didn't have a boyfriend, there's going to be some tension when they meet again.

    "Last time I saw you you were sixteen," Matt says when he shows up.

    "Yeah," Josie replies with a warm smile.

    "And we were engaged."


    OK, seriously, how did this movie get by the academy awards?

    Anyway, we learn that a nearby nuclear power plant has been dumping barrels of nuclear waste into the forest. Oh nice, this story even has an anti-nuclear message to it. Scrap the academy awards, this movie should have got a Nobel prize or something. The scientist who informed the CEO of the radiation coming from outside the plant is promptly accused of drinking on the job in order to silence him, and gets another scientist to look into it. Wow, less than a minute after meeting the CEO, we already know that he's evil. The suspense in this movie is unbearable.

    We then warp back to Girl 1. Surprisingly enough, the stranger giving her a ride turns out to be a pervert and tries to rape her. She escapes and hides in the nearby forest. The truck driver leaves her behind as she looks on. We then get some moving shots in the tall grass with creepy music. Suddenly, she is pulled into the trees by some unknown force screaming. Within a few seconds she is being dragged on the ground, dead. This shows that the movie is not afraid to take risks. They spend all this time developing the motives behind this character only to kill her off early on. I'm not quite sure yet how this has anything to do with Trolls, but I'm sure we'll find out sooner or later.

    Back to the alcoholic scientist, who is measuring radiation in the forest. He is wearing no protective equipment because he's HARDCORE! This scene has neither dialogue or music, which only increases the massive amount of suspense this movie has.

    Now it's back to Josie and her brother looking at a scrapbook filled with real leaves. Wow, this kid's obsessed with plants, how often does he get beat up at school? Josie falls asleep, and then we warp to the alcoholic scientist in the bar. The village slut invites him to her place where they, about the scientist's worries that something awful will happen. Something horrible does happen, the old man's dog is killed by the same mysterious force that Girl 1 was killed by, complete with the weird crawling camera from her death scene. The next morning, the alcoholic scientist looks over some data entries in the computer. All of these scenes happen within three minutes, showing how fast paced this epic masterpiece is. We're still not sure how this movie has anything to do with Troll 1 or 2, but I'm still enjoying the ride so far.

    Now comes the romantic scene in the movie, where Josie and Matt drive to the forest. They look at a heart carving in a tree.

    "Remember this, we used to be closer." Matt says. They continue walking toward a forest. "This is paradise."


    My heart is melting at the sheer poetry in their immensely romantic dialogue together. They proceed to splash each other in the waterfall for about thirty seconds. They then sit beside a tree to put their shoes back on, but when Josie turns around, Matt is gone. Oh no not Matt, please don't kill off this incredibly engaging character. We then get the weird crawling camera again. She wanders around looking for him. As she's looking for him, we get a creepy music theme that will likely remind you of Troll 2's main theme, but much more subtle and dark. The build up here is so intense that I'm literally sweating. Suddenly...Matt covers her eyes from behind. Another fake out like that and I'll have a heart attack. We get the creepy camera again, and then warp to Matt zipping up his pants. This movie has so many lightly suggestive scenes, but it never shows anything. This proves that you can still have a good horror movie with a romantic subplot yet not have any dirty sex scenes. Bravo movie, bravo.

    They look to their right and see Girl 1's corpse in a bush. They must have been so into whatever they were doing that they never even noticed the corpse before...not even the smell. They report this to the sheriff, who has the most hypnotizing voice any movie. He accuses them of snorting something Josie brought from the city. Even so, he agrees to go with them after filling out a report even though they've already told him everything (off screen). He starts by asking them why they were in the woods, to their annoyance. We then warp to the forest, where the corpse is missing.

    "No, it was here. Maybe somebody moved it," Matt suggests.

    "Or maybe it mosied down to the soda shop, or a spot of coke, eh kids," The cop jokes. "Ahh, I you kids, you get my goat. I remember you from high school...both of you...troublemakers."

    "We're not in high school anymore sheriff," Matt argues.

    "Maybe you otta' be, ahh."

    I can't write dialogue this good if I tried. Anyway, we warp back to the nuclear plant, where Josie's body is lying on a bed. The CEO is there with a scientist. He says the sheriff told them about the corpse, showing us that whatever evil scheme the CEO is involved with, the sheriff is in too. Josie has some weird root sticking out where her one eye should be. They talk about how her body is soaked in something radioactive, and yet they aren't wearing any protective gear because they're HARDCORE! The CEO then talks to the alcoholic scientist, who tells the CEO that the waste trucks have never reached their intended destinations. The CEO tells him to leave him alone.

    The old gas station man burying his dog as the sheriff, Josie, and Matt arrive to fill up. The sheriff, being the jerk that he is, accuses the old man of being drunk.

    "I'm in mourning sheriff."

    "What did you lose, your teeth. Where's your dog?"

    "He's dead."

    Awkward. Matt comes by to ask the old man about Girl 1. He says that she has blond hair, even though she's a brunette. OK, maybe this movie has one mistake in it's script, but even some of the best movies ever have their continuity errors. Heck, Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring had a car in the background in it's theatrical release. Anyway, the old man says she met the girl, which proves the sheriff is even more of a Jerk. We warp to Josie's house, where she and Matt have an argument about...I'm not actually sure, but it raises tension.

    We then get an exciting chase through the nuclear plant, as the alcoholic scientist is chased by two men. Somehow he loses them, and begins driving home. We then warp to some old man we've never seen before at night time. The creepy crawling camera shows up again, and he is killed. Again, we don't see exactly what killed him, but we hear it whipping around. We the proceed to feel very sad for this old man we only knew for about 30 seconds. Snap back to the alcoholic scientist, who's being followed by the two men again. This time it's by the daylight. They must be tired by now, cause this chase has been going on all night. The drums in the background music start pounding as the chase picks up to an exhilarating 60 miles an hour on an open country road. This means the car chase is easily the greatest car chase ever.

    "Subject is not co-operating," The driver says.

    "Then shut up...........and step on it." The passenger says.

    Thankfully, this intense car chase is interrupted by Matt going into the bar. He is upset after his big argument with Josie. The village slut goes to talk to him, and then...we cut back to the chase. It is now nighttime again, showing that this chase has lasted more than 24 hours. Surely they must be tired by now.

    The scientist stops by the forest and runs in. The pursuers stop behind his car, and...walk. Rather than running deeper into the forest, The alcoholic scientist hides behind a tree, which is being lightened up by his car's headlights. Nobody would possibly think of looking there, which is why his hiding spot is pure genius. Some root pops out of the ground, and the creepy crawling camera shows up again. This is the most intensely suspenseful movie moment of all time. Not only is the scientist being pursued by the two men, who are now holding guns, but whatever's been killing off random people is nearby. We get some more roots popping out of the ground, and then the two gunmen are the roots. Finally, we know what's been killing everyone, radiation exposed tree roots. That's why Girl 1's body was covered in both radiation and roots. This plot twist is absolutely huge and...

    Wait, now I get it. I now know how the Troll movies all fit together. You see, Troll 1 has trolls that came from some magical world. They turned a small apartment building into some dimensional gate between our world and their forest filled world. In Troll 2, they must have somehow escaped that world and became goblins. At Nilbog, their kingdom, they had a magical rock. That must have something to do with how they got here. Anyway, they would turn people into plants by making them eat some green condiment of some kind. They would then eat these plants. After the goblins were killed in Troll 2, the remaining human plants were free of them, but wanted to exact revenge on humanity. The dumped nuclear waste in this movie mutated them into radioactive plant roots and gave them the ability to kill. There you go, that's how the Troll trilogy works. I am a genius.

    Anyway, the gunmen scream as the angry roots squeeze them to death. The alcoholic scientist then runs back to his car and escapes. We then warp to Matt in the sluts house, talking about how much he loves Josie. She then talks about how she only gets people who talk about their problems, including the scientist last night. Matt asks about what the scientist said, and then...we then warp to the scientist arriving at the sheriff's station. He tells the sheriff that the whole town must be evacuated, but the sheriff jokes it away. The scientist tries to call some national authority, but the sheriff points a gun at his head. Back with Matt, he is given a map by the slut, a map that the scientist left there. This map shows the locations where the scientist found traces of radiation. Snap back to the scientist, whose locked up at the station. He tries to tell the sheriff about the evil plant roots, but the evil sheriff ignores him. These scenes are so close together that I can't separate them into different paragraphs.

    Actually, I've run out of patience. I'm no longer going to pretend this movie's good. It's terrible. If you read my Troll 2 review, I said it's awesomely bad. Quality wise, this movie's even worse. The characters are bland, save for the sheriff who I can't explain with words. There's no suspense, there are hardly any scenes that last more than 40 seconds, and when they do they just drag on and on. The movie jumps around more than a kangaroo, the script is horrible, and IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH EITHER TROLLS OR THE FIRST TWO MOVIES. The moving roots look fake, and I wouldn't be surprised if all of their movements were just people wrapped up in them and moving around.

    We're only half way through the movie, and it only gets worse from here. For the rest of this review, I'm just going to rush through and mention the remaining highlights.

    The dead old man's son, or grandson, whatever he is, suddenly shows up out of no where. The sheriff refuses to let him see the body and fails to convince us with his horrible reasoning.

    Girl 1 has more roots growing on her, and apparently their feeding on her dead cells. This has nothing to do with the rest of the movie at all, which makes this scene completely pointless.

    The old man's grandson starts hanging around Josie and Matt, who haven't completely made up since their argument. At one point, they meet at some store at night. Josie's brother is there, who says,

    "I don't want you to marry him anymore."

    "Don't worry."

    Seriously kid, not only are you obsessed with plants, but you think you can tell your sister whether she'll marry Matt or not? What is wrong with you?

    Matt shows the other three the map, and they all try to figure it out. The kid says,

    "I know what that means. It means nucular [pause] radioactivity." (yes, the kid pronounced it "nucular")

    Wow, outsmarted by a 10 year old about nuclear stuff.

    Matt and the new guy dig up the old man's grave, only to find the body isn't there.

    Sheriff and his deputy arrive at the empty grave and realize someone else suspects them. The deputy stays behind to fill in the grave, only to be killed by more plant roots. My, these plant roots are convenient aren't they, only killing off bad guys and random characters nobody cares about. We hear whipping sounds, even though none of the plant roots are whipping...anything.

    The alcoholic scientist breaks out of jail by, I'm not kidding here, taking a spring off of the nearby security camera and picking his cell lock. OK, I can understand straightening out a small spring and using it as a lock pick, sort of. What I don't understand is why is the camera so close to the cell, and why is there a spring on the camera anyway?

    Matt and the other guy try to dig up the dead dog, but the sheriff shows up with a gun. He brings them into the trailer, where Josie and her brother are waiting.

    "Well, looks like a family reunion, hahahaha." Seriously, this sheriff person has to be the worst actor I've ever seen...ever. Suddenly, the roots crash through the windows. The windows crashing actually sounds more like cheap gunshot noises than anything else. The roots continue their convenience streak as they kill the sheriff, but let the others all run out. By the way, this one scene is the reason the movie is rated R (otherwise it would be PG). The roots go through his mouth and pop through his right eye, and yet he's still screaming? The gore effects look incredibly fake.

    The gang tries to call for help, but for some unexplained reason the lines are dead. This movie really makes no sense, it really doesn't. The gang then drives around the city to warn everyone about the plants. The kid goes into his room to get his toy space gun...I got nothing on this scene. Anyway, the plants attack Josie and her brother here. Josie is grabbed by the roots on several occasions, but always manages to break free. Why is she able to escape when nobody else has yet, including people with guns? They manage to escape like anybody should be able

    Matt gets his car stuck in a puddle, and tries to get out for over a minute. A bunch of roots come and grab the car. Why are they attacking a car when they feed on living things? I have no idea. Either way, even after they grab the car, somehow Matt drives away. This makes no sense since he was getting no where before they arrived, and by spinning your tires like that, you're only going to dig yourself a bigger hole to get out of. My brain has now officially run out of sarcasm, this movie's so bad that it's hard to make fun of it.

    Some old woman is attacked and killed by the plants in a barn.

    The guy who's dad/grandpa is missing, Brian, goes to warn some bearded old man about the danger. The old man thanks him by shooting from his bedroom, sigh. Our hero runs away as the man walks out of his house, only to become the next victim. This movie just won't slow down.

    The old woman's husband comes into the barn, only to show no emotion as he sees her hanging by the roots. The roots attack him too. He defends himself with a pitchfork. Matt randomly runs in and saves the old man with a pick axe. Where did he get the axe? We don't know. Anyway, he tells his dad to get out. Yeah, apparently this couple are Matt's parents, but the movie forgot to tell us.

    Brian goes to warn someone else of the danger, now at daytime.

    "Go away or I'll shoot."

    Geese, people in small towns are insane. We've got several people shooting at others, kids who are obsessed with plants, and sheriffs who simply don't know how to talk.

    Matt, Matt's dad, Brian, and Josie are driving toward the nuclear plant to warn them when the alcoholic scientist waves them down. Apparently he wants to go to the plant too, even though they hired the people that tried to kill him. He explains that the waste has been dumped into the forest.

    "But how could they do that?" Josie asks.

    "When 2 million dollars is involved there is no why?" The scientist answers.

    I'm...running out of things to say here. Were they getting tired of the movie at this point too? I know I am.

    "The radiation penetrated the roots of the trees, which is like the nervous system." I always thought the roots are what gathers water and nutrients. Do plants even have a nervous system?

    After another completely useless scene, we warp to the nuclear plant. The scientist tells the CEO flat out about the roots. The CEO then promptly tells him he's had enough and fires him. Really? After you told him to shut up, sent people out to kill him, and got the sheriff to arrest him, only now is he fired? Anyway, the group tells him that they're going to contact the national guard, even though the phone lines are dead. They ask the CEO to tell them where the waste site is, and he makes fun of them. They tell him to co-operate, and he responds by laughing out of control. In his laughter, he pulls out a gun.

    "You can kill us, but you're never going to get away with it." Matt's dad says.

    "Oh no, their never going to get me," The CEO answers. He then shoots himself. By this point, I'm counting down to the end of the movie.

    Brian leaves to get help while the rest get angry at him for doing so.

    "If only someone could come and help us," Josie said. Yeah, you're wishing for someone to come and help you after you got angry when Brian left to get help. That makes sense, right?

    Without any explanation on how they found out, the rest of the town shows up to help, armed with shovels and various farming tools. We get a minute of everyone just greeting each other with no real cohesion whatsoever, and then they all go completely silent when the slut shows up too. Wow, warm welcome there.

    OK, I'm tired of this movie. I'm so tired of even writing about it that I'll just briefly describe three more things.

    1st, Matt's dad and the scientist find the dump site in a helicopter with the most generic music in existence. By the way, they're walking around a site where a bunch of tin barrels of nuclear waste have been dropped, and there not wearing any protective equipment, because they're HARDCORE! The roots kill the scientist, and Matt's dad tries to escape with the helicopter. In the dumbest moment in the movie, and that's saying a lot, the roots grab the helicopter and pull it back to the ground. For a split second you see a toy helicopter land, and then there's an explosion.

    Next we have the entire village at the dump site. How did they find it so quickly? No idea. Anyway, they start loading these barrels into their vehicles without any protective equipment whatsoever, because everyone in this village is HARDCORE! The roots start attacking everyone. They kill the slut, a few random seniors, and then we see Matt and Josie's family hiding by a rock, talking about how all is lost. Suddenly, it's nighttime again. A bunch of bulldozers show up and shove around dirt. Brian somehow convinced them to come, but it's really not explained. Furthermore, how did he find the dump site when he left before the town actually looked for it? No idea. Somehow this solves the problem however. It seems the people behind this movie just wanted it to end. Oh, but wait, we still need one final scene.

    Josie is sitting on a couch at Christmas time. She is supposed to look pregnant, but it's obviously fake. Brian calls her, and as they're talking, the Christmas tree's roots come to life. Just like the end of Troll 2, they just had to tease us with that stupid cliffhanger ending. Oh yeah, the credits last about 40 seconds, probably because nobody wanted their names to show up there.

    And there you have it, Troll 3/The Crawlers/Contamination.7/an abomination. The fact that someone would make another Troll movie after the first two failed so bad is an insult to humanity, and the movie is an insult to the very fabric of nature itself. If Troll 1 was forgettably bad, and Troll 2 is awesomely bad, then Troll 3 is epically bad. While there were some things that were better than Troll 2 (the music, while bland, wasn't as stupid or overblown,) the movie in general is actually worse. It's still so bad it's funny, but it's tiresome as well. It's hard to find, and after watching it I can understand why Troll 2 is the more popular movie. Troll 2 is just more fun in it's crap-factor.

Big Bad Ben's 2-word review: EPICally bad.

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