Film: Troll (1986)
Directed by: John Carl Buechler
Written by:John Carl Buechler and Ed Naha
Starring: Noah Hathaway as Harry Potter Jr.
Michael Moriarity as Harry Potter Sr.
Shelly Hack as Anne Potter
Jenny Beck as Wendy Anne Potter
Sonny Bono as Peter Dickinson
Tagline: Come closer…
By Jason Plissken and El-Ron
Jason’s pre-screening memories: As mentioned before, I was a fan of scary movies. Ironically, I would always get scared and turn them off. Troll was no different. I was perhaps not even in high school when I first started to watch Troll on television, and I can remember watching it up until the part where little Wendy Anne has become inhabited by the eponymous monster and her voice morphs into his guttural growl.
I guess I could blame Poltergeist, or perhaps even The Village of the Damned or The Bad Seed, to know that when a cherubic little blonde girl shows up on screen, bad things follow.
Troll was no different.
El Ron’s pre-screening memories: Trollwas released during the evil puppeteering heyday of the mid- to late-80s, which included Ghoulies, Gremlins, Critters and Munchies, and I ate all of those films up, despite being terrified by them. There was more than one evening that I swore one was trying to push his was up past the floorboard under my bed, causing me to sleep with the lights on.
Troll stood out, though, for I remember its mix of fantasy in the everyday world. Was our old neighbor a former witch? How about our mailman? Did he possess some supernatural power that I was unaware of? What about my Uncle? Was that a magic potion on his breath, or just whiskey?
I remember all the faces familiar to me at the time — Michael Moriarity, Moe from The Stuff, Sonny Bono, Gary Sandy from WKRP in Cincinnati.
But it was not until I sat down to rewatch this that I realized…Holy Crap! It’s Harry Potter! I had no idea that the main character’s name was shared by a certain literary creation that has received some press as of late. Not only that, but as I recall, the Harry Potter of Troll was also practicing to be a wizard of some sort as well. I suppose my updated viewing of this will answer all these questions for me.
All I know is that I have the light close to the bed tonight, just in case I hear a rumbling under my floorboard.
Our featured guest: Jim Aupperle Chances are good, if a film had groundbreaking stop-motion special effects work done, Jim’s fingerprints can be found on those little miniatures. He has worked with visual effects for such films as Dreamscape, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Ghostbusters, Evil Dead 2, BeetleJuice, Critters 2: The Main Course, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hellboy (to name but a few!).
His name is mentioned alongside such stop-motion legends as Willis H. O’Brien, Randall William Cook and the master himself, Ray Harryhausen. Jim also wrote and produced his own feature, Planet of Dinosaurs, where he was able to live out his childhood dream of bringing dinosaurs to life.
We were very fortunate to have Mr. Aupperle for this little podcast and hope to have him back to discuss other films in his expansive resume.
Come venture under memory’s bridge for a trip to Troll here, or listen to below.