Corny jokes are all that I’m left with, along with growing paranoia.
Just over a week ago, I was trawling (geddit?) through our Netflix queue looking for something to watch, promptly found “Trollhunter” sitting two thirds of the way down, and jumped over to Nekoneko to re-read her review.
By the way, if you’re interested in watching “Trollhunter” I recommend you read her write up. Because you see, I did not finish it. And I wanted to review it. By Grabthar’s hammer, this was not to be…
Reading the synopsis for “Trollhunter“, I was at first like WTF but then, OMG I LOL’d. The pseudo documentary style made me wonder whether this’d be “Blair Witch” with trolls, but Norwegians proved with “Dead Snow” that they can be original and entertaining. In “Trollhunter“, then, we have footage taped by a group of University students following a bear poacher who turns out to be a TSS (Troll Security Service) operative hunting trolls instead.
Hans (Otto Jespersen) is tired of leading this secretive life and decides to let the kids tag along on his hunt, despite his government handler’s objections.
He “schools” them on the various types of trolls and their habits while the TSS covers up troll activity by blaming mutilated cattle on bear attacks, going as far as having a Polish crew deliver a dead bear in the forest (the wrong kind), and faking satellite pictures to show locals that downed trees were uprooted by tornadoes.
Part of the fun is listening to Hans’ plausible sounding explanations for troll behavior, knowing that the filmmakers must have spent more than a few evenings drinking while thinking them out. Those power lines in the distance? Electrified fencing to keep trolls from wandering too close to human populations.
Even the maintenance guys at the power company don’t know what they’re really meant for… And don’t ask why, but trolls can smell Christians. So you better not sweat for Jesus in troll-land…
One scene in particular, is comedic gold: Hans leading three sheep on a bridge to lure a troll and get a blood sample (!!!)
That scene borrows from the old “three billy goats gruff” story and adds a Monty Python twist to it, with Hans donning up an armored suit making him look like the Black Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“.
At one point, Hans is blaring “oh what a friend we have in Jesus” through his Land Rover’s loud speaker to draw a 200 feet tall mountain troll away from the students, and that is where the DVD crapped out…
We knew there was a problem when the disc failed to play past the company credits (Magnolia and Magnet) and just stopped. It took some mighty dexterity to hit menu on the remote and access the disc’s menu screen. But then, the extras wouldn’t play either. Oh well, we thought: let’s try and watch as much of it as we can and played the film until maybe its last fifteen minutes, when it refused to play anymore.
Despite the DVD having no scratch or other damage, we found it frustrating, but not unheard of. We reported it as unplayable and got the replacement disc pronto.
And that’s when things really began going pear-shaped: the second disc had the same issues in the exact same places. This time, we called customer service and let them know that the issue seemed to be a manufacturing defect due to a bad master, possibly.
By the way, getting to a representative was quick and the guy was knowledgeable, which I am elated to point out in this day and age…
But wait. We actually went to the mall and purchased a “Trollhunter” DVD hoping the non-rental version would be free of defects. Wrong.
On the plus side, we were able to exchange the DVD later for “the girl with the dragon tattoo” and “the girl who played with fire“, thereby keeping our hard earned Kroners in that particular part of the world. I was at first really pissed off that Thor and Loki and whatever are racking up the box office bucks while we could not enjoy this little comedic Nordic gem, but then I realized that perhaps “Trollhunter” is no work of fiction after all and that aside from fjords, A-ha and vikings, trolls are a part of Norwegian heritage they’d just as soon convince the world doesn’t exist.
Why, didn’t they have a couple of German tourists killed by a troll as Hans said..?