The part of a news anchor in Ware’s film “Thr33 Days Dead” will be played by Alabama resident George Hardy, a star of the all-time worst movie ever — 1990’s “Troll 2.”
One might ask why a director would call the role a game-changer. But “Troll 2,” which follows a family stalked by vegetarian goblins who turn humans into plants and then eat them, is in fact so bad that it has gained thousands of fans. Many of them have organized movie screenings and festivals to celebrate the film.
“It's really weird to have people lined up just down the hallway wanting your autograph because no one really recognizes me out in the streets in my hometown,” Hardy said.
In 2010, the film also prompted a documentary called “Best Worst Movie,” which was shown in 30 film festivals and won the Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival’s “Audience Choice for Best Documentary.”
Hardy said “Best Worst Movie” further solidified his national cult following.
“And I have to laugh at myself when I say that,” he said.
Though Hardy agreed to a few short parts in movies like “Street Team Massacre” and the upcoming “Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws,” he hasn’t taken on another major role since “Troll 2.”
He now lives in Alexander City where he has a dental practice.
When asked why he joined Ware’s project, Hardy, who attended Auburn University, said he wants to do anything he can to support film making in Alabama.
He also said Ware and the crew seemed like smart people using every available resource to realize their dream.
“I thought, ‘Why not. Life’s short,” he said.
Hardy did have one stipulation for the cameo, however. He would not appear in a scene that contained blood or gore.
Again, one might ask why a person made famous by a horror film wouldn’t want to be in a scene with blood. Hardy said he simply doesn’t care for films with over-the-top violence such as the “Saw” series. And he points out that the goblins in “Troll 2” were vegetarian creatures who ate people only after they transformed them into plants. The green substance dripping from the goblins’ mouths on several movie posters, he said, was meant to be plant chlorophyll.
After combing the script to find a character that went the entire movie without dealing with blood, Ware decide to have Hardy play the local news anchor.
Ware and the “Thr33 Days Dead” crew traveled to Alexander City to shoot the scene, filming Hardy behind a green-screen at his dental practice.
“He is really cool and real professional,” Ware said.
“Thr33 Days Dead” has gained legitimacy, not only from Hardy’s appearance, but from people throughout the region who have donated their talents to the project.
Area bands have held benefit concerts. Local restaurants have catered filming sessions. And businesses have offered their property for shoots.
Ware also said a Nashville photographer offered his services to provide the artwork for the “Thr33 Days Dead” movie poster.
“He said, ‘I'll do it for a copy of the movie, an autographed poster and a T-shirt’ and he normally charges a pretty penny,” Ware said.
Ware said shooting has been going well for the film, though several weeks of sporadic showers and thunderstorms have threatened to keep the crew behind schedule. Producers of the film have a tentative premiere date for Oct. 31.
In an effort to promote the film, several members of the cast and crew of “Thr33 Days” dressed up as the living dead and staggered through the Jasper Mall on Aug. 6. Ware said the overall response to the zombie-walk was positive. However, one store manager called the police, making a 5-year-old ghoul cry.
Ware said that, despite the misunderstanding, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”