There is something to be said about a movie that knows exactly how bad it is and just kinda goes with it. Like Leprechaun, Nuke ’em High, The Return of the Living Dead and other self aware cheese-fests that came before it, Gnome Alone is a pretty shitty movie, in fact, it is far far shittier than any of those other movies…but at the same time, it is totally at peace with its shittiness. As such, despite having a non-sensical storyline, terrible acting, tasteless/pointless nudity, Verne Troyer fingering a bound, blindfolded girl (icky) and writing that would be considered sub-par in a 70’s soft core porno, Gnome Alone is almost a watchable movie.
Now please don’t mistake what I’m saying, this movie is BAD, so very very veeeerrrryyyy bad, but chances are if you’re comfy in your spot and the remote is out of reach, you won’t feel overly compelled to move just to turn it off mid-way.
Now similar to Leprechaun, Gnome Alone tells the tale of an ancient creature unleashed on the modern world. Unlike Leprechaun (which was a far superior movie…obviously I mean the first one) the wicked gnome is not cutting a swath through the big city in search of his pilfered pot of gold. No, in this shiny new mythology the gnome is a protector, summoned by naked, mud covered swamp witches and tasked with protecting the one who bears a particular mark (a circle with a triangle in it…isn’t it always?). This mark is transferable upon the death of its carrier (natch), so the gnome has been “protecting” marked women for centuries; protecting (as you can probably tell by the quotes) is a relative term.
Verne Troyer is the star here, of course, and he camps it up for all he’s worth and chews every piece of scenery in sight for the duration of the film’s 90 minute runtime (which feels like it lasts 3 hours), he’s not a good actor, but he does seem to give his all. Cheesy acting aside though, one thing about Troyer that really did not work to his advantage here, is that he seems about as threatening as kitty, an ugly, scabby kitty, but still just a frikin’ kitty.
Point being, kitties aren’t fucking menacing and neither is Verne Troyer, so casting him as a villain in a horror film makes about as much sense as casting Colin fucking Farrell to play the lead in Fright Night (no, I am still not over that). Obviously the idea was to use Troyer’s star power (which I guess is what you can call the whole Mini-Me thing) in a half-hearted attempt at transforming Verne into Warwick Davis, but this shit isn’t Leprechaun, and unfortunately for Troyer, the only similarity between him and Davis is that they are both little people.
Warwick Davis kicks ass (shut up he totally does…did you even watch Willow? Willow was the man) and besides having the stature to play the titular leprechaun, he is also a talented actor in his own right, so the guy can deliver a line and was suitably threatening as the little green menace. Verne Troyer’s gnome on the other hand was just a kinda icky little garden gnome with nasty skin, who could only deliver bad puns, and even that was just…awkward.
Although I will admit, I occasionally did burst out laughing at the sheer stupidity, and there is plenty of stupidity to be found. Besides the gnome himself, the remainder of the cast is hilariously awful and the script…well, I actually am pretty convinced that there was no script and that everyone was high on drain cleaner during filming…there can be no other explanation.
Fun Fact: Ross Bagley, the kid who played the oh so adorable Buckwheat in The Little Rascals movie, has a small part in Gnome Alone as a drunk College kid…he’s not actually any good in this movie and his acting range seems to consist only of acting drunk, but still, who didn’t love Buckwheat?
Where was I? Right…
The only actors who, for the most part, manage to maintain a shred of dignity are the female lead Kerry Knuppe and the detective played by Marlon Young (Rufus from Entourage). Despite having nothing (nothing at all) to work with, Knuppe manages to convey a human emotion or two and managed to hold her own for the better part of this crapfest…it doesn’t last of course, and before you know it she’s having the world’s fakest, most robotic seizure and gasping every line like she’s been running everywhere. Still, there’s potential in Knuppe, and I’m guessing (given a less shitty project) this girl could probably carve out a pretty decent career…or she could make Gnome Alone 2.
Now Marlon Young on the other hand, as fans of Entourage well know, is a fairly good actor with a commanding presence, he plays it straight here (unlike his castmates) and his Detective Drennan is just a dedicated officer searching for the truth in a world gone fuckety. His performance doesn’t really improve the movie, mainly cause that would have been impossible, but he does manage to add a touch of respectability to this piece of crap.
In the end, this movie is still fucking awful, but like I said, if your ass is comfy in your seat and the remote is not in reach, Gnome Alone is just stupidly funny enough to keep you watching…but so far, in this blogger’s humble opinion, we’ve got ourselves the year’s worst horror movie right here.
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