There’s a feature that I’ve wanted to do on this blog for a long time. While Ariel and I have lots of fun reading the worst books currently being written, I personally also thoroughly enjoy watching the worst movies ever made. Few nights sound as fun to me as getting a bunch of friends, a bunch of alcohol, and an unbelievably terrible movie. Not just any bad movie, however. These have to be so bad they are mesmerizing, that one can only laugh at it and simply wonder how such a terrible attempt at art could have ever come to be. Of course, you’re reading Bad Books, Good Times, so you’re familiar with this concept.
But there is one movie that stands far above the others. A film so fascinatingly bad I have lost track of how many times I’ve seen it, although I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere between fifteen and twenty times. I speak, of course, of Tommy Wiseau’s infamous 2003 cinematic experience, The Room.
A gripping drama about a popular, successful man named Johnny whose fiance Lisa is cheating on him… with his best friend Mark! Johnny’s life slowly falls apart as Lisa is torn between a stable future with Johnny and her lust for Mark, and his friends begin to betray him one by one.
That’s what it’s “about”, but it really doesn’t do it justice, because where do you even begin? The Room is the godfather of bad movies. It is also The Godfather of bad movies. When you want to watch a movie that’s so bad it’s good, so bad it’s life-affirming, so bad the heavens part and angels begin singing, The Room is the absolute reigning champion. Lots of people will argue that Troll 2 is the best bad movie ever made. These people are wrong.
Not only does it never get old, it gets better. Every single time you watch this movie, you catch something new revealing just how awful this movie is. This is a movie that does everything wrong that a movie can possibly do wrong. Yet its stupidity makes it brilliant. The characters, the plot, and the dialogue are so unbelievable and nonsensical that not a second goes by where you’re not laughing at how stupid it all is.
“What was that?” you may ask. What was that, indeed.
Subplots ranging from a character’s drug addiction to another character’s struggle with breast cancer are introduced and then never mentioned again for the rest of the movie. Characters show up completely out of the blue but appear to already be very well acquainted with the other characters and the plot. The movie starts with three near-consecutive sex scenes, one right after the other and, as an added bonus, the first and third are the exact same footage. Everything a movie can do wrong, The Room does wrong.
But then there’s the acting. While it’s one thing to have a terrible story, terrible writing, and terrible directing, it’s the acting – or lack thereof – that makes this movie. The actors seem blissfully unaware of how terrible the movie is, delivering their lines with the most sincere blank expressions imaginable
The Room is the very definition of “so bad it’s good”. It’s easy to make a bad movie, but making a movie this inexplicably bad? That’s just incredible. So it’s even more incredible that one single person, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, and played the lead role in this movie. Tommy Wiseau single-handedly made the worst movie of all time.
And, much like how we bring you readings of bad books, we will now be bringing you a “reading” of The Room.
I’m not kidding when I say that this movie is one of my favorite things in the world, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to delve into it and thoroughly go through everything that is awful about it, and why that is amazing.
So some technical information about how we’re going to do this:
- It’s a movie, not a book. So, obviously, we’re going to have to do this a little differently than we usually do. I’ll include quotes like we usually do for our books, but film is a different medium and that doesn’t quite do it justice. I’ll include YouTube clips and animated gifs and screenshots when I can, but there’s no guarantee I’ll necessarily have any of those things (except for screenshots – those are easy). It is probably recommended, then, that you actually watch The Room. Find a copy in whatever way you see fit, get some friends, and get a lot of alcohol. Those three steps are increasingly optional, but also increasingly recommended.
- Also obviously, I’m doing this on top of our regular updating schedule. It’s entirely possible I’m not going to have time to do this every week, and I’m just going to have to thank you for your understanding and your patience on that one.
- The most important part, obviously, I might decide to change this in the future, but for now, expect “Matthew Watches The Room” posts to go up on Wednesday afternoons. Yeah, we’re trying some new things here! We have no idea how it’ll go.
Anyway, this does mean we’re not actually starting this until next week. But to tease you with what’s to come, this week I’m going to cover… the opening credits. Because this movie is so awful, there are already things to make fun of in the opening credits.
Well, not, say “make fun of”. More so… signs. Warning signs.
It begins with an unassuming studio logo.
So far so good. You know, all things considered, like how we’ve only seen a studio logo. After a few more white text on black background credits over the preludes to the theme song, it suddenly comes alive. Now, if you haven’t seen The Room before, and even if you have, I want you to do this little exercise for me. You’re about to watch something you’ve never seen before, and you hear this music:
And then as the theme truly begins at the ten second mark, the screen lights up overlooking San Fransisco, panning down over the Golden Gate Bridge. It cuts to black again, and (at the twenty-three second mark) we see the title emblazoned in all its glory: The Room.
The opening credits continue with more establishing shots of San Fransisco, interspersed with actors’ names: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Juliette Danielle, and others. Then we begin credits for the people on the other side of the camera, superimposed over the continuing shots of San Fransisco.
Ah, we see the lead actor is also one of the producers. An independent film. Our journey through San Fransisco continues.
How about that? Mr. Wiseau again. He’s an actor and a writer. How… ambitious!