THE ROOM | MOVIE REVIEW

THE ROOM – a film so bad it has been called things like “the worst film of all time” – to “the best travesty on the planet.” It cost $6MIL to make, and in its opening release it made $1080- yep – no more zeroes. Since this time it has become a cult film and has made a lot of money. The batshit crazy director, writer and star, Tommy Wiseau, claims he funded the film by selling leather jackets imported from Korea and took over 30 takes to pretty much film all his scenes with the use of line cards offscreen. Most of the film is also post dubbed to correct the lines – it looks so appalling it makes DAYS OF OUR LIVES look like an Oscar winner, but hey, if Sharknado can become a film the world raves about then this film could be great :). Kernel John was very eager to see it and headed off to torture himself – please enjoy this fine, actually John’s longest review to date, on the film THE ROOM, it is rated M and runs for 99mins, they also have a great website where you can buy it direct to own on DVD and Blu Ray, if you are into self torture :). They are also having another screening on the big screen at the Cremorne Orpheum on September 19th – click here for tix. All the best……..JK. #poorBen – I am still laughing at this review.

 

THE ROOM DEREK DEAL POSTER ARTWORK IMAGE
THE ROOM | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CULT POSTER ARTWORK FROM DEREK DEAL – AVAILABLE AT http://www.soundonsight.org/crazy-4-cult-poster-art-for-tommy-wiseaus-the-room/

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

The other day, I had the ignominious pleasure of seeing THE ROOM.  This was not on behalf of the Salty team; it happened to be showing at my local cinema, and after seeing it, I just had to tell everyone about what a crazy night it was.  A good friend of mine, Ben, whom I had not seen in quite a while, invited me out of the blue to see this embarrassing excuse for a film.  Within the first five minutes of the viewing, I began to wonder whether he was really still my friend after all.  There are a handful of things in this world that you just do not do, not even to your enemies.  Hell, even wars between nations have a set of rules and conventions that both sides try to follow.  In regards to the arts, you do not subject anyone, even your arch nemesis, to the likes of anything written by Stephenie Meyer, anything sung by Celine Dion, or anything at all involving Kim Kardashian (EDITOR’S NOTE: JK loved the Twilight books and Celine sings the song to his favourite film :)).  I would now like to add to this shameful list the disgraceful movie THE ROOM.

This is not a good film.

“It’s the best worst film of all time!” said my pseudo-friend Ben when inviting me to the screening.  “You’ll love it!  Oh and bring spoons.”  Now, I have very had little exposure to phenomenon that is THE ROOM prior to this moment, but I will admit that that had to be the most confusing message I had ever received.  Putting aside his initial statement for the moment, why on Earth would I bring spoons to a cinema?  And not just in the singular, oh no, my slightly-less-friendly friend wanted me to bring multiple spoons, as if to collectively eat with every other poor bastard in that theatre from the trough of depression that is THE ROOM.  “Maybe he meant ‘jacket’,” I thought to myself.  “Autocorrect can be a real nuisance sometimes.  He probably meant ‘bring a jacket’.  That’s nice of him to care.”  Trust me, as I was to realise later, my not-all-that-friendly friend did not care at all, because he made me sit through two Goddamn hours of THE ROOM!

 

THE ROOM MOVIE IMAGE
THE ROOM | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOHNNY (TOMMY WISEAU)

 

This is not a good film.

While I can say the above with authority now that I have seen it, before the viewing my not-as-good-a-friend-as-he-was-last-week friend Ben claimed it to be the worst film ever made.  Now I have seen some frightfully horrendous movies in my time.  From BATTLEFIELD EARTH to STAR WARS EPISODES I, II, and III, CATWOMAN to Shyamalan’s idiotic adaptation of THE LAST AIRBENDER, it is these sorts of films that make you feel ashamed to be sharing the same genetic template as the idiots responsible for these debacles.  However, compared to THE ROOM, those catastrophes stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of CASABLANCA and SCHINDLER’S LIST.  My less-and-less-of-a-friend-by-the-minute friend was right; this is by far the worst movie ever.  There is absolutely nothing redeemable about this monumental failure.  From the shameful acting to the unbearable camerawork, senseless storyline to the atrocious dialogue, dreadful “special effects” to the less than $2,000 initial box office return on a $6,000,000 investment, this film stands as grand testament to all the deepest horrors of the viewer’s soul.

This is not a good film.

I began to suspect that this movie was going to be less than stellar when, upon entering the theatre, the usher took my ticket before handing me a two page directional order and a fistful of plastic spoons.  The crush of the crowd behind me prevented any attempt at clarifying just what was going on.  Waving me over from the seats he had reserved, my no-longer-a-friend friend Ben sat me down, pointed to the paper in my spoon free hand and with a slightly manic grin said, “Make sure you read that,” before returning his anticipated gaze to the still blank screen.  So, read I did.  THE ROOM, it seems, comes with a detailed instruction manual on how to watch it.  From which scenes to jeer at, to particular phrases to scream aloud, to song lyrics to belt out, to appropriate times to throw spoons at the screen.  Literally, lob your utensils at the movie, as if in some mock exclamation of abhorrence at what had just transpired.  What on Earth did I just sit down to watch?

 

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THE ROOM | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOHNNY (TOMMY WISEAU)

 

This is not a good film.

But then, veterans of THE ROOM already know this.  And trust me, there are veterans out there; masochists who revel in the depravity that is this film, seeing it over and over again with other like-minded and decadent individuals, like my newly-christened-as-an-enemy friend Ben, dragging the unsuspecting virtuous down into their corruption with unexpected invitations to see the movie.  The brain fart of writer, director, distributor, producer and executive producer (which technically means he was both heavily involved and not at all involved in the film’s production at the same time), and lead actor Tommy Wiseau, THE ROOM is a quasi porno-drama cross, about Johnny (Wiseau), his cheating whore of a fiancé Lisa, a whole bunch of random people with hardly any interconnectedness or plot stability, and the San Francisco skyline.  Trust me, that synopsis is about as coherent a retelling of THE ROOM as you are likely to get.

This is not a good film.

And Wiseau is not an attractive man.  Looking like the love child of Oliver Platt and Sylvester Stallone, with a voice halfway between Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wiseau is not only hard on the eyes and ears, but on the cinematic senses as well.  I have seen bowls of fruit with more acting talent than this greasy haired fool.  Seeming to be nothing short of homeless in both his onscreen appearance and mannerisms, Wiseau leads the charge among his equally talentless co-stars.  Woodenly delivered dialogue, inappropriate reactions to events, polar emotional shifts, and ridiculous fight scenes are just some of the many, many reasons why this film launched precisely none of the careers of the actors involved.  The fault, of course, rests entirely with Wiseau.  He wrote their lines, directed their scenes, and formulated what has to be the most incoherent and nonsensical piece of rubbish I have seen in a very long time.  He was also solely responsible for the introduction and lack of conclusion of a great many random lines of narrative.  It was not so much that these storylines ran tangentially to the film, but more that they would have still made completely no sense even if in an entirely different movie had been specifically shot to address those moronic moments.  I heard them described beautifully by one of the film’s “actors” (and I use that term very loosely) as “plot cul-de-sacs,” which has to be the greatest definition of a superfluous scene that I have ever heard.  Also, there are certain moments in the film that take place on top of a building, but in reality were shot in a parking lot with what has to be the worst CGI San Francisco skyline superimposed through green screen.  The film was shot in San Francisco after all; what sort of ludicrousness prevented them from simply dragging their cameras to the top of an actual building to film the scene, thus getting the actual skyline in the shot?  Oh, I know what stopped them, the travesty that is WISEAU!

 

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THE ROOM | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOHNNY (TOMMY WISEAU) AND THE KID

 

This is not a good film.

But then, as I was to learn, one does not go and watch THE ROOM to actually watch THE ROOM.  You go for the most insane movie experience of your life.  Think footy grand final meets a raucous Saturday night at the pub meets a prison break.  Audience members follow those usher’s instructions like gospel truth.  There is constant shouting, cheering, booing, and yelling.  Greetings, farewells, catch cries, and catcalls.  Jumping, stomping, stamping, and dancing in the aisles.  And the ever constant barrage of spoons flying every which way.  This was easily the most exciting and exhilarating movie experience I have ever had.  At one point, when a particularly large cloud of spoons landed at my feet from hecklers behind me, I was almost mobbed by surrounding cinemagoers clambering to resupply themselves for the next salvo.  Since its release in 2003, THE ROOM quickly gained a cult following for the sheer farce that it was.  It pops up every now and then at smaller cinemas and fanatics, such as that jerk-ex-friend-of-mine Ben, flock in their hundreds to celebrate in their communal immorality.  Do not see this film online, or on DVD, or in any other fashion that does not surround you with already hardcore fans.  Witnessing the amazing, interactive event that is this movie is like nothing you have ever seen before, and can only be done in a cinema with a group of your nearest and dearest.  THE ROOM is a film that ruins friendships but gives one a story worthy enough to tell their grandkids one day.

This is not a good film.  Make sure you see it as soon as you can.

 

5 Pops