What happens when a movie is so terrible that people will flock to a theater to see it? No, this isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke or even a trick question. It’s just the reality of a cult phenomenon called “The Room.”
On Friday night, the International Film Series presented the 2003 film, “The Room,” a movie known and loved for its poor quality and terrible acting. Students and local fanatics mobbed Muenzinger, ready to experience the unintentional catastrophe of filmmaking. Footballs could already be seen whizzing through the air as fans seemed to practice shouting at high volumes while talking excitedly to their friends.
However, there were still plenty of newbies in the audience, such as 20-year-old sophomore psychology major Alyssum Strasbaugh, who said she came because of the film’s reputation.
“I’ve heard that its the worst movie of all time, but it’s really entertaining for that reason,” Strasbaugh said. “It’s really chaotic in here…I’m excited”
Cullen Malone, another 20-year-old sophomore psychology major, said he had heard about the film’s following.
“My friend who’s a film major told me it’s the biggest cult classic,” Malone said. “It’s like ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’”
After concluding a fist-pumping rendition of “Friday” by Rebecca Black to set the mood, the lights dimmed and credits began to roll. Any polite silence only had a shelf life of about three seconds when the classic “Wiseau Films” logo instantly flashed on the screen.
The plot follows a man, Johnny, who is slowly torn apart by a secret relationship between his fiancé, Lisa, and his best friend, Mark. Tommy Wiseau, who plays Johnny, can also be credited as the film’s writer, director, producer and unintentionally comedic force. A distinctive man with black, flowing locks, a vague Eastern European accent and bizarre deformities, he had the audience roaring with laughter the minute he delivered his first monotone line.
Thanks to Wiseau, the film’s script and story line are, to put it nicely, a complete mess. Nuggets of overly-dramatic dialogue include “Everyone betray me! I fed up with this world!” and “You are tearing me apart, Lisa!” among others. Lisa, his fiancé, continues to flip-flop between loving Johnny and manipulating him, as she continues to also sleep with Mark, Johnny’s best friend. And Mark’s feeble retort to her advances inevitably is, “But he’s my best friend.”
But there is plenty of romance between Johnny and Lisa also. Within the first few minutes of the action, the two make love for an unbearable amount of time to the tune of audience gagging. Just in case this un-erotic sequence isn’t enough, the same footage is used a second time later in the film.
But the movie’s reputation can really only be attributed to its plot holes. These unforgettable moments range from a character’s ignored breast cancer, to a gun-toting drug dealer who appears once with no relation to the plot. Later, a pregnancy is announced only to find out it was invented to “make things interesting” in the next few seconds.
And, of course, due to all of this ludicrous action, the audience couldn’t have had a better time.
Especially memorable moments of audience interaction happened when the audience shouted “Go, go, go!,” during an agonizing panning shot of the entire Golden Gate Bridge. Viewers also loved to laugh and recoil as one of the leading characters had an unexplained neck spasm repeatedly throughout a scene. During any scene when a football was introduced, fans sprang to their feet and ran around the theater, tossing a football to one another.
But nothing was more fun than when some observant fan would yell “spoon!” at the sighting of a framed spoon in the background of a scene. Immediately the screen would cloud in a chaos of shadows cast by soaring plastic spoons. That moment is really what cult films are all about.
The film ended with a standing ovation as students whipped out their phones (and real lighters) to send off the ending credits, which featured a sultry original song from one of the sex scenes. As fans exited the theater, it was clear a successful “Room”-watching event had been had by all.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Stephanie Riesco at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.