Videogum

The Amazing Cult Phenomenon That Is The Room

If you live in LA, you probably already know about The Room. Enigmatic writer/director/producer/actor Tommy Wiseau released the Shakespearean tragedy (later to term it a “black comedy”) with a huge billboard on Highland Avenue in 2003, and since then legions of fans have discovered the gem (usually by watching a bootleg DVD at a friend’s house) and turned it into a bona fide cult hit. Every month, about 100 people gather for screenings at the Sunset 5 Theater in Los Angeles, dressing up as their favorite two dimensional characters, yelling specific lines at the screen (“You are tearing me apart, Lisa!”), and getting cheeky with their questions during the masochistic Q&A with Wiseau that is part of every screening.


I discovered The Room after a friend’s roommate arrived from LA, bringing with him a DVD and a legend about “the next Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Usually, I try not to watch full-length movies just because they’re bad, but The Room is different. Fans describe the film as “impossible to describe”, “the best bad movie ever made”, and finally resort to “you just have to see it and you’ll understand.”

Since my first viewing of The Room in January, I’ve screened the film for friends on five separate occasions, and everyone becomes immediately obsessed with Tommy Wiseau’s absolute dedication to doing everything wrong that he could possibly do wrong as a writer, director, and actor. This week I’ll be sharing clips, trivia and fan tributes from The Room in an effort to convince you that this convoluted, nonsensical story of a love triangle gone hilariously bad is worth an hour and a half of your time. First, the extended trailer for the self-described “best movie of the year”: