Film Event: The Room, 20 February, Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh

12 Feb

Image courtesy The Room UK

Updated 15 February: enter the Twitter giveaway for two tickets to The Room

As Edinburgh prepares to host yet another cult film event, Ross Maclean steps into The Room…

The history of cinema is littered with self-financed personal projects and noble failures. When producer/writer/director/actor Tommy Wiseau plunged an alleged $7m into funding his debut feature, who knew it would be so awful? Or so enduringly popular?

To call The Room bad is to do it a disservice. It transcends ‘bad’ to become an all-encompassing onslaught of ridiculous scripting, woeful acting, cringe-inducing sex scenes, frequent non-sequiturs, bad dubbing and over-earnest melodrama.

Nominally a relationship drama, Wiseau himself plays Johnny, a gentle soul, betrayed by his girlfriend and best friend. If you’ve never seen or heard Wiseau, picture the result of a failed intensive breeding program between Sylvester Stallone and a Na’vi, with an indefinable accent approximating a tranquilised Arnie, dressed like a guest at a goth wedding.

It’s not hard to see why Tommy has gained a cult following – here’s a sample of what to expect:

Originally released in 2003, The Room slowly achieved a notoriety based on its ineptitude and began to show at special screenings. When word began to spread of this ‘best worst movie’, celebrity fans began attending showings in New York and LA.

Seeing it multiple times fast became a hipster pursuit. A series of viewing rules, based on good-natured celebration of the film’s many failings, organically developed and following them is actively encouraged.

Now we can get a chance to experience the magic across the pond as the Cameo is putting it on, for one night only (lest its hallowed reputation be irreparably damaged).

Here are five reasons to see  The Room on the big screen:

  1. It’s attracting the comedy elite on both sides of the Atlantic. Jonah Hill, David Cross (Arrested Development), Edgar Wright, Charlie Brooker and Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan are all fans
  2. It’s a raucous, interactive movie-going experience that doesn’t involve singing!
  3. Following the viewer’s guide at least ensures you’ll stay focused, even when the film doesn’t
  4. Tommy Wiseau is a wildly enigmatic screen presence
  5. To experience how much fun can be derived from watching such an atrocious film en masse

If you think The Room sounds like the most abysmal film you’re ever likely to see, take that instinct and run with it. It’s the highest recommendation for seeing the thing – and bring your plastic spoons!

The Room (18) is showing at the Cameo on Saturday, 20 February at 11pm.

Read more of Ross Maclean’s’ work on his blog, That Creep Can Roll.


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