‘The Room’: The Best Worst Movie Ever

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Therese Gardner

The Room is infamous for many reasons. Its strange origins, how absolutely terrible it is, and the cult following it has developed.

The man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, and starred in this film. Even those closest to him are unsure how he got the money to make this film which cost roughly $6 million to make which, if you’ve seen it, is quite hard to believe.

But Wiseau’s money isn’t the only thing that’s mysterious about him. For the longest time no one knew exactly how old he was, but after a quick internet search it seems we may have finally settled on 63. People also aren’t sure exactly where he’s from as he used to claim he was from New Orleans, but his accent told a different story.

The mystique surrounding Wiseau and The Room was a large contributor to its cult following. However, that isn’t the only factor. It also helps that it’s so bad that it makes you actually want to watch it. While most bad movies make you want to turn them off, The Room somehow has you coming back for more.

Although not very popular at the time of its release in 2003, it has now grown to cult status with regular midnight showings across the country that Wiseau himself will often show up to and sign stuff for fans.

The intrigue surrounding this film even sparked a movie, The Disaster Artist, which stars James Franco and is based off the book by Greg Sestero who co-starred in The Room. The Disaster Artist gives a detailed look into how this strange film came to be.

All in all, The Room definitely made an impression on the film community. It’s hard to pinpoint what about it makes it so watchable despite how bad it is, but to be so widely talked about 15 years after its release is quite impressive for any movie. Especially for one known as the worst movie ever made.

 

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Basement Talk 001: Hereditary, Heists, and Han Solo

Welcome to the first episode of Basement Talk, featuring hosts Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton. This episode includes talks about new movies this year, including Ocean’s Eight, Solo, Hereditary, and many others. Find out why some cult classics have low ratings and high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and why plot twists are dominating 2018.

Episode Length: 33 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

Let’s do the Time Warp Again: ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

The original cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is a sight to behold with kickass music, costumes, set design, and more. This film really rocked (pun intended) the film industry by becoming one of the first films to develop a cult following. For today’s literal Time Warp Tuesday it’s time to look at how this film became the cult classic it is today.

Just in case you haven’t seen Rocky Horror (which if that is the case, what have you been doing with your life up until now?) I will recap it for you. A young, newly engaged couple, Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick), approach a castle on a dark stormy night in search of a telephone after one of the tires on their car blows out. They are welcomed inside by handyman Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) where they meet mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry, who later played Pennywise in the original It). From this point forward all kinds of strange happenings occur.

This film started out as a stage play under the title The Rocky Horror Show. The “picture” portion of the title was added for the film adaption. It was written by Richard O’Brien in London in the 1970s where he was inspired by science fiction and B horror movies. After its large success on stage, it was turned into a film.

When the film first opened it did not draw large audiences. In fact, many early showings got cancelled. But once it was relaunched as a midnight film starting at the Waverly Theater in New York City that all began to change.

Not only did the film become a big hit, but a very large, committed fan base began to form. People started coming to the theater dressed as the characters, performing callbacks to what’s happening on the screen, and throwing objects such as toast and toilet paper. Another staple of Rocky Horror showings are shadow casts who act out the film.

Now, midnight showings of Rocky Horror are a regular occurrence in countless theaters across the country. There are even Rocky Horror conventions as the fan base has grown only larger and more committed as the years have gone by. Fans seem to really connect with this film in a way that you don’t see with many other films.

The massive cult following that this film has gained made way for other cult films such as The Room and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show really did change the film industry by creating this new participatory way to enjoy your favorite film. In a sense, it created its own genre of cult films with its signature showings and dedicated fan base that have become synonymous with the words The Rocky Horror Picture Show.