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The Room is a cult classic film written and directed by Tommy Wiseau about a love triangle resulting in tragedy. It has been called “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” in an article in Entertainment Weekly and has risen to cult status with its Rocky Horror style midnight screenings. One of the more popular lines from the film is “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” from one of it’s many cheesy scenes. (See also: So Bad It’s Good)
In 2001, Wiseau completed The Room as a play, and decided to turn it into a movie as well. After writing the script himself, he amassed $6 million according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The filmmaker has always refused to discuss where he got the movie’s $6 million budget, but he now hints that at least some of the money came from a clothing import business. ‘’I tell you a little bit, but that’s it,‘’ he says. ’’We import from Korea the leather jackets that we design here in America. If you work, you have to save money, right? I didn’t get money from the sky. I was preparing, let’s put it this way.’’
The film premiered at the Laemmle Theatre in Los Angeles on June 27th, 2003.
Midnight screenings of the film started shortly after the premiere in Los Angeles release. Midnight shows spread out initially to NYC at the Village East Cinema, and have since gone around the world to Canada, Europe and Australia. Audience members participate by yelling out the lines of their favorite scenes, dressing up as their favorite characters and by throwing plastic spoons at the screen.
Tommy Wiseau’s early life is shrouded in mystery. Although his accent is sounds European in origin, he claims he is actually from New Orleans in a 2009 interview with Terminal Laughter.
Because I grew up here in New Orleans Louisiana, I was going back to Europe back and forth, but the fact is I never think that people from other countries would like “The Room”, because we have a lot of American elements: football, you know, and other stuff.
On September 26th, 2011, The Huffington Post reported that Wiseau had started his own web series called “The Tommy Wi-Show.”
With a healthy dose of inspiration from Mystery Science Theater 3000, the “Wi-Show” features the embattled hero from “The Room” trapped in a Satellite Of Love-Esque space station, where he is forced to play video games by aliens.
Newground’s Tom Fulp created an 8-bit flash game tribute on 9/3/2010. It is a point and click adventure style game where you obtain items to use in puzzles to move the story along. It is fairly faithful to the original film, with quite a few extra locations and scenes. A soundboard site contains isolated audio clips of some of the scenes memorable lines. A Facebook fan page has 66,071 likes as of September 29th, 2011. There are several pages worth of fan art dedicated to Tommy Wiseau and The Room on the website deviantArt.
Nostalgia Critic Feud
The Nostalgia Critic reviewed the film on July 18th. Soon after, the original review was taken down because of a copyright claim by Wiseau Films. In what seems to be retaliation, Nostalgia Critic created another video in which he mimics Tommy Wiseau’s accent, quotes the movie many times, and talks about the copyright claim made by Wiseau Films.
Scenes From The Room
A spike in searching is shown in April, which may be due to The Room’s screening on Adult Swim on April Fool’s day. Another spike is seen on the day of July 18th, which is around the time that Nostalgia Critic reviewed the film.