June 26, 2012

Notes on The Room - Towards a Theory of Bad Movies

by Allen Irwin

The Room (2003) - dir. Tommy Wiseau

I love bad movies. Even though my “serious” film viewing is often neglected (much to my ever mounting anxiety) in favor of films that ultimately seem… less than important, I keep coming back to the Bad Movie. Recently, when the urge to watch a bad movie comes knocking on my door, I’ve given in without much of a fight because bad movies are just so much fun. Not only that, they are also simply astounding, logic-defying and incredulity-challenging. Can a set look that fake? How can a line of dialogue be delivered so badly? Can a plot hole be that vast?

If nothing else, bad movies inspire in us a kind of terrifying awe (an ailment best treated by viewing them with a hardy group of friends). Just as the great paintings of the past draw admiration and contemplation; just as the grand edifices of skyscrapers inspire in us a sense of wonder; just as the immensity of the pyramids or the exquisite detail of classical sculpture make us marvel at the ingenuity of a more distant time – a bad movie brings to mind the same root of fascination, the same realization both mundane and mysterious, horrifying and humbling: someone made that.