The Worst Film Of All Time Everyone Needs To See Is Being Forgotten And That’s A Crime

By Robert Scucci | Updated

If you’re a glutton for punishment and like to channel your masochistic energy through the act of watching terrible movies, then Tommy Wiseau’s The Room should be the title that sits at the top of your list of films to watch. Once aptly described as “The Citizen Kane of bad movies,” The Room stars Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed, produced, and distributed the film on his own dime. Originally intended to tell a provocative story about a man who everybody betrays, the end result is a ramshackle affair of the highest order and an absolute masterclass in how not to make a movie. 

The Room Is A Disaster

The premise of The Room is simple and centers on Tommy Wiseau’s Johnny, a successful banker who’s getting ready to marry his fiancée, Lisa. Johnny is friendly, generous, and just a little too trustworthy, which causes those who are close to him to take advantage of his kindness. Lisa, who’s dissatisfied with her relationship with Johnny, decides to have an affair with Johnny’s best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero). 

Dropped Plots

By itself, the above plot makes for a solid melodrama, but The Room falls apart when it introduces several other side stories that disappear as quickly as they’re established. For example, Johnny’s younger neighbor, Denny, has an altercation with an angry drug dealer who’s trying to collect his money, but it’s never mentioned again after the initial run-in. Additionally, Lisa’s mother, Claudette, blurts out that she has breast cancer, which doesn’t seem to cause any concern. 

A Legendary Production

The Room’s production was just as misguided as its plot and was rife with both staffing and technical issues. Tommy Wiseau, who personally financed the project, opted to build expensive set-pieces instead of shooting on-location for pennies on the dollar. In fact, every single rooftop scene was filmed on a sound stage with a green screen, and the San Francisco skyline was added during post-production even though a substantial amount of shooting took place in San Francisco. 

Bizarre Filming Choices

Tommy Wiseau also decided to film The Room with both HD and 35mm cameras because he wanted to be the first filmmaker to use both formats simultaneously. Not only did Wiseau purchase the cameras outright instead of renting them, which is common practice, but he also had a custom-built apparatus that allowed his crew to operate both cameras at the same time. Once principal photography was completed, the 35mm footage was the only footage used for the final cut.

A Tense Set

According to Wiseau, tensions on the set ran so high that he replaced his entire crew four times, though the official number is up for debate among sources close to the project. Wiseau failed to remember his own lines, causing numerous production delays because scenes that would take any other actor minutes to act out would drag on for days. Most of Wiseau’s lines were dubbed into the film during post-production for this reason, adding further stress to the already troubled production. 

The Mystery Of How It Was Made

Tommy Wiseau spent a total of $6 million creating The Room, and to this day, it’s not clear how he was able to personally finance the project, which only adds to the bizarre film’s allure. Naturally, The Room was a total box office flop, and many patrons walked out of the theater during its premiere. Despite The Room’s many shortcomings, it has since become the mother of all cult films and has gained a considerable amount of notoriety as one of the best bad movies of all time. 

The Disaster Artist

In 2013, Greg Sestero wrote The Disaster Artist, which is a tell-all memoir about his experience working alongside Tommy Wiseau while The Room was in production. The memoir caught the attention of James Franco and Seth Rogen and was adapted into a feature-length film in 2017. The Disaster Artist went on to receive numerous accolades and is the perfect companion piece to Wiseau’s ill-fated passion project. 

A Good Concept For A Film

The Room is a shining example of a solid idea destroyed by reckless execution, but its shortcomings make for one of the most entertaining viewing experiences you’ll ever have. Though nobody in their right mind will tell you that The Room is a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, it’s nearly impossible to say that it doesn’t have any inherent entertainment value. 

No Way To Stream

The Room isn’t currently available on any streaming service, which is an absolute crime against humanity. Fortunately, midnight screenings are common, and the best way to watch this film is in a packed theater full of people brave enough to subject themselves to Tommy Wiseau’s warped mind.