Folks here are following the travails of Lance Conzett, who has braved car trouble, bad weather and ’80s mall hair in his commitment to see every Belcourt midnight movie this year for his column "The Late Shift." But this weekend's offering — The Room — is strictly a labor of love for Conzett, who's been training for it like Ali toning up for the Rumble in the Jungle:
"Tommy Wiseau's schadenfreudic disasterpiece is a dazzlingly bad film, and one that deserves to both be mocked and celebrated for its legion of failures. Any idiot can make a bad movie, but it takes a special kind of idiot to make a bad movie as thoroughly entertaining as The Room manages to be. As it sails through plot holes, acting unworthy of public-access TV and no less than four gratuitous sex scenes, it's hard not to get caught up in Room veterans' hail of insults and plastic spoons. In this season of reflection, we should be thankful to Tommy Wiseau for bringing us all a little closer together based on mutual embarrassment."
The last time we went, the theater was packed, the audience roared, and the screening had the kind of energy and spontaneity Rocky Horror viewings had 30 years ago. It's worth going just to see if someone else proposes. We recommend seeing it cold (and be warned that the clip above has major SPOILERS!) — but if you want to jump right in, buy some plastic spoons, chocolates and little footballs, then take the convenient study guide below, assembled as part of a class in "Topics in Film Aesthetics" (pardon the spit-take) at East Carolina University. (The post at Judgmental Observer is pretty interesting.)
“SPOON!” — Nearly all the artwork in the film features spoons. When they appear in the shot, yell “Spoon!” and fling yours at the screen.
“DENNY!” — Used to herald the arrival/departure of the tragic kidult. “Hi & Bye” is encouraged.
“SHOOT HER!” — Yelled during Lisa’s couch conversation with her mother. The throbbing neck is the cue. Also acceptable, “QUAID, GET TO THE REACTOR!”
“BECAUSE YOU’RE A WOMAN!” — Useful after any comment made in regards to a female character. Considered a dig at the film’s casual misogyny.
“FOCUS! UNFOCUS!” — Frequent shots slip in and out of focus and it is customary to yell “FOCUS” when it gets blurry. Feel free to yell “UNFOCUS!” during the gratuitous sex scenes.
“FIANCE/FIANCEE” — This term is never uttered, instead Johnny or Lisa refer to one another as their future wife/husband. That is the cue to scream “Fiancé & Fiancée”
“ALCATRAZ” — Yell this during scenes framed with bars & during establishing shots of the famous island prison. Also encouraged, “WELCOME TO THE ROCK!” (Connery-esque only)
“GO! GO! GO! GO!” — Used to cheer on tracking shots of the bridge. Celebrate when it makes it all the way across, voice your disappointment when it doesn’t.
“EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK” (Full House theme) — Sung during establishing shot of the San Francisco homes that look eerily similar.
“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THEME” — Hummed during the phone tapping scene.
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!” — Yelled when characters appear on screen that are out of place or unknown. (Happens more than you think)
“YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!” — Johnny channels his inner James Dean near the conclusion of the film. Yell along, louder the better.