Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rifftrax: The Room

I can now state that I have watched Tommy Wiseau's The Room from opening credit to ending credit.

I cannot state, with any certainty, that I understood a single thing I saw.  I could not, for example, tell you who half of the characters that appeared on screen were.  I could not explain what much of the dialogue was supposed to mean, as I can't imagine real people ever saying the things this movie said.  I could not explain the motivations or plots of most of the story threads that Tommy Wiseau wove together into this elaborate tapestry of insanity.

In fact, I'm not even 100% sure that what I saw was a movie.  It was certainly images and sound projected onto a screen, but then again so is a PowerPoint presentation, and nobody really wins awards for those.

I think I stated before that I tried to get through Manos: The Hands of Fate without the addition of the Mystery Science Theater cast.  I couldn't do it.  It was just too painful.

I think I could get through The Room without the help of the crew from Rifftrax, but I think I would have to be in the proper mindset to do it.  There's enough unintentional humor in it to leave you laughing even if you aren't hearing professionals crack jokes.

However, it was much more bearable when I had professional joke writers making fun of the movie for me, pointing out plot holes, stilted dialogue, and poor editing for me.  Granted, I've seen other people rip the movie apart before (Nostalgia Critic's review is going to be a hundred times better than the best I could ever do breaking this thing into pieces), and it's hard to really describe what makes the movie "bad" without some kind of advanced understanding of the basic rules of film-making.

Things like "don't introduce a character in the last 30 minutes of the film" or "hire talented people" are tossed out the window in this film and I think because it breaks so many rules (possibly because the producer/director/writer/star didn't know them), it winds up becoming an interesting case in a Film Study class.

But taking a film that's already unintentionally funny and turning it into something hilarious is what the guys at Rifftrax do best.  Whether it's a really awkward "sex" scene (if you've seen the movie you know why I put that in quotes), a pointless scene involving a football, a different pointless scene involving a football, a flower shop scene, repeated conversations, even more pointless scenes with footballs, any time the movie risks you becoming too disturbed, confused, or bored by anything you're witnessing, comedy suddenly comes through and strikes, letting you once again disconnect from the source material and not risk becoming too attached.

It's like having someone in a lab who makes fun of the rabbits that were shipped in, except it's not morbid.

Strangely enough, I think my only real complaint about a comedy show is the audience, which is strange because I know that comedy only really works with an audience.  However, when I hear someone in my own theater crying out "no!" when yet another awkward love scene is going to happen or someone else tries to throw out a joke from the back row, my initial instinct is to throw something at them and exclaim that I didn't spend money to hear them talk.

Every time I've attended a Rifftrax showing, I've had a good time.  It's a time where everybody is there for one purpose, I think it's very rare that someone would be bored enough to go to a movie theater, see a sign advertising "Rifftrax" and think "eh, I have no idea what that is, I guess I'll give it a shot."

Which is more the pity, really.

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