Compare and Contrast: THE ROOM and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
I finally got around to watching THE ROOM last night. Friends had been telling me for months, maybe years how I needed to watch it. I kept putting it off because it wasn’t a genre picture. I don’t have too much interest in “straight” movies, i.e. mainstream movies. There are so, so many genre pieces to watch and re-watch, and time is a precious commodity. After THE DISASTER ARTIST came out, I surrendered and decided I’d give THE ROOM an hour-and-a-half of my life. Was it as bad as I’d heard? Oh, yeah. Even worse. The acting is abominably lousy, the script incoherent and noncohesive, the whole thing embarrassing in its shortcomings. I DID laugh at it, but only for a while. The joke started to wear thin sooner rather than later.
That’s the biggest difference between THE ROOM and Ed Wood’s PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. I got bored watching THE ROOM. I’ve never gotten bored watching PLAN 9, despite how many times I’ve seen it. While I might re-watch pieces of THE ROOM, I can’t see myself ever sitting down to watch the whole thing straight through. At a party, maybe. PLAN 9 I can watch over and over and it never loses its magic, even if it’s just me at home in my boxers on the couch. Tommy Wiseau’s dialogue is truly awful, but it lacks the idiosyncrasies, the quirks of Wood’s dialogue. The film as a whole simply doesn’t have the personality of Wood’s film. Part of this may be the fact that Wiseau had too much money. He could afford things like props and costumes. There were no set pieces fashioned out of bent shower curtain rods in THE ROOM. No badly-spliced-in stock footage. THE ROOM is much too polished.
A terrible, terrible movie? Certainly. But THE ROOM in no way measures up to PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. It isn’t nearly as bad and it isn’t nearly as wonderful. Also, it doesn’t have Bela Lugosi. There’s always that.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!