Michael Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy, the stars of the popular movie riffing series, “Rifftrax,” are preparing for one of their most demanding challenges to date. That challenge comes in spoofing the American romantic drama bombshell that is “The Room.” Released in 2003, this cult classic tells the tale of a successful banker’s (Tommy Wiseau) crafty fiancée (Juliette Danielle) and her attempts to manipulate his best friend (Greg Sestero) to do her bidding. While this movie has been considered the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” its’ legendary badness has made it the perfect target for the quick wits of the stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” On Jan. 25, Examiner sat down with Rifftrax star Kevin Murphy and “The Room” director and star Tommy Wiseau, to discuss the movie’s lasting legacy and worthiness for riffing.
Examiner: Tommy, tell us a little bit about “The Room” and what makes it a cult classic for a modern generation.
Tommy: I think it’s because people can relate to the relationship that is featured in the movie. People enjoy it because it’s a change from the usual movie that comes from Hollywood. We’ve been showing the movie every summer and across the country for almost thirteen years and the people from Rifftrax came up with the idea of tearing the movie apart, but in a humorous way. It’s not meant to be mean, nobody gets hurt and it’s meant to be funny and entertaining for the audience.
Examiner: Kevin, as one of the stars of “MST3K,” you have seen your fair share of bad movies, but have helped make them classics through your guys’ combined comedic zingers. What makes “The Room” worthy of a legendary Rifftrax riffing?
Kevin: When we first saw “The Room,” we fell in love with it. It is such a phenomenally different kind of movie, that it grabs your attention. You can see all the love and care that Tommy put into the film and it just seemed like we could have some fun with this because it’s got everything we need to riff. Like Tommy said, we do it all in a good nature. So when the opportunity came for us to do it live in theaters, Tommy was a good sport and it just all came together for us and people like us get to see Tommy’s film for the first time, and fans of Tommy get to see us maybe for the first time.
Examiner: Several years ago, Entertainment Weekly referred to “The Room” as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Tommy, what is your reaction to negative reviews like that?
Tommy: It comes down to what you define as “bad.” Second, I see nothing wrong with their form of expressionism. If that is what they want to call it, it is what they define as bad in the first place. I may disagree with their definition, but it’s certainly alright with me that they be able to say it.
Examiner: Finally, is there anything you would like to say about “The Room” or getting to work together to bring this movie to theaters for a new generation?
Tommy: I’ve been doing this now for well over thirteen years and I really love people and seeing the audience and their reaction to seeing “The Room” and now the movie and Rifftrax with Kevin and the others are coming together and I hope that we can do this again next year, right Kevin?
Kevin: Yep, it could be a tradition. Christmas in January.
Tommy: What’s really great though is that now is that James Franco is involved in the film adaptation of the book, “The Disaster Artist,” which relates to “The Room” itself. James is playing me and the movie is set to hit theaters this summer, so it’s a very good time to check out “The Room,” either on DVD or with the guys from Rifftrax.
“The Best of Rifftrax Live: The Room” hits theaters for one night only on Jan. 28. For more information and to purchase tickets, be sure to visit FathomEvents.com or Rifftrax’s official website.