‘Based on a Story’
Usually I wouldn’t bother wasting your time with a review of a viral film. But this I think is an exception. The House That Drips Blood on Alex is the master Tommy Wiseau’s follow up to the 2003 classic The Room. Seven years in the making and 12 mins in length. House is nearly worth the wait.
For anybody not aware of Wiseau’s previous work - The Room was a sort of chamber drama about a mild mannered man and the relationship between his “future wife” and his best friends. Wiseau starred, wrote, directed, produced and somehow executive produced the film. He went so far as to shoot the film with two cameras simultaneously, unfortunately one camera was 35mm and one was HD meaning that a whole load of footage was worthless. He bought everything instead of renting and several of the actors left mid production, whilst their characters disappear in the film with no explanation. You may have gathered that it isn’t quite Bergman standard of chamber drama. What it is though is one of the most ashamedly entertaining films of the last decade. One of those great missteps where the ineptitude of every single aspect makes the film much more entertaining than its straight faced origins ever could have been. Seriously everything about it is hilarious. The dialogue? Melodramatic would be a compliment – strange, yeah, incoherent oh my hell yes. Nudity from people who you would pay to keep their clothes on. Shoddy CGI backdrops and Master Wiseau himself. His performance is one of the truly remarkable… things to ever happen to cinema. And I know I’m basically reviewing The Room right now. But trust me check it out. It is the true definition of entertainingly bad.
Which is why House… is such an exciting prospect. After The Room came out its notoriety spread earning it a Rocky Horror like following of mid-night screenings and personal appearances by Wiseau (you can even buy merchandise based on the film). Seeing everyone laughing at him and the film Wiseau tried to convince everyone that it was intended as a black comedy. The cast & crew said over-wise and you can pretty much tell that it just really is that inept. But with House… he seems to have beaten us to the punch and this time has made a film which is meant to make us laugh. Which it kind of does. The whole premise of the film has Wiseau moving to a house on Blood Street – pronounced “blud”. In his lovely new house he is driven insane by blood constantly dripping on him. There are moments where Wiseau tries to inject some mild moments of discomfort but mostly for a goofy pay off. Whereas The Room felt like a complete hack murdering the art of drama, House… feels like a light hearted guy giving a swing at some comedy and it made me laugh. Playing round with horror conventions- mostly B-movie conventions- and amping things up to Scooby-Doo levels of absurdity, Wiseau seems to be enjoying himself behind and in front of the camera. He even fits in a couple of references to The Room. My main favourite being when he begins a sentence with “oh that’s a funny story really”. In The Room this lead to a meandering 3 min monologue, here it leads into a genuinely funny punch-line. This time Wiseau sends up both his own persona and some horror trends very nicely and I hope he starts becoming a little bit more prolific if this is anything to go by.
Is it going to win any awards for technical know-how. Nope. But it wouldn’t be Wiseau if it looked polished and the day he gets people in who can actually act is the day I stop watching. Take a look for yourselves if you’re at a loose end. It’s cheap – both in quality and some gags. It’s tacky. It’s brilliant. It’s shit. But it’s definitely Wiseau. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another seven years!
Basically I committed the cardinal sin of smug review writing and did not give proper credit to those truly responsible for The House That Drips Blood on Alex. Brock LaBorde was the true writer and director. My apologies Brock I would never intentionally take away credit when credit is due. Keep up the good work!