Film and TV

The Room and Miracle Valley's Greg Sestero Talks About Other Movies That Suck

Greg Sestero (left) and Tommy Wiseau in one of the many iconic roof scenes from The Room, the cult classic that Sestero is screening along with his new horror film Miracle Valley on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Texas Theatre.
Greg Sestero (left) and Tommy Wiseau in one of the many iconic roof scenes from The Room, the cult classic that Sestero is screening along with his new horror film Miracle Valley on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Texas Theatre. Wiseau Studios
Starring in one of the worst and most beloved movies of all time is a rare accomplishment.

The Room, starring Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, is the bean ball of cinema because it swings so hard for the fences and misses so wide, but it still scores with the success of a Babe Ruth home run.

"What's funny is I didn't know there was a thing for bad movies," Sestero says.

Sestero knows how it feels to see his vision become so bad that it's good. The Room built him a huge fanbase that still turns out in droves to yell, laugh and throw spoons at the screen. The cult film made him a best-selling author with The Disaster Artist, which James Franco turned into a critically successful movie of the same name. It also gave him the chance to make his own movies, like his directorial debut Miracle Valley, a horror story based on an infamous Arizona cult and its leader, who thought he could resurrect the dead with a rare blood type. He's screening it on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Texas Theatre as part of a double feature with The Room.
Even with the success of The Room, Sestero is still a movie fan just like the rest of us. This got us thinking: what movies are bad to a guy like him?

So, we asked him.
Johnny Suede (1991)
Like all mega-celebrities, everyone in show business has to start out somewhere and Brad Pitt had one of his first and biggest bombs with this early '90s Miramax miss.

Pitt plays the titular character in this huge whiff of a comedy as a pompadour-sporting wacko who wants to be "the next Ricky Nelson," Sestero says.

He finds a pair of black suede shoes that he seems to observe as some kind of spiritual sign for his success, but the dialogue is laughably bad — even in the trailer. Pitt speaks at length — again, IN the trailer — about his ability to find a woman's "button" in the dark.

"I was a big Brad Pitt fan and was modeling and wanted to transition to acting and I was not getting anything," Sestero says. "I thought this is stupid, where am I gonna go? Then I saw this movie where Brad Pitt has a pompadour and he's jumping up on a payphone trying to grab a shoe. I pressed record because then you could record movies on a VCR and I just recorded the rest of it. I've watched this movie on end because if even he could survive this, then anyone could."
Private Resort (1985)
Pretty much every major star of the late '80s and the 1990s started out with some kind of cheap, tawdry comedy about teenagers trying to score. Tom Cruise starred alongside future star Shelley Long in Losin' It. The revered Tom Hanks starred in Bachelor Party. Film star turned courtroom king Johnny Depp starred in Private Resort.

Depp and Northern Exposure star Rob Morrow play beachgoers trying to make it with babes and bikinis and that's pretty much it. Sestero says he remembers watching it with friends in the seventh grade and even back then, "We though the scenes were ridiculous."

"It's these two guys trying to meet girls on an island," Sestero says. "It's got Hector Elizondo hanging upside trying to give himself a haircut and Johnny Depp hiding out in a closet watching his wife undress. It's a lot of laughs because it was so over the top.

"They're trying," Sestero adds. "They're giving it their all and it was just totally ridiculous."

Plan Nine From Outer Space (1957)
No discussion of bad movies can be finished without Ed Wood's most revered/reviled horror classic.

The story of an alien's attempt to take over Earth but turning the bodies of the dead into unwitting armies is told through terrible filmmaking: shoddy wall sets that shake and move, footage that was clearly shot in the day quickly turns to night time in the transition, graveyard headstones and flying saucers are made from foam or spray-painted paper plates.

But this is a work of pure genius. Wood's passion and dedication to make something so epic with practically nothing makes it spectacular.

"That's what I was really going for [with The Room]," Sestero says. "That's the movie that really inspired me because I took something that was not accessible to a normal crowd and put it on the screen. It's really well done. It's relatable and you feel for the characters."

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Horror sequels are easy to pick on because they are such blatant attempts to recapture the magic of something brilliant in a forced way.

The sixth Halloween movie (or fifth if you don't count Halloween III: Season of the Witch) deserves a special kick in the head because it veers so far off course from the genius of its original creator John Carpenter and drives head-on into a five-truck collision. It's also one of the first major projects for future star Paul Rudd, who's known for celebrating another classic crapfest by showing the falling-off-a-cliff scene from the 1989 ET rip-off Mac and Me during talk show appearances instead of the clip of the film he's promoting.

"Those really start to veer into that ridiculousness where you just start to laugh," Sestero says. "I will say one thing I do love about those movies is they work well with a crowd."
Predator 2 (1990)
Speaking of sequels, every child of the '80s remember the joy they got from seeing the first Predator movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the crushing disappointment after they saw Predator 2.

Sestero says the Predator sequel starring Danny Glover does EVERYTHING wrong, to the point where it makes you wonder if anyone bothered to watch the first movie. They take the Predator out of the jungle and put him into urban Los Angeles. They don't bring back Schwarzenegger, who knows how to play the kind of hero that a villain like the Predator deserves. It tries to take a 46-year-old Gary Busey seriously.

Sestero remembers the same crushing feeling of disappointment when he saw the sequel and remembering "how good the first one was and just how that was such a strong classic."

"It's funny because the guy who's in Miracle Valley [Rick Edwards]," Sestero adds, "he was also in Predator 2."
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.