#11 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975
It’s just a jump to the left…
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the movie adaptation of Richard O’Brien’s British stage musical, The Rocky Horror Show. It is a musical parody of the horror and B-movies typical of the previous couple of decades. A newly engaged couple, Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick), becomes lost while driving in bad weather and suffer a flat tire. Looking for help, they find their way to the castle of transvestite mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), and his entourage of strange and slutty Transylvanians. Janet and Brad quickly have their clothes confiscated and are made to wander through the rest of the movie in their underwear. Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s Frankenstein Monster Stand-in, Rocky Horror, is brought to life and from there, the movie alternates between musical numbers, sex scenes, and musical numbers doubling as sex scenes.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the longest continually running release in film history. Released in 1975, it is still played in theaters today. It did not do particularly well during its initial run, but started to develop a cult following once it began to be aired during midnight screenings. Crowds would come dressed in costume and act out parts and other jokes associated with the movie while they watched. I attended one of these midnight showings for the first time one Halloween in college. A ticket-taker at the door asked if my friends or I had ever been to one before. After foolishly responding, “No”, we were designated “virgins” and a red lipstick letter “V” was drawn upon each of our foreheads to mark us as such. It was sort of like The Bizzaro Scarlet Letter, where virgins are shamed instead of adulterers and there are no Puritans. Any of you future virgins have now been warned. You might want to lie.
You can read more about how the audience participation began during the midnight shows here.
And do the Time Warp here: