I would love to tell you the full story behind my discovery of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I can’t. All I can remember about it is my mom allowing me to watch it with her around Halloween when I was in fifth grade. Maybe the small details don’t really matter because from that day on, it became one of my favorite musicals of all time.
It was probably pretty hard for someone in fifth grade to understand all the characters and all the sexual references in the cult classic, and the more I think about it, I don’t think I ever really questioned why Dr. Frank-N-Furter(Tim Curry), a man, was dressed in women’s underwear and wearing make up, or how the servants Riff-Raff (Richard O’Brien) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) had sex through their elbows, I was just hypnotized by the whole film. I’m also convinced Tim Curry looks and walks better in heels than I do. To this day, I’m still captivated by the film and every year I try to get my friends to throw me a Rocky Horror Picture Show birthday party (and every year I fail). Someday, everyone will do the “Time Warp” with me.
If you are unfamiliar with the plot, let me give you a quick run down. A criminologist narrates the film (Charles Gray), with his most entertaining scene being when he teaches the viewer how to do the “Time Warp.” The criminologist tells the story about “two normal, ordinary healthy kids,” from Denton, Ohio in 1974. After attending a friends wedding, lovers Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) become engaged (through a musical number!) and decide to visit their old teacher Dr. Scott (Johnathan Adams) and give him the news since the two met in class. On the way home during a horrible rainstorm, the car breaks down and Brad and Janet see a light on in a nearby house and head towards it. They don’t realize that they’re about to walk into a whole different world; a world of transvestite aliens, sex, murder and Meatloaf (yes, the singer).
After asking the good doctor for some help with their car, Brad and Janet are told that they’ve arrived on the night that the doctor will reveal his creation, Rocky (Peter Hinwood). After Rocky comes into the world, all hell breaks loose, complete with musical dance numbers and prompts for the audience to participate with the movie. This has always been my favorite part and I vow to attend a midnight showing someday so I can join in the fun. How does one participate in this movie? I’ll give you a few examples. During the rainstorm when Brad and Janet are walking towards the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, audience members use squirt guns and newspapers to symbolize the rain and the newspaper Janet is holding over her head to keep dry, or the viewers throw toilet paper (preferably the Scott brand) when Brad yells “GREAT SCOTT!”
My favorite character of the movie was a groupie of Dr. Frank-N-Furter named Columbia (Nell Campbell) who wore (what I always thought was) a glamorous gold tuxedo costume, beautiful make-up and tap danced like a champ. She was also in love with Eddie (Meatloaf) who sang my favorite song in the movie (“Hot Patootie”).
This summary may be quite vague, but if I were to describe every small detail of the movie, from the eccentric, colorful, dancing Translyvanians to the strange and crazed antics of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, it would pretty much ruin the whole film for you. My suggestion? Get together a group of friends, gather up the props and enjoy the show.
Written by: Katie Sperduti