Film and Documentary

Rocky Horror Picture Show A Retro Review

What do you get when you cross a sweet, young, newly engaged couple with a house full of raving mad lunatics? You get one of the greatest cult classic films of all time!

Rocky Horror Picture Show is a campy, musical spoof on the haunted-castle horror movie, encompassing a ’70s glam-rock world of androgyny with characters that are more than offbeat. Adults have been gathering at ritualistic midnight showings of Rocky Horror across the country since its 1975 debut, contributing to it becoming a cult classic.

Made from a hit stage show, the premise of the movie is this – the young couple get lost and stumble across a mad transvestite doctor and his minions from the planet Transsexual. He is in the midst of unveiling Rocky Horror, a humanoid creation who unfortunately spurns the doctor’s advances, much to his annoyance. The film follows Brad and Janet’s descent into the world of Dr. Frank N. Furter and his minions. And what delightfully transpires after that is pure kitsch.

It’s hard to believe that this movie only took 6 weeks to film and was made for less than $1.4 million. Even at 1975 standards, this is so minimal compared to the astronomical amount of money it’s made – $170 million and counting.

Some really fun movie facts:

  • The movie’s star, Tim Curry modeled Frank-N-Furter’s voice after two women: Queen Elizabeth II and his mother.
  • Only Tim Curry and creator Richard O’Brien knew Eddie’s remains were under the table during the dinner scene—when the body is revealed, the looks of horror on the actors’ faces were real.
  • According to Richard O’Brien, stars Susan Sarandon (Janet) and Barry Bostwick (Brad) “were actually an item” during filming.
  • Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger, had asked to play Frank-N-Furter in the film. The creative team turned him down in favor of the musical’s original star, Tim Curry.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the record holder for the longest theatrical release in history—it continues to play in theaters across the United States.

Is there a plot to this movie? Who cares!! The real fun is Interacting with the movie. Get up and do the Time Warp. Dress up like the characters and act it out. There is truly nothing like seeing this movie in the theater, complete with audience participation.

I first saw this flick in 1976, with my sorority sisters, some fraternity brothers, and our sweethearts. I will never forget seeing all the people dressed like the characters in the movie, and all the props they brought. Squirt guns, newspapers, toast (yes, real toasted bread), rice, etc. Everyone got up, and acted out the movie, danced and sang along with all the songs, and generally had the best time. I didn’t want the fun to end.

I was totally hooked from that first time. The next time we went, we were dressed accordingly (I was Columbia), and we were fully prepared with the props we needed. We learned the lingo to yell back at the screen. And of course, we were properly inebriated so that we didn’t give a flying rat’s butt who saw us. This was pure magic. Never duplicated. Always a true treat.

Tami Danielson is the main in-house blogger and Director of Operations for Pop-Daze. She was raised in California and Florida and currently resides in Oregon. Tami has written for a variety of periodicals and has provided digital marketing services for a number of artists. She can be reached at [email protected].