January 31st: The Rocky Horror Picture Show


Release Date: 1975
Director: Jim Sharman
Why I picked this: Its cult classic status

Boy oh boy, was I lucky to go to a midnight screening of this. If you haven’t seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at midnight, in a theater, with people, preferably in costume and with an extensive knowledge of the film, then you really haven’t seen it at all. Still in limited release in some theaters, this is one of the longest standing transitions in movie watching history. “Shadow casts” with people acting out the musical numbers as they play, calling and responding to the characters in the movie, singing along, and overall audience participation are integral elements to this. I found myself enjoying the audience’s comical remarks about the movie as entertaining as the movie. It is basically a snarkfest, a friendly competition to say the wittiest comments. Often, their remarks would point out what the character is about to say, in a comical fashion (Audience member: “Describe your birth!” Character: “An accident!”) The movie itself is a fun one. It’s campy, creepy, and at sometimes, non-sensical, but it is an enjoyable ride. A newly engaged couple find themselves in the castle of Frank-n-Furter, a “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania,” who creates a buff, almost completely naked creation named Rocky. Tim Curry as Frank-n-Furter is electric; his energy is what gives the movie life. His character decisions make little sense, but it’s hard to not enjoy his performance. The music is catchy and addicting, and the numbers themselves are very campy and energetic. The audience was basically required to do the “Time Warp” with the movie. The film’s director also directed the stage musical, but the transition from stage-to-film works. The sets are great, the camera is never static, and there are some neat images to look at. I have to say, I was very confused by the last fifteen minutes or so (Frank-n-Furter: “What happened to…” Audience member: “THE PLOT!”), but the entire ride is worth it.

This is an experience that every movie-lover must go through. The movie is weird, but the music is catchy and the story is bizzare fun. Just make sure you’re with a great audience too.


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