The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Release Year: 1975
Director: Jim Sharman
Writers: Jim Sharman (screenplay), Richard O’Brien (screenplay & original musical play)
Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray
As newly engaged couple, Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick), leave a wedding their car breaks down in an isolated area. Seeking shelter from the pouring rain, they call on a nearby castle and are greeted by the bizarre Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), who is about to reveal his latest invention: Rocky!
The Rocky Horror Picture show is the very definition of a cult film: you will either think its too weird to be enjoyed, or you will love it and become one of its many devoted fans. Based on a stage play by Richard O’Brien, who stars as Riff-Raff, the film is a musical love letter to the B horror and sci-fi movies of the 1950s. Rocky Horror is a loving and endlessly interesting mix of portentous horror movie dialogue, Steve Reeves muscle movies, and 1950’s rock’n’roll, and the film is ripe with references; the opening song (“Science Fiction/Double Feature”) alone specifically references 11 movies. The story itself is classic B horror: a young couple caught in the rain comes across a castle with bizarre and sinister inhabitants and mayhem ensues, but Rocky Horror adds overt elements of sci-fi, a touch of Frankenstein, and completes the package with a frame narrative consisting of a criminologist, played by Charles Gray (Diamonds Are Forever, 1971), who relates the case from an academic viewpoint. It’s absolutely bonkers, and absolute wonderful at the same time. But Rocky Horror would not have been the cult gem it is without its wonderfully catchy songs; from the endlessly hummable “The Time-Warp” with matching dance steps, to a scene stealing Meat Loaf (Fight Club, 1999) rocking the world with “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul”, to Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s introductory number “Sweet Tranvestite”. And here we must address the real clincher – Tim Curry (Clue, 1985) as Frank-N-Furter is a revelation in what was his feature film début, and his initial outfit and excellent song will make most people watching just a bit sexually confused. He absolutely owns the movie, has what is surely one of the most effective character entrances in movie history, and manages both to play the character as weirdly sexy and alluring, and as a villain, and still break our hearts before the end. Bravo, Mr. Curry. The Rocky Horror Picture Show will not be for everyone and it certainly digresses into very weird territory at times, but if you love it, your love will last a lifetime. Highly recommended!
When Barry Bostwick pounds his hand on the dinner table, he accidentally hits Susan Sarandon’s hand and her reaction is visible. She got her revenge later in the Floor Show scene where she accidentally steps on Bostwick’s foot with her spike heel. His reaction is also visible.
Picture Copyright: 20th Century Fox