Return of Project Horror, Day 28: The Rocky Horror Picture Show


I have to admit, I've been both attracted to and repelled by The Rocky Horror Picture Show for a long time.  Attracted to it in the sense that if I am flipping through the channels late at night, and see that it's on, I know that I'm going to sit there and watch the rest of it.  Repelled by it in the sense that the whole audience participation subculture that's grown around it has kind of put me off of ever wanting to experience it live.  I'm sure it's fun and all, but it just seems like the kind of thing where if you just wanted to go and have fun, you couldn't do it without getting judged by the people who are hardcore about it.  Of course, I may be making an unfair judgment there, because my friend the lovely McCall (who is guest blogger Kyle's wife) told me she's been to/performed in RHPS nearly 60 times, and she's one of the coolest people I know.

I'd originally intended for this to be the only movie this month that I'd already seen before, but my Netflix shipping snafu on Day 20 means that this is actually the second.  No matter, because I was going to do this one my way, with a viewing party at my house, bridging the gap between a late night cable showing and a public audience participation showing.

That was before the stupid World Series went to seven games.  One by one, the people who had RSVP'd began to cancel, until there was nobody left.  And I'm not upset over it, and you and I are still cool, everybody, but I will tell you that you missed getting to see me in this costume.
I know that's not me in the picture, but I am not kidding about this.  It is in my closet right now, unworn.  Your loss, internet.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a high-camp musical parody of the sci-fi and horror movies of the '40s through the early '70s.  A young couple attends a wedding, and become lost when their car breaks down on the way home on a stormy night.  They walk to an ominous castle, hoping to find help, only to find that they have arrived at the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, where the Annual Transylvanian Convention is being held.  Frank announces that he has harnessed the secret of life, and unveils his creation/new lover, Rocky Horror.  I could tell you the rest of the plot, but it gets sillier and sillier as it goes.  There's seductions, in all directions and of all types.  There's a killing, a mutiny, and some surprise cannibalism.  To bring things to a close, the castle blasts off into space, to return to planet Transsexual.  And all throughout, there are plenty of catchy musical numbers.

Like I said in the first paragraph, there's just something about this movie that keeps me watching it.  I doubt that anybody, even people who have been to multiple screenings of it, would actually say that it's a great movie.  But it's funny, and surprising (even after several viewings), and most importantly... it's got Tim Curry.

Tim Curry should be a far, far bigger star than he is.  I know his career has by no means been undistinguished, but I also know that I wouldn't mind seeing far more of him.  Gen X'ers, think of all the movies you loved that he was in when you were kids: Annie, Legend, and Clue, just to name a few!  He's got a face that's tailor made both for broad comedy and for knowing smirks.  He's really the center of RHPS.

For good or bad, some of these songs always stay in my head for days after I've watched the movie.  "Time Warp" is probably the best known, but my favorite is "I Can Make You a Man."  It's hysterical and, again, Tim Curry completely sells it.

I can't explain it, but I really do like watching this movie.  Even if it consisted solely of the line "Do you have any tattoos?  Too bad..." I would still give it four lipsticks out of five.

TOMORROW: Retardead


Mummy said...

Yeah, right it's unworn! Or at least it will wait til Courtney really wants to amp it up a notch! In my head, you're still the one wearing it!

Eric_wojcik said...

I much prefer watching the movie on its own than watching it with the crowd participation stuff (which I've only done a few times). I understand the subculture aspect of it and all, but the flying toast and shouting just distracting to me.

Much of the movie is incomprehensible, especially the second half... but there is such a poignant urgency to the book and score that it really grabs me at times. The wistful love of science-fiction and desire for a world different - and where we can be different - than the one we have. And... Tim Curry does put on one of the greatest screen performances, ever. No lie.


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