Halloween Review– The Rocky Horror Picture Show

You’re a hot dog, but you better not try to hurt her,
Frank Furter.

The Rocky Horror Show, Richard O’Brien’s bizarre tribute to horrors past, did well enough on stage to catch Hollywood’s attention. Although not terribly successful in its initial run, the movie adaptation gradually became the definitive cult film. Fans still look forward to each screening with antici….

Say it!

…pation!

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Director: Jim Sharmin
Writers: Richard O’Brien, Jim Sharmin.

Features:
Tim Curry…Dr. Frank-N-Furter
Susan Sarandon… Janet Weiss
Barry Bostwick…Brad Majors
Richard O’Brien…Rif Raf
Patricia Quinn…Magenta
Little Nell…Columbia
Jonathan Adams…Dr. Everett Von Scott
Peter Hinwood…Rocky
Meat Loaf…Eddie
Charles Gray…The Criminologist

Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Premise:

A nerdish couple, en route to visit the science teacher who brought them together, find themselves stranded in a castle on the night of a bisexual alien transvestite mad scientist’s crowning achievement. Old-school horror films and sexual mores– both of which invest heavily in the fear of the unknown– get sent up.

High Point:

The musical numbers: specifically, “Time Warp,” “Sweet Transvestite,” and the final floor show.

Low Point:

“Happy birthday dear Rocky….”

The Scores:

Originality: 5/6 No one had raided the cinematic past in quite this manner before O’Brien. We get horror movie sets spliced with 70s kitch and camp, American Gothic references, gratuitous bikers (“Yes, life’s pretty cheap to that kind, Janet”), the RKO logo, an Elsa Lanchester hair-do, silver alien suits, and mock Esther Williams in a swimming pool painted by Michaelangelo. Columbia plays like a day-glo Deitrich blended with a punk Betty Boop. One of those “mind-warping” EC horror comic from the 50s even makes a brief cameo. This film had cinematic Easter Eggs before they were a concept.

Effects: 2/6. Even for deliberately low-budget effects, these are low budget effects. Seriously, two bright kids with a camcorder could do better.

Story: 4/6: The story does not always move smoothly from scene to scene.

Acting: 5/6: It’s deliberate camp, but well-done camp.

Production: 4/6 The sets look great. The editing is actually kind of sloppy in places (watch the opening wedding sequence carefully, for example).

Emotional Response: 4/6

Overall: 5/6. A demented museum piece, everyone needs to view this film at least once.

In total, The Rocky Horror Picture Show receives 29/42.

Additional Comments

The DVD includes optional audience participation cues and effects, and the restored, complete version of the song “Super Heroes,” inexplicably missing from the theatrical release for two decades.

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9 replies on “Halloween Review– The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

  1. antihero says:

    still just a jump to the left
    Willis O’Brien? Come now.
    That aside, I love the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and have been involved in a cast in Southern California for two years now… there’s plenty wrong with the film, but it was almost written for audience participation. If anyone’s bored on Halloween night around ten, totally come check the show out.
    I agree with the effects score, they are pretty horrid even considering, especially the “castle liftoff” scene which is clearly a cardboard prop being lifted in front of the real castle… you can easily still see the actual castle through the anemic smoke.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: still just a jump to the left

      Willis O’Brien? Come now.

      That introductory error has been corrected. Willis, of course, was responsible for something going wrong for Fay Wray and King Kong.

      • fiziko says:

        Re: still just a jump to the left

        That introductory error has been corrected. Willis, of course, was responsible for something going wrong for Fay Wray and King Kong.

        Miles, on the other hand, was responsible for something going wrong in the Holodecks.

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: still just a jump to the left

          That introductory error has been corrected. Willis, of course, was responsible for something going wrong for Fay Wray and King Kong.

          Miles, on the other hand, was responsible for something going wrong in the Holodecks.

          Shaka was there when the walls fell.

          • GrimSean says:

            Re: still just a jump to the left

            Miles, on the other hand, was responsible for something going wrong in the Holodecks.

            Shaka was there when the walls fell.

            Since Darmok and Jalad were at Tanagra?

            • hitch says:

              Re: still just a jump to the left

              Miles, on the other hand, was responsible for something going wrong in the Holodecks.

              Shaka was there when the walls fell.

              Since Darmok and Jalad were at Tanagra?

              STOP! STOP!! PLEASE DEAR GOD WON’T YOU STOP!!!

              • GrimSean says:

                Re: still just a jump to the left

                STOP! STOP!! PLEASE DEAR GOD WON’T YOU STOP!!!

                Uh-oh… I broke Hitch

                *runs away*

  2. babasyzygy says:

    Effects
    I totally disagree about the effects: it was a plus that they are as
    awful as they are. They were awful in almost all of the movies they
    reference, it’s part of the genre.

    Also considering that it was filmed for about $1.2M, I think it’s amazing that they even
    had cardboard. Even converted to today’s dollars, that’ll get you, what? One
    episode of
    CSI?

  3. bureaucatt says:

    Cult Classics
    Right behind RHPS are The Apple and Xanadu- I just saw a double feature of them on the big screen- trippy. Ever seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot too? Now there’s a Goth Parking Lot- http://www.paidtobenice.com. damn- spooooky

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