THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. 1975. DIRECTED BY JIM SHARMAN. SCREENPLAY BY JIM SHARMAN AND RICHARD O’BRIEN. ORIGINAL MUSICAL PLAY, MUSIC AND LYRICS BY RICHARD O’BRIEN. STARRING TIM CURRY, SUSAN SARANDON, BARRY BOSTWICK, RICHARD O’BRIEN, PATRICIA QUINN, LITTLE NELL, MEATLOAF AND CHARLES GRAY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This one is Jim Sharman’s iconic musical/comedy/horror tribute to the science fiction B-movies of the ’50s and ’60s. He’s also paying homage to the RKO films from even earlier than that and the glorious days of the ‘double feature’ when you went to the movies and saw two great old films one after the other.
I have some Facebook friends lucky enough to remember the days of the ‘double feature’ and they all say that they miss it dreadfully and would love to have those days back again. Imagine seeing two Hammer Horror films back-to-back, say, or two science fiction movies about marauding killer ants or giant man-eating plants! You’d surely be in Cinema Heaven.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is still wildly popular today amongst its devotees and die-hard fans (like Dr. Hibbert from The Simspons, eh-hee-hee-hee…!). I believe that there might still be venues where you can watch the movie and also go to see it dressed as your favourite character, and where you’re encouraged to sing along with the musical numbers and recite the dialogue as loudly as you like.
Dublin’s Sugar Club is one such venue where TRHPS is shown roughly four times a year to the accompaniment of fancy-shmancy drinks offers. I’ve never felt this particular urge myself but, hey, if you want to totter down Leeson Street in your stockings, garter belt and six-inch stilettos while also sporting a beer gut and a full beard and the scar on your inside leg from your rugby accident, who am I to stop you, hahahahaha…!
Do we all know the story? Newly-affianced couple boring Brad and virginal Janet get caught in a rainstorm while out driving and seek shelter at the castle of mad scientist Frank N. Furter, who happens to be hosting a convention for some wildly unconventional people when the two normals rock up to his gaff.
Tim Curry is fabulous beyond all imaginings as that ‘sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.’ He looks amazing and easily seduces both Brad and Janet with his looks and compelling personality, while also finding time to build himself a new boyfriend from scratch -Rocky- and dealing with the tiresome problem of his ex-boyfriend, Eddie, played by Meatloaf.
Next to the superb Tim Curry, my favourite character is The Narrator/Criminologist, played by fine English actor Charles Gray. He famously portrayed the villain Mocata in iconic Hammer picture THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, starring Christopher Lee. Things to watch out for in TRHPS include THE TIMEWARP, Tim Curry in green scrubs and pink washing-up gloves looking every inch the Queen of England as he waits to greet his guests, Tim Curry’s entrance, Tim Curry’s posh accent, the references to Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Monster and any scenes featuring the brilliant Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia. What marvellous names!
Rocky and Eddie don’t impress me much, to borrow a lyric from Shania Twain. It’s kind of funny when Brad turns out to be gay or at least bisexual and Janet’s inner slut is released in a big way. And you just know, don’t you, that there’s no way they’re gonna squish that genie back in the bottle again…!
My favourite scene is probably Rocky climbing up the RKO tower with Tim Curry on his back, just like in the 1933 RKO movie KING KONG which is referenced several times. When the tower collapses, I think we probably all know what that symbolises and it’s sad, really really sad.
I only watch this film once a decade or so and therefore it’ll probably be another ten years before I settle down on the couch to do THE TIMEWARP again. I’ve no doubt, though, that every so often throughout the year, men and women alike in stockings, corsets and stiletto-heeled shoes will totter their way up and down different streets across the world on their way to an interactive screening of TRHPS in a theatre or cinema somewhere. They’ll settle down comfortably in their seats, only to be up on their feet again when the musical numbers kick off. Have fun, guys. It’s not my personal cup of tea, but that’s okay. Some folks love it and that’s all that counts…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY