The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

There is one reason I love Halloween at the cinema. That reason is that no matter what movie I personally go to see there will be people in their droves dressed up and ready to watch a screening or five of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It is a legendary film that really will be passed on and on throughout generations. I don’t know what it is about the film that makes it so viewer friendly no matter who the viewer is but it really does work on so many levels. It is different from most musicals and a great play on Frankenstein and his Monster. It is big, bold and in your face whilst the songs are catchy and stick with you forever.

Truly what party is complete without a rendition of Time Warp?

All the above is the majority of what I need to say about the film. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that hasn’t seen the movie. A lot of them have even seen the stage play version. Most of them have seen the movie numerous times in the cinema even though they own the DVD.

To build it up that much in a review I guess I have to have a reason to give to anyone who, amazingly in my opinion, hasn’t seen the film.

Firstly the plot is simple, fun and has a good plot twist at the end. Janet and Brad find themselves stranded in the middle of a storm, they go in search of a telephone at a nearby castle which is home to Dr Frank N. Furter and his servants Riff Raff and Magenta (brother and sister) and his groupie Columbia. They find themselves face to face with Frank N. Furters creation Rocky who he brings to life right in front of them.

The plot twist? Well you’ll have to watch the movie to find out as you won’t find it written here.

Secondly is the characters. The film hosts such a great host of actors. Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Susan Sarandon as Janet and Barry Bostwick as Brad. It also has writer Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff and Patricia Quinn as his sister Magenta. Not only that it has a lovely cameo for Meatloaf and even the now much loved (I guess) Christopher Biggins!

Each character is as unique and enthralling as their over the top and eccentric outfits. Each is a piece of one large puzzle. A mad scientist surrounded by crazy and interesting characters.

And what about those costumes?

One moment we have Frank N. Furter in a corset, the next in a lab coat with pink gloves. The sparkling costume of Colombia, the quite plain clothing of Brad and Janet.

Every tiny part of the characters themselves add so much to the harmony between the visual style and the musical scores.

Then lastly we must talk about the music.

Every song is easy to remember, each get stuck in your mind and plays themselves on repeat.

Science Fiction/Double Feature, Tim Warp, Sweet Transvestite, Hoot Patootie – Bless My Sould, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me…..

The music always matches the mood of the situation, they all have great lyrics and they all have great moments.  I’ve never met someone who isn’t a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show therefore I have never met anyone that can’t sit down and sing along to any and all of the songs. I don’t know why I haven’t personally ever been to a showing in the cinema or in the theatre (there was one not too long ago in Plymouth when I realised I’d missed it I felt really bad, only made to feel better that Anna hadn’t even realised that it was on in our theatre until the last day when her friends posted photos of them going to see the show!) but I’ve been told that there isn’t a single person who doesn’t stand up and sing along when the songs come on.

They’ve stood the test of time as well. Compare this musical to the other one in our Halloween Season reviews written by Amanda, The Little Shop of Horrors, tell me that you really remembered any of the songs? Any of them at all. There are moments in it when you remember suddenly the songs but they aren’t songs that you are going to remember forever. I love Little Shop of Horrors as much as Rocky Horror but the songs in this one just stand out. Even if you haven’t seen the show surely no one can go a lifetime without hearing Time Warp? Whereas “Somewhere that is Green” whether it is a great song or not isn’t going to be something stuck in your head.

I think that so much of its appeal though is that it lets people just forget the harshness of reality around them. Its so big and camp but beloved by so many that it makes you feel safe to be ambiguous in your life. It is a film that doesn’t bother to label anyone and in my mind always made me feel strong enough to leave labels behind me. It is big and bold and one heck of a fun story.

Whatever you get from the movie though the one thing that you won’t forget is those characters, that dancing, amazing songs and Tim Curry.

I will admit to being a giant fan of Tim Curry’s, watching him running around holding the hem of his lab coat like it was a dress and chasing after Rocky is such an iconic scene in my life. This movie is a movie that every teen will fall in love with and will keep with them till they die.


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