Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It's been awhile since I talked about a musical film in one of my blogs so I thought I would talk about a musical that is close to my heart as I saw it when I was 12 in my very open household. Yes, I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a very young age and I loved it and still love it to this day! I hope to some day go to a late-night performance showing of the film and participate but more of why later. First things first...
What's The Plot?
Narrated by a man simply called The Criminologist, we begin with Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), attending a wedding of high school friends and themselves becoming engaged through song. Heading to go and see their high school science teacher Dr. Everett Scott (in his class is where Brad fell for Janet) the couple get a flat tire and go looking for a phone and run across the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a "mad" scientist.
A group of strange people are there for a convention held by Frank who makes his entrance in a glittering cape, heavy eye make-up, blood red lipstick, a corset, fishnets and very high, chunky platforms. This sweet transvestite has discovered the secret to life and unveils his creation: a very muscled, mute, half-brained blond man named Rocky Horror.
When the convention ends, Brad and Janet are shown to separate rooms and soon become seduced by Frank's charm which puts these normally clean-cut "virgins" into a tailspin of debauchery and decadence. Meanwhile, Frank's handyman Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien) and his sister/lover Magenta (Patricia Quinn), the castle domestic, take it upon themselves to torture Rocky in defiance of Frank's extreme taste for pleasure and soon Rocky happens upon Janet.
Distraught when she finds out that Brad has tasted forbidden fruit with Frank, Janet seduces a very innocent Rocky and they are discovered inadvertently when another guest arrives to the party: Dr. Scott! He is looking for his nephew Eddie (Meat Loaf) who was a lover of Frank's groupie Columbia (Little Nell Campbell) and the other half of his brain was used to make Rocky but he had been killed by Frank earlier that night. A strange night is about to get even more strange with dinner and a show no one is ever going to forget. Can Brad and Janet go back to what they once knew or have the discovered an experience that will change them for better or worse?
If you have never seen Rocky Horror and want to I didn't want to ruin the pleasure of this movie for you with a lot of plot info. To experience Rocky Horror by second hand account really isn't much fun and as I said I want to have the actual audience participation experience one day. That said, let's look at a few details of Rocky Horror that I can tell you about that have nothing to do with plot.
The music of Rocky Horror is an enjoyable romp because before it hit the screen it hit the West end stage of London as an actual musical. Richard O'Brien wrote the music and lyrics for all the songs and each one will get you singing and dancing especially "The Time Wrap" because it has instructions to do the dance in the song! They played this song at my Senior Prom and only a few of us could do the dance and I'm proud to say we were mostly the outcasts and black sheep of high school popularity. If you saw the Rocky Horror episode of Glee even though I don't watch it you know the songs and how good they truly are and maybe that's why you are checking out this blog post of mine.
Moving on to acting most of the cast was from the original stage production including Tim Curry who made his motion picture debut to an American audience. I have to admit that I have always been a Tim Curry fangirl even before I saw Rocky Horror and seeing him in fishnets is something great to see. Tim Curry has always been a debonair and charming actor with singing talent, voice over work and stage roles galore and though he use to be reluctant to talk about this role he now views it as a rite of passage for the viewer's who see it. So in other words, Tim Curry has popped a lot of cherries for Rocky Horror fans. Meat Loaf has a great one-scene wonder performance as Eddie and it is almost a celluloid version of a show stopper that comes after a lot of drama and science fiction before we are whip lashed back into black comedy and drama again.
Barry Bostwick is great as nerdy, innocent Brad and he's not that bad to look at either in fishnets I might add and I can't see anyone else as Brad but Bostwick in 1975 and even today. Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn and Little Nell Campbell have also become icons for me in their own performance of their characters and I don't think I can ever view anyone else in those roles but the day I go to a midnight, audience participation showing and see someone else play these characters I might change my mind. I always put these three characters in a collective grouping because if you watch the movie, they interact with each other a lot.
Of course I can't go without mentioning Susan Sarandon as Janet because I believe at the time she was perfect for naive and pure Janet and she is the character I can relate to the most. Susan Sarandon has always been a great actress and her portrayal of Janet is why I want to go to a midnight showing so I can go as Janet in costume as most people do!
You are not meant to take Rocky Horror seriously it is all in good old-fashioned campy fun with music, dancing, a movie that the black sheep outsider can like with no regrets and it can bring out the wild and untamed thing in anyone. Rose-tint glasses are required to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as a sense of humor so if you don't think you can handle that then maybe this is not the movie for you but if you have a wild side to you then this movie will be an enjoyment that is oh so sweet...I promise.
Next Blog: A look at some 80s horror from Wes Craven but not what you think - Deadly Friend