Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Directed by: Jim Sharman
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, & Richard O’Brien
Rated R for Strong Sexual Content, Some Language, and Comic Violence

Prepare yourself, readers, for the mental mind fuck of the century. Rocky Horror is the ultimate in cult classics*. Where else would you find a horny transvestite, a hunchback, an optimist in nerd glasses, and a German wheelchair bound scientist who knows that a “sonic transducer is... some kind of audio-vibratory-physio-molecular transport device”? From the catchy songs sung just slightly off-key to the frighteningly memorable characters, this musical will literally blow your mind (sorry for that terrible cliché!) and leave you saying “What the hell did I just watch?!”

Here’s a brief summary of the plot:

“While driving home during a rain filled night, straight-laced lovebirds Brad and Janet, by chance, end up at the castle of one Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his strange and bizarre entourage, and find that he's having a party. This is no ordinary party, no ordinary night. This is the unveiling of the Dr's latest creation: Rocky; A man-made Adonis that will give...absolute pleasure…. Projected along with a musical soundtrack to give "audience participation" a new meaning in dimension, time and space, this shall be a night that both Brad and Janet will remember for a very, very long time in the sexually kinky, rock 'n roll (f)rock-opera world of a gender-bending scientist...and his time warped plans.” (from Internet Movie Database)

I’m trying very hard not to give too much of this movie away, because the surprise of each scene is what truly makes this movie so great. You literally have no idea what is going to happen next. The first time I saw it, I probably said, “Whaaat?!” about a hundred times. The characters are well-casted, highly memorable, and completely unique. The role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter was simply written for Tim Curry. The songs are cleverly written and inadvertently catchy: I’ve had more than one get stuck in my head on various occasions, which always earns me some stares on the bus when I start humming to myself. (If you’re a major Gleek like me, you may already have heard a few songs if you watched the “Rocky Horror” episode.) I’d say if you’re into morbidly funny, raunchy, satirical musicals (me ME!!), this is the movie for you.

I can say for sure that this movie is definitely not for everyone. Its sexual satire is abundant and makes for many awkward and highly uncomfortable moments. A bit of advice: don’t watch this with your parents. Also, this movie is a musical, so if you’re not into that, skip it. However, if you simply mute the musical numbers, you will be able to still experience the utter weirdness of the film without dealing with the music (in fact, muting it would probably make it that much more weird!).
I’d definitely recommend watching this at least twice: once to experience the strange epic-ness, and again to better understand what the hell is going on. Also, I’d recommend being at least college-age before watching this, just so you are more capable of understanding in-movie references and to fully appreciate the film.

Happy watching!!

*The greatest thing about Rocky Horror is its cult status. Midnight viewings of the movie are available in cities all across the country, and they are truly worth going to. People go all-out: costumes and makeup (boys and girls alike), props, and Time Warp choreography at the ready. I was lucky enough to go to one of these viewings on my 19th birthday with a bunch of my college friends, and it was an absolute blast! I’d definitely recommend seeing the movie at least once before attending a viewing, since these theatre showings are majorly a crowd of people shouting lines at a movie screen. Sounds strange and abnormal, I know, but nothing is remotely normal about Rocky Horror.

For more info on the film check out the IMDb page:

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