The Rocky Horror Picture Show is infamous for being so overtly stupid yet endearing. Very few films have elegantly balanced the bizarre and stupid with the enthralling nature of great film. So here we have a horror film, but not really. And here we have a musical, though only slightly. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a comedy driven by dark horror elements and musical odes to weirdness. It is hard to sum up the film (took me an hour to craft that exquisite previous sentence), but if any film needs to be watched to be even slightly understood, it is this one. Expect a little adventure of a recently engaded couple in a mansion surrounded by vampires and transvestites and vampire transvestites. Whoa.
Reason to Watch
I would say there is Susan Sarandon in her prime, but that’s like praising John Goodman’s looks in his prime, or Morgan Freeman circa The Shawshank Redemption. Just didn’t do it for me. But on a serious note, homoerotic monsters sing acapella, so if that is more your style, you will be right in heaven.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is equitably the best horror musical ever, and in a time where any vampire in film or television is a huge pussy, it’s shocking to see the transvestite ones the most classic vampire-ish.
Most Memorable Quote(s)
- Frank: [singing] I’m just a sweet transvestite, from Transsexual Transylvania.
- Magenta: I ask for nothing!
Frank: And you shall receive it, IN ABUNDANCE!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie
You will probably need some proper ambiance- fake spiderwebs, a purple vampire cape, hanging skeletons, creepy flickering lights, and a case of Budweiser to make it all work together perfectly.
The film runs in two key versions, one for U.S. release and the other U.K. The U.S. version originally omitted the singing part “Super Heroes” because studio executives thought it was too depressing
The movie was banned in South Africa, only after 250,000 viewers already saw it in the region
Director Jim Sharman was originally offered a much larger budget if he hired popular actors at the time, but refused instead taking a smaller budget and using actors from the theater version
- Musical’s aren’t always just stupid, sometimes their stupid and awesome
- Don’t get married and drive off somewhere or else you may end up singing with erotically-infused tenors
Justification for Rating
The film is undoubtedly a little dated, but the charm and appeal of the Rocky Horror Picture Show is well intact. It doesn’t quite fit that ‘so bad it’s good” vibe typical of classic cult films, because the production values and singing is top notch- for better or worse.