REVIEW: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

rockyhorrorpictureshow

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1975, 20th Century Fox

Director:
Jim Sharman
Producer:
Michael White
Writers:
Jim Sharman (screenplay)
Richard O’Brien (original play and screenplay)
Cinematography:
Peter Suschitzky
Editing:
Graeme Clifford

Cast:
Tim Curry (Dr. Frank N. Furter)
Susan Sarandon (Janet Weiss)
Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors)
Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff)
Patricia Quinn (Magenta)
“Little Nell” Campbell (Columbia)
Peter Hinwood (Rocky Horror)
Meat Loaf (Eddie)
Jonathan Adams (Dr. Everett Scott)
Charles Gray (The Criminologist)

One of the greatest motion pictures and cult classics ever made, this horrific musical still takes the cake over 40 years after its initial release.

The story revolves around two ordinary people, Janet Weiss and her fiancée Brad Majors who go to a castle to find a phone after their car gets a flat tire. They are met by a very strange fellow named Riff Raff) and his sister Magenta. The castle is holding some sort of party where the partygoers are doing “The Time Warp”.

The couple soon meet the true host of the castle, a crazy cross-dressing scientist named Dr. Frank N. Furter. Frank has been working on a creation and now has come the time for him to unleash it. The creation is a blond hair, blue eyed muscle man named Rocky Horror. Soon, chaos ensues as Frank has plans for everyone around him on a night that no one will ever forget.

If someone were to look up “cult classic” in a film dictionary, this film deserves to truly be the definition. From the mind of Richard O’Brien comes to very strange film that may seem like a horror musical, but is more of a raucous comedy musical with a sci-fi edge to it. The film is truly a combination of sci-fi, Frankenstein (1931), sexual androgyny, cross-dressing, and a rock musical all rolled up into one nifty package.

Tim Curry is perfectly cast as the cross dressing mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter. He brings charisma, sexuality, and comedic value all in one. His introductory musical sequence is forever a hailed classic. Playing the “square” couple to a tee before shifting to practically slaves of the mad doctor are Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. While they have that normality to them at first, it is refreshing to see the changes they endure throughout the film.

In the role of the titular character is Peter Hinwood. As the creation known as “Rocky Horror”, he doesn’t speak yet he does sing a few songs. Why he doesn’t speak in the film is beyond anyone, but in what would be his only big role in a film, Hinwood does it really well. As the handyman Riff Raff and hired help Magenta, creator Richard O’Brien and his good friend Patricia Quinn bring a closeness that borders on incest yet they have a more intricate goal in the entire movie.

The film would spawn a sequel-spinoff from the warped mind of O’Brien, Shock Treatment in 1981. Only Brad and Janet returned as played by new actors and the plot was an interesting one that would foreshadow films like The Truman Show (1998) and EdTV (1999), where the world is one big television network. In the fall of 2016, a live version of the musical is airing, starring transgender actress Laverne Cox as the crazy doctor, Victoria Justice as Janet, Reese Carvey as Riff Raff and the original Frank himself, Tim Curry, as the Criminologist.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still one of the most beloved cult classic films after three and a half decades. The songs are timeless and Tim Curry’s deadpan performance truly makes the film. If you haven’t seen it, go out and see this movie right now!

WFG Rating: A+

DVD

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