MOTW: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" Review

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

MOTW: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" Review

Rating: R
Length: 100 minutes
Release Date: September 26, 1975
Directed by: Jim Sharman
Genre: Comedy/Musical
Cast: Full cast and crew

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is a parody of past horror films and a romp through madness, decadence, and all-around fun. The film opens with a young couple, Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon), deciding to take a ride in the country after their friends' wedding and their own subsequent engagement. As the weather turns for the worse, their car breaks down, leaving them to fend for themselves until they find a castle. In need of assistance, they knock on the door—a move that will change their lives forever.

Greeting them upon their arrival is Riff Raff (O'Brien), the handyman, who advises them of their good fortune to show up on the very night of the master's party and brings them inside. It's not long before they meet Magenta (Quinn), the maid, and party guests who sing and dance to "Time Warp," a song replete with dance instructions. Soon, it becomes apparent that Brad and Janet are no longer interested in assistance from this bizarre crew of dressed-up freaks as they slowly move up the stairs and away from the festivities to escape the castle and its eccentric inhabitants. At this point, they meet Dr. Frank N. Furter (Curry), who introduces himself by means of a little ditty entitled "Sweet Transvestite." Although the couple is unsure of what to do at this point, they eventually decide to stay at the castle. Throughout their evening, they will encounter erotic sex, insidious murder, and Transylvanian justice. They will view outlandish dance scenes and hear outrageous storytelling songs. They will view the birth of a man and the demise of others. They will meet an old friend, Dr. Everett Scott (Adams), in search of his son, Eddie (Meatloaf), who much to their horror and dismay will become dinner. They will encounter those who desire them, and, in turn, they will desire others. In sum, they will experience a night filled with debauchery that leaves them sexually empowered and, in the end, transformed into individuals garbed in transvestite attire and running for their lives. And if that isn't enough, it's all choreographed in song and dance to a rock and roll theme.

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" offers a host of offbeat characters and a few strait-laced ones to counterbalance the performance. Along with Richard O'Brien as Riff Raff, a convincingly played henchman, and Patricia Quinn as Magenta, a wickedly fun cohort, the incomparable Tim Curry pulls off an amazing performance as Dr. Frank N. Furter. Tim Curry owns this role; he is the sweet transvestite, the mad scientist, the father of Rocky Horror, and the master of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." He was cast in the original play, and it is highly doubtful anyone could fill Curry's high heels as lead character. Barry Bostwick is engaging in his role as Brad Majors; he exemplifies the persona of a polite gentleman with common sense and, therefore, plays the perfect straight man in this parody of horror. Susan Sarandon thrives as Janet Weiss and displays an incredible range in her performance, turning from a wide-eyed and timid fiancée to a crazed sexpot. These characters, along with the rest of the cast, inspired and spurred throngs of moviegoers to dress up in character, bring props to throw at shows, and dance to the "Time Warp."

Although the movie was off to a rocky start, it is a testament to the movie's popularity and longevity that this classic-cult flick won a Hall of Fame Award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in 1980. Furthermore, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" won the National Film Registry Award from the National Film Preservation Board in 2005. Nominations for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" also include The Golden Scroll Award for Best Horror Film in 1976 and the Sierra Award in the category of Best DVD for the 25th Anniversary Edition in 2000. In addition, the DVD Exclusive Awards nominated the film in two categories for Video Premiere Award in 2001.

Nothing is like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in cinematic history. It is a mix of music, dancing, insanity, and lampooned horror. Without a doubt, this exciting and uplifting film will leave viewers singing, dancing, and smiling every time they see it. Any virgins to the comically insane world of Dr. Frank N. Furter shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves so entrenched in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" that they end up buying the Original Soundtrack of the same name.

Rating: 4 out of 5