Sunday, September 26, 2010

 

I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey


By Edward Copeland
Thirty-five years ago today, the film adaptation of the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show hit theaters. Since it was now a film, its title had been revised to be The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was far from a hit, though in isolated theaters it drew a crowd of repeat customers, prompting distributor 20th Century Fox to keep it in release and rethink its strategy. Then one day, someone in an audience somewhere spoke back to the movie and the beginning of an audience participation legend was born.


The film not only continued to run (and continues to run, though not as widely as it once did), it became a phenomenon and a rite of passage for young people (Box office grosses vary depending where you look, but the most consistent U.S. total I find is nearly $140 million). Unfortunately, once the decision was made to release the film to video (coupled with many American towns cracking down on teen fun with curfews), the Rocky Horror requirement seemed not to be an option for lots of younger people today. It's a shame. (Then again, perhaps the zeitgeist is poised for a Rocky resurgence as the TV phenomenon Glee with its throng of young fans has announced an Oct. 26 episode saluting Rocky Horror with guest appearances by some of the film's original cast members.) It's impossible for me to judge the film as a movie because I always will hear the lines the audience shouts back in my head or expect an onslaught of toast or rice. Still, no matter how good or bad The Rocky Horror Picture Show is, it holds a pivotal place in millions of people's memories. On top of that, it contains one helluva performance by Tim Curry repeating his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter that he created for the stage version, early roles for Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick and, perhaps most importantly, an almost revolutionary-for-its-time look at gender and sexual roles, something that extended to its audience of devotees which seemed to attract all sexual orientations. The optimist in me wants to believe that in its own small way the film has something to do with the reason the younger you are, the more likely you are to support gay rights and same-sex marriage. Could a campy musical spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies and Hammer horror films have had a positive political and sociological effect? Then again, in some parts of the country, you also were liable to run into homophobic crowds who seemed to get off on going to the movie just to shout slurs. Methinks they doth protest too much. I bet Ted Haggard went to screenings wearing fishnets.

I also think its popularity was that it attracted the young, creative misfits, who might have seemed out of their element elsewhere but at Rocky Horror, found a place without judgment, a place to belong. I have to believe if the great Freaks & Geeks had lasted longer, Lindsay Weir and friends might have ended up there eventually, though the timing may have made it too late for Angela Chase and Rayanne Graff on My So-Called Life, though Rayanne was drifting toward drama. To mark the film's birthday, we've gathered anecdotes from various people about their experiences with the film. I thought I'd begin with the stories of more personal friends of mine before expanding out to other parts of the blogosphere and world at large. Thanks to all who participated. This post is no critique, it is audience participation, so use the comments to share your stories.

EDWARD COPELAND

As I mentioned in my 30th anniversary piece on Fame earlier this year, that film was the first time I heard of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The first time I actually went to a midnight showing was as a sophomore in high school with an older friend who'd never seen it either. We kept our status as "virgins" quiet.

My real beginnings as a Rocky aficionado began the following year after a high school football game when I drove my friends Troy and Wagstaff and two sophomore girls Troy come to know from a drama class and the school band. One of the girls, Jennifer, seems to pop up in many of my friends' anecdotes as the catalyst behind their induction into the Rocky Horror club. As with many aspects, she truly was a power source that affected everyone who knew her and we still miss her. This probably isn't the appropriate place but since her husband Matt and I remain good friends, I feel I should confess to him something that happened between Jen and I before they ever met: Matt, we had elbow sex. The Rocky habit became almost weekly, with growing numbers of attendees and assorted props. We'd prepare the toast, gather the toilet paper and newspapers, buy the rice. We even bought battery-operated squirt guns in the shapes of Uzis for the rainstorm. Occasionally, some would break off to go see a midnight showing of Pink Floyd The Wall instead. Part of the fun was watching as my friend Troy, whose mother I'm convinced Dana Carvey based the Church Lady on, carefully sneak out of his room to attend the movie whose lead was a sweet transvestite. (I tried to convince Troy to write his own anecdote but despite the fact he's 41, married, the father of two and lives in a different city from his mother, I think he still fears retroactive grounding.) Another very funny time was when we talked our born again friend Mike into going and he was so shocked by what he saw on screen he spent most of the movie in what appeared to be a catatonic state. I've long since lost track of how many times I went, but the numbers were at least in the high 30s or low 40s and usually ended with an after-film gathering at the Village Inn.

In college, when I became president of an alternative film club, our most successful booking was Rocky Horror and I learned the hard way what all those poor theater workers had to go through when it came to cleaning up the mess once the film was over. However, Rocky and the X-rated Devil in the Flesh paid for all the other, less attended films such as the Bergmans, etc. Perhaps the most melancholy experience I ever had was when I worked at a newspaper in northern New Jersey and saw that a theater in the town of Boonton showed Rocky. Knowing no one and bored silly, I went one time and, of course, shouting all the lines was old hat to me and, coming from a different region of the country, some were new to the in-theater cast. The Boonton regulars were so impressed that afterward, they asked if I wanted to come and be a regular because I obviously knew it so well. I politely declined. I was pushing 30 by then and Rocky Horror is really a young person's game that you share with a group of your friends, not as a bored stranger. However, it was interesting to learn of the regional differences that develop within the audience participation.

DONALD HIGHTOWER

I have two basic thoughts. And then a more personal reverie.

The first is rather obvious and common, and that is (as many of our culturally detached cohort would likely agree) that Rocky was an exciting, accepting, funky and exceptionally fun place to escape the cultural/social angst of growing up "different" in Oklahoma as a teenager. The innate theatricality, ambiguous but hyper-sexuality and exuberant celebration of pleasure (in all forms) was intoxicating and comforting all the same time. It was easily that "special group" into which one could run away and find escape and togetherness. An artistic oasis for alternative teens tired of feeling on the outside. A special group of friends and acquaintances. A communal opportunity for ritual catharsis at the dawn of the age when home video was just starting to lock us away inside our individual homes (Rocky has — for me — always been an experience that never really works on home video). Always, always, ALWAYS a good time. And yet, what other experiences were available to a teen that offered such level of sensual diversion that didn't also risk arrest, injury or even death?

Second, and this is a more personal experience, was the experience of different Rocky cultures. I grew up in the Rocky of the OKC Memorial Square cinema where there were certain rituals and attitudes associated with what Rocky should be. Visiting another locale could be shocking. For example, in OKC, the innate homo-bi-ambi-sexuality of the film was celebrated and embraced by all. Even if it wasn't your cup of tea, you celebrated the love, lust and ultimate pleasure of others. After I went to college, I tried attending Rocky a few times in Dallas, but it was a different world. They openly laughed at the queers. It was as if the whole event for them was about making fun of the "fags" up on screen. Very odd. Ruined the experience for me. Sadly, those were my last Rocky experiences.

On an even more personal note, Rocky was the occasion of my first date with Jennifer. Magical for lots of reasons. But even moreso for the special convergence of all the different parts of my emerging universe and a wonderful memory.

KIM HOWARD

I first saw those red lips across the dimly lit theater of the AMC Memorial Square in OKC. I was 15. It was sex, blood and rock & roll all the way.

Rocky Horror stands square in the middle of my transition to adulthood.

Before I could drive myself, my parents allowed me to "sneak out" of the house with what they presumed were my more responsible friends to attend the midnight showing of RHPS. This was back in the '80s — what were they thinking? Either they didn't have a clue or they are much cooler than they let on at the time. "Sneaking out" was at once a feeling of rebellion and responsibility. Sadly, I guess I continued to earn this privilege by returning home weekend after weekend, without once having to get bailed out of juvie. It pretty much became a habit.

The routine typically included my friend Troy driving, since he was old enough, had the car and could usually get us into the theater for the rated-R movie on account of being an employee. We'd go armed with our toast, t.p. and squirt guns. Jen and I switched off playing as Magenta and Columbia — neither of us was the Janet type. We looked forward to dragging along another friend whenever we could so that they could lose their virginity the way we had — in public, with a cadre of questionably dressed teenagers and more than a few geezers (I'm sure who were younger then than I am now), in the soft glow of Bic-fueled light over at the Frankenstein place. Then when it was over, it was off to the Village Inn for cheap coffee served by tolerant waitresses, with at least six of us stuffed in a booth. Home by 3 a.m. Sleep 'til noon. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This trailed off somewhere in my senior year of high school. Troy and Edward graduated. Jen and I got boyfriends and faded apart. I haven't been back but I often remember. I have to hope that the first time I see my son leave the house sporting fishnets and a cigarette lighter, I will roll over and pretend to be asleep. Another generation gazing at those big red lips...

MITCH PRYOR

In order to get to my first show, I recall the older (and thus obviously much cooler) student stopping to put 60 some-odd cents of gas in his car so that we would make it to the show.

The first time I was approached on the street to buy drugs was outside The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the AMC on Memorial in OKC. He offered me speed, stating that one of his pills was twice as strong as No-Doz. I asked, "Why don't I just take two No-Doz?" He said, "Well...you can take two of these." You can see where the rest of this conversation was heading...

During a scene where people were throwing rice, we once got pelted with cooked, slimy rice.

We would often have to buy tickets to other movies showing at the midnight movies since we were not old enough to see R-rated movies. This is how I saw the first half hour of a live action Masters of the Universe.

CLAY REHLING

I was working the concession stand at the AMC Memorial Square 8 and people would come out during the movie to ask for weird objects, such as a broom or a spray bottle full of Dr Pepper.

MATT ZOLLER SEITZ

My first exposure to the Rocky Horror phenomenon came via my college girlfriend and future wife Jennifer Dawson. She was a big Rocky Horror fan in college and continued going to see it as a student at Southern Methodist University. What struck me most about the live shows was how different they were from city to city and town to town. The most laid-back show I saw was at the Casa Linda Theater in Dallas; you could tell that everybody knew each other and had been attending the same midnight show for years, and the atmosphere was very low-key and welcoming. The weirdest show I saw was in some small suburb outside Oklahoma City — I wish I could remember which one. The theater was packed, but there was a weird, hostile energy in the air, and when the film started I figured out why. The performers faithfully re-enacted all the expected moments, but there was a bizarre homophobic undertow. You'd see people onstage having simulated (and in one couple's case, gay) sex behind sheets that turned them into silhouettes, a clever way of approximating the same actions in the movie, but there were a lot of people yelling slurs at the stage. "Fucking faggot!", etc. The screamers had obviously seen the film before — their timing was impeccable. But if they were so disgusted by the non-hetero action, why did they buy a ticket?

JEFFREY M. ANDERSON (Combustible Celluloid)

I remember when The Rocky Horror Picture Show was first released on home video in the 1980s. It was kind of a big deal; it was thought that people would begin having Rocky Horror house parties much like the famous midnight shows. But the fact is that watching the movie at home is a dud. It's really not a good movie, not by any stretch. But when I finally had the chance to see my first midnight show in Berkeley, I had quite a different experience. The energy in the crowd was infectious, and even dangerously thrilling. I found myself doing the "Time Warp" in the aisles — partly to impress my date — and trying to go along with as many of the call-and-response lines as I could (I was desperate not to be thought of as a "virgin"). I was struck, and still am, by the blatant, open sexuality of the film, which the crowd wholeheartedly embraced without shame or qualification. Such sexuality is still difficult to get into movies today, 35 years later. But the film's ultimate achievement is its big screen and audience participation factors. Many have tried, but no other film has been able to replicate the unique phenomenon that sprung up around this film, all by itself, for that matter. In this age of DVDs and Blu-Rays and streaming movies and movies on iPhones — or in other words, individual viewing rather than group viewing — the concept of a Rocky Horror Picture Show seems even more alien than it must have in 1975. Long live Rocky Horror!

ALI ARIKAN (Cerebral Mastication)

I first ran into The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the age of 14, during a particularly horny night when I was scouring German TV channels for soft porn (even a cheeky nipple used to be enough in those days). The film’s wanton strangeness reminded me of Italian horror comics from the '70s, reprints of which I used to read as a kid. We don’t have enough hedonistic pansexuals as role models these days, and the world’s the poorer for it.

Years later, after a long day — and an even longer night — in London, I found myself at a sing-a-long performance of the film at The Prince Charles Cinema. The anarchic audience was in a state of drugged up haze, except for the couple two rows behind me, who fucked through the entire film. I would have protested had I not been impressed by their fitness, dexterity and lack of inhibition.

So, the two major memories I have of The Rocky Horror Picture Show both involve sex. Sounds about right.

DAMIAN ARLYN

The year was 1995. I was a college freshman living at a co-ed house in Eugene, Ore. One of my housemates was a fellow film lover and he invited me to a 20th anniversary showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the University of Oregon campus. I had heard a few things about the film (the main ones being its well-known cult status and its audience-participation reputation) but otherwise knew absolutely nothing about it. I agreed to join him, having no idea what I was in for. At the very least, I knew there was going to be squirt guns, toilet paper and toast thrown around so I dressed casual.

I met my friend at the ERB Memorial Union building where I saw he was decked-out in rather scary-looking make-up and standing in line with hundreds of other equally frightening individuals. As we purchased our tickets, I was asked if I had ever seen this film before. I said I hadn't. They declared me a "virgin" and wrote several big V's on my face with lipstick. Before the show started a student who looked like the Tim Curry character from the film (whom I would soon learn was named Dr. Frank-N-Furter) announced that there would be actors dressed as the characters enacting the scenes below the big screen onto which the movie would be projected. Although I would later learn that all of this was "normal" for a showing of Rocky Horror, at the time it all struck me as strange. Just when I thought it couldn't get any weirder, they announced the virgin sacrifice. They brought all the virgins (myself included) up front and selected, via audience applause, one man and one woman to sacrifice. This was accomplished by thrusting a giant cardboard penis (with a plastic bag "condom" attached to the tip because, as the Doc put it, "it was the '90s") several times into the nether regions of the poor victims. I had survived the sacrifice, but was still pretty unsettled. Coming from a relatively conservative home and high school, I had never been to anything like this before. This level of wildness was new and somewhat scary for me. I actually began to fear for my life.

The movie began, the audience started talking (chanting actually) and they never stopped. Some of it was funny ("Rocky! Bullwinkle!") and some of it was just dumb ("Dammit, Janet! I love you!" became "Dammit, Janet! I wanna screw!"). I couldn't say what I was expecting from the movie itself, but I certainly wasn't expecting what I saw. I never really got into the "story," but as the evening progressed I did loosen up a bit and settle into the ambience of the event. Fear gave way to amusement and I actually began to enjoy myself. When I think back on the experience now I do so with affection. I haven't seen the film since that night (no real desire to), but I could be persuaded to attend another late-night showing of it. This time, though, I want to be the fellow who shouts during the end credits, "This is The Rocky Horror Picture Show! It's not Ferris Bueller's Day Off! There's no surprise ending. Everybody, GET THE F**K HOME!"

JOE BALTAKE (The Passionate Moviegoer)

My most vivid reminiscence of The Rocky Horror Picture Show has less to do with the film itself — which I saw and tried to forget — than with one of its stars, Susan Sarandon. Sarandon is the reason that I couldn’t quite shake the film. Let me clarify… Thanks to the vagaries of the film-distribution end of moviemaking, I found myself with Sarandon something like four or five consecutive times between 1974 and 1978, when I was reviewing for Knight-Ridder out of Philadelphia. We got to know each other — well, kind of. During our initial interview for The Front Page, in which she sang (and quite well), Sarandon mentioned that she had just made an all-out musical — The Rocky Horror Picture Show — and, based on the conversation that we had been having about movies, she had a hunch of exactly what I would think of it. Hmmm. Another interview (The Other Side of Midnight) and, luckily, the subject of Rocky Horror didn’t come up. It was also evaded at the 1976 Governor’s Ball, where I bumped into her the year that her then-husband Chris Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar. Whew. So far, so good. I didn’t like Rocky Horror, see? But the fateful day finally came — during an interview for King of the Gypsies. It’s etched in my mind. She asked. And I looked in Susan Sarandon’s eyes — her Bette Davis eyes — and confessed what I thought of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I tried to be gentle. “Well, you were supposed to like it,” she deadpanned, waving a hand. We then moved on to discuss Dragonfly, a film that was never released, for which Sarandon said she was deeply grateful. I’m sure Susan has moved on and now barely remembers these encounters. But I remember the anxiety of trying to be diplomatic rather vividly. (BTW, for what it’s worth, I thought she looked and sounded exactly liked Lesley Ann Warren in Rocky Horror. And that’s a good thing.

ANNE BOBBY (actress, author)


I was — I think — about 15 when I lost my 'Virginity.' No better place for it that the 8th St. Playhouse! That was the night I quite literally realized that a story, however cheezy, however bad the production values (and in some cases, the acting) could actually be really GREAT — when made with absolute commitment and love! I saw it...many, many times...and when the Playhouse vanished, a little piece of me did with it.

Don't dream it, Be it.

KIMBERLY LINDBERGS (Cinebeats)

There wasn't a lot to do in the small California town that I grew up in but we did have an old movie theater that often showed midnight double features. One of the most popular movies that played their regularly for a short time during the early 1980s was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It attracted a small crowd of local kids from my high school who were all outsiders, misfits and loners. None of us really fit in at school or anywhere else for that matter but The Rocky Horror Picture Show managed to bring many of us together. A handful of brave kids would dress up like the characters in the movie and act out scenes from the film on the small stage in front of the screen. The rest of us would cheer them on with our bags of rice, water guns and rolls of toilet paper. When Dr. Frank-N-Furter sang "Don't Dream It, Be It" that song was always the highlight of the movie because he seemed to be speaking directly to the kids in the audience who were questioning authority and looking for new role models. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Tim Curry because of the way he portrayed Dr. Frank-N-Furter. He inhabited that character in a way that really inspired people and in the '80s we desperately needed new countercultural figures to look up to. The "Sweet Transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania" was definitely one of the most subversive film characters ever created and we embraced him with open arms.

MATT MAUL (Maul of America)

In an era before megamovie chains were placed in shopping centers, the Punch and Judy of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., with its ornate interior and balcony, was one of many local theaters within walking distance of my house. By the late 1970s, the business model for film outlets had changed making weekend midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show the only thing keeping the Punch and Judy financially viable. This put the movie house directly at odds with the local community. Many of its neighbors didn’t exactly appreciate the rowdy crowds Rocky Horror attracted. I don’t think these moviegoers were any worse than those leaving a disco. But, to be fair, who wants to hear the sound of scattered laughter, tires screeching and glass bottles breaking right outside their window at 2 in the morning?

In early 1977, I was 15 and a tad young for my parents to let me stay out until the wee hours of the morning. But, I was anxious to see what this Rocky Horror thing was all about. So, my younger brother and I talked our dad into taking us. In many ways, my tattooed truck driver father was pretty hip. He had seen a lot of the world while playing minor league baseball at 17 followed by a stint in the Army one year later. This wasn’t to say that he was the most progressive guy in the world. I can still picture his amused grin when I brought home an album by a male artist known as Alice Cooper. He gave me a look that wasn’t so much reproachful as it was intended to let me know that I’d never be a first class bad-ass like him.

What I remember most about the evening is the sports jacket my dad wore. This made him the best dressed audience member (unless you count the people who came in costume). The first inkling I had that asking him to take my brother and I was a mistake occurred before we even got to our seats. The three of us first had to wait in a line that was slowed by ushers inspecting each female’s purse. Prefiguring a post-9/11 still two decades away, the Punch and Judy had instituted these searches as part of a “no toast” policy. We were informed that this was enacted after patrons pelting the screen during the dinner scene with crisp and sharp-edged slices of bread had resulted in eye injuries. I could tell from my father’s expression that he was wondering why the fuck anyone would throw toast at a movie screen.

The generation gap only got wider when Dr. Frank-N-Furter dropped his cape during the "Sweet Transvestite” number. I sheepishly glanced over to see my father’s reaction. To put it mildly, this wasn’t his cup of tea. We stayed until the bitter end as Tim Curry, his makeup smeared, sang “Don’t dream it, be it.” All the while, my dad kept checking the time, wearing his amused Alice Cooper grin.

EDDIE SELOVER

Around 1980, I worked for the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica. At the time, we showed Rocky Horror every Saturday at midnight. The crowd showed up in full Rocky regalia, dressed as their favorite characters — Frank-N-Furter and Magenta being the most popular. They also came with props — rice to throw during the wedding scene, squirt guns and umbrellas for the stormy night, etc. Hundreds of them, it seemed, lined up down the block.

As the youngest and least senior employee, my job was to take the stage before the lights went down, and to face this theater full of — eccentrics? — and tell them that they were not allowed to do any of the things they had come to do. No throwing of rice, toast, or toilet paper. No water deluge. As I was sorely lacking in the personal authority necessary to pull this off, I was regularly catcalled. There were many personal offers, some of them quite flattering in a way. It's just a jump to the left...

Oh, and in case you're wondering — they did it all anyway. At least I think they did, cause I didn't hang around.

IVAN G. SHREVE, JR. (Thrilling Days of Yesteryear)

The very first time I heard about The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) was in the summer of 1980. Three girls from my high school and I were at Ohio University in Athens, OH attending a “journalism camp” and one of my “roommates” during the week’s stay — whose identity, unfortunately, has disappeared in the mists of time…I’ll call him “David” because that may have been his name — asked me one morning if I had attended the midnight showing of Rocky Horror at a downtown theatre last night.

I told him I hadn’t. David then asked me if I had ever seen the movie, and I replied that outside of seeing the sequence in Fame (1980) the answer would, again, have to be no.

“Well, the movie’s plot is stupid as hell — but the fun in going to see it is the audience participation,” he explained to me. He further went on to describe how a couple of civic-minded movie buffs circulated among the audience making sure those in attendance had their props: toast, newspapers, toilet tissue, etc.

Hearing about this made me curious to see the movie, and I finally got the opportunity to do so a little more than a year later during my freshman year at Marshall University in Huntington, WVa. The experience, I’m sorry to report, was a regrettable one. Apart from the prop comedy — the aforementioned toast, etc. — most of the individuals in the audience had apparently not received the newsletter on proper Rocky Horror protocol. To illustrate: every time Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) appears on screen, it is customary for the audience to acknowledge his presence by yelling “Asshole!” at the screen. Unfortunately, in the section I was sitting, the participants (who had obviously made quite merry before the film was unspooled) adopted this as more of a mantra, and started yelling it when anyone appeared on screen. After the film was over, a friend of mine (I had sort of ingratiated myself with the sci-fi/film geek crowd at that time) asked me — as a “virgin” — what I thought about the movie.

“Well, I wasn’t too impressed,” was my disappointed response. “Plus, it was sort of hard to hear the dialogue with the Miller Lite crowd in full force.”

“You should have sat where we were sitting,” she replied. They were with a group of New Yorkers, and this wasn’t their first rodeo (Whatever happened to Fay Wray… “King Kong finger-fucked her!”). Great, I thought. You got to mingle with the Algonquin Round Table and I bonded with a bunch of yahoos who are excited by the prospect of a wreck during a NASCAR race.

I went to Rocky Horror a second time when I moved to Morgantown in 1992, and while that experience went a little better I still have never been able to warm to the movie and enjoy the event in the time-honored tradition of moviegoers everywhere. But like I always say — that’s why some folks likes chocolate, and some likes vanilla.

SASHA STONE (Awards Daily)

I wasn't the hippest film nerd on the block, in fact I wasn't much of a film nerd at all. I was a drama geek. That drive to perform is what got me to a theater in Santa Barbara for a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show back in 1983. By then, the trend was in full swing. Many of the audience members were dressed up to look like the characters from the film and they knew every line and every song. I'd never seen anything like that before. Theaters were for sitting quietly and watching a film with an audience; they weren't for jumping up and down in your seat and dancing in the aisles, even going up on stage and acting out the various scenes. It seemed to me that everyone secretly wanted to be Frank-N-Furter. As a young teen, I wished to be Susan Sarandon, or Janet Weiss.

I won't pretend that I ever really caught the bug, or dressed up as any of the characters, or even returned to see the film again. But that one night embedded a memory I will never forget. It was a glimpse into a world I never knew existed. And every once in a while I hear myself singing, "It's just a jump to the left ... and then a step to the right....you put your hands on your hips, and bring your knees in tight. You do the pelvis thrust — oo ah oo ah — it really drives you insane.....let's do the time warp again!"

Recently, the film was on cable and my 12-year-old was sitting nearby. I knew I had to explain to her just what The Rocky Horror Picture Show was, and what it meant to so many people many years ago. I realized you can't explain it; you have to show it. You had to be there.



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Comments:
How dare you mention my name, Edward! You're gonna get me busted...

For the record, around 5 years ago, I actually told my mom all about the after-hours sneaking about, and she barely batted an eye. Of course, she didn't know about Frank's cavorting in the film - no need to give her a heart attack.
 
Such a delightful, irresistible film... the word "groundbreaking" is used with so much ease nowadays that we forget its true significance... The Rocky Horror broke so many grounds, so many taboos, so many boundaries that it still stands out in the History of Cinema. I mean, the real one, the one that actually leaves a mark in society. Did I mention also, that it features probably one of the best soundtracks in the history of musical?

A movie to recheck, again and again. It lifts the spirit of anyone, anytime.
 
Wow! What an amazing piece of blogging here! Seriously, this is like a blogathon in one post. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who contributed to this epic piece!
 
It was a complete and total surprise - in Berkeley - best party ever. I was doing the nerd thing in grad school and the bus passed the cinema and I saw the Midnight announcement every day for 2-3 years on the commuter bus. That;s all I knew about it.

Marie
 
I've been doing Rocky since I was 17. I was in the cast Edward Copeland mentioned in Boonton NJ. I was in my early 20s at the time. I just turned 35 this year and *just* got back from the 35th anniversary cellebration in Los Angeles. Rocky Horror continues to go on strongly in theatres across the country. There is another convention coming up in April - 4711con.com.
 
Wow Larry. What a small World Wide Web this is. I didn't even imagine that someone who was at the Boonton showing while I was living in Parsippany would stumble upon this post.
 
LET THERE BE LIPS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5MHNvOVl8Y

Also, where you can see it:
http://www.rockyhorror.com/participation/showtimes_listings.php?type=s

Alan via Roger Ebert
 
Wasn't asked but here are my two cents!

http://impossiblefunky.blogspot.com/2010/09/whatever-happened-to-saturday-night.html
 
I live in Oklahoma City and I first experienced Rocky in the late 70's, with my sister, at the May Theatre. She is 2 years older than me, so we never had to sneak out and we were allowed to drive our mom's car. Of course, my mom had no idea where or what we were going to see. The first time I went, I knew what to expect (the audience participation), since my sister had been before. What I didn't expect was going to the restroom and there being males, females, and male/females in the Women's restroom. I also remember hearing beer bottles tumble over and roll down the aisle. My sister and I continued to go periodically, through the years and I even turned some of my younger friends on to Rocky, in later years. After I married in 1980, Rocky had moved to the Will Rogers Theatre on N. Western. I then turned my husband on to Rocky. He was not quite as in to it as we girls were. After my son was old enough, by then Rocky was showing on television. He was never quite in to it either, so I have never taken him to the theatres locally that show it now. My daughter has never even seen it on television, to my knowledge. This year (2012), I was feeling a bit of nostalgia and found Rocky showing in Norman. I considered talking my son (now grown) into going with me, as I am now divorced, but the show starts at 10:00 P.M. and since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, makes it a work night. Bummer. I am now at that age that 8 hours of sleep wins out hands down over a night of reminscing.
 
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