To celebrate Halloween and October, the spookiest month of the year, the staff at Nerds and Beyond are revisiting our favorite movies each day throughout October, to bring you the very best moments from those movies. No Halloween is complete without this next movie. It is a musical horror-comedy from 1975 called The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
It is my favorite time of year for many reasons, the key one being Halloween. Seriously, the décor of my apartment is Halloween year-round. We were the house kids got afraid to trick-or-treat at and were dared to go to. Our family went all out for one magically terrifying night. So, when I got introduced to this film, it was right up my spooky alley.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show follows the newly engaged Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon). Their car breaks down in the pouring rain, and they seek refuge in a peculiar looking home. When they go in to use the phone, they find the castle-like home filled with strangers in extravagant costumes. It turns out they are celebrating the Annual Transylvanian Convention. It is then that Brad and Janet meet the homeowner, Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist who is also an alien transvestite. Among the party, the guests are: Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s servant Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), his sister Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and a groupie named Columbia (Nell Campbell). While giving a tour, the mad scientist brings them to his lab and shows them that he has discovered the secret to life itself. In a water tank, he is creating a living muscle man named Rocky (Peter Hinwood). From there, everything spirals. It will have you singing the songs from the movie well after you’ve finished watching.
This movie is for the outcasts, those that don’t necessarily fit in with this illusion of conventionality. Even though the critics were not big fans of it when it first came out, it still managed to quickly become a cult phenomenon. Fans would dress up in costumes, some imitating the characters, sing along and dance with the movie, and say the lines or ad-lib them out loud. It became an interactive midnight movie that influenced the culture and perception of sexuality. Even after 44 years, it still holds that power, leaving people with a message that it is good to be weird. It is essential to be yourself.
Television shows like The Simpsons, American Dad, That ‘70s Show, The Drew Carey Show, Glee, and many more have all featured some influence and reference to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Fox Network even did a TV movie in 2016 called The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again. It starred Victoria Justice, Staz Nair, Christina Milian, Tim Curry, Adam Lambert, Reeve Carney, Annaleigh Ashford, Ryan McCartan, and Laverne Cox. The movie has influenced many people, videos, and television shows over time, either in their style or with them doing a cover or interpretation.
I know that whenever I watch this movie, I can’t help but get up to sing and dance along. From when Riff Raff opens the door to the final song, you cannot help but be drawn in by the enchanting music and charismatic characters. Even though Dr. Frank-N-Furter appears to be the antagonist, you still get invested in his story and feel sorry for him with the twist near the end of the movie.
The movie has a fantastic soundtrack with music sung by the cast. There are 21 songs to listen to, and some got featured on the video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as downloadable content. My favorite songs that I listen to throughout the year are “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” “The Time Warp,” “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me,” “Eddie,” and “I’m Going Home.”
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is both a tribute and parody to science fiction B-horror movies that ended up being one for the longest-running theatrical releases in film history. It is generally shown close to Halloween each year on television and individual theaters, which makes it the perfect — and my favorite — Halloween movie.
Watch the trailer for The Rocky Horror Picture Show below!