Saturday, October 15, 2016
Rocky Horror Picture Show
With today's gender and sexual freedoms, it's hard to imagine a time when restrictions on social expression were much tighter. 41 years ago, in a more constrained world, "Rocky Horror Picture Show" burst onto the scene. I can't over-state its cultural importance.
When the original "Rocky..." first appeared in 1975, it was ignored. Overlooked by the conventional crowd, it found a real audience later when midnight-shows brought the story to the attention of deviants like me. We embraced the film with joy and enthusiasm. An entire sub-culture evolved around the shows, with audience-participation on steroids. We brought rice and threw it at the screen, screamed taunts at pivotal moments, and dressed up in costumes for the occasion. It was us, not normal people, who made "Rocky..." into a cultural icon.
The movie made stars out of Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf. Tim has had a long, successful career since then. Sadly, he suffered a stroke a few years ago and now has to use a wheelchair.
When I heard there was a re-make of "Rocky..." in the works, I was fearful. Many great original works are debased by later knock-offs. But hope emerged when I heard the producers aim to be respectful of the original film and celebrate its fans.
The new "Rocky..." is on television this Thursday (Fox Channel). It stars Laverne Fox as Dr. Frank-n-Furter (Tim Curry's role in the original). Tim, despite his current disability, plays a minor role in the new film; his presence is a sign of the producers' good intent.
Come watch it with me. Have you seen the original?