I was long to write my article and I apologize, but I spent my weekend with friends. I had a very big desire to tell you about my favorite movie, a musical that made me discover my mom when I was 9 or 10 years old. And yes it’s strange to discover this work at this age when we know what it’s about. I’ve seen it dozens of times, and even after losing hearing, every time I see it, I still feel like I hear the music and songs <3. A film that marked me a lot and that certainly explains my foolish side.
Welcome to a world of dementia and absolute pleasure. Prepare your best suspender, I’ll take you to Dr. Frank N. Furter’s lab, Today I’m talking about the “ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW”!
But what is it ?
Certainly one of the most what the fuck movies you’ll see in your life, but it’s not a nanar, although it’s ridiculous. A film that made a total flop but which today has become cult. A film that any moviegoer must see alongside his other friends belonging to the club Midnight Movies.
Okay, but what about a Midnight Movie?
The Midnight Movies are a handful of 70s movies that, being too disturbing for the general public, have been moved to midnight sessions. They are composed of:
- “El Topo” by Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1970, a mystical wetern speaking of a pistolero seeking to defeat the four masters of the desert.
- “The night of the living dead” by George Romero, released in 1968 but scheduled for midnight cinema in 1971.
- John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos” in 1972, extremely trash comedy,
- “The harder they come” by Perry Henzell in 1973, recounts the disappointment of a reggae singer played by Jimmy Cliff.
- “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” by Jim Sharman 1975,
- Finally, in 1977, the sublimely disturbing “Eraserhead” by David Lynch.
If the film is like a parody of series B, it is an adaptation of a British musical comedy: “The rocky horror show” by Richard O’Brien who plays here Riff Raff:
This is the story of a freshly married couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who, in a car breakdown and a stormy evening, (you see the cliché?) Will progress in a totally separate universe in an adventure uh … beyond anything they could have imagined
If the film starts from a postulate that seems simplistic, it is served by great dialogues, and fantastic songs.
But if the film was a flop when it came out, what made it cult?
Answer: This guy:
but also the creature of Frankenstein, characters introduced in three quarters of the film and killed just to make them shut their mouths, the laughter of Susan Sarandon, percussive dialogues:
Modern art, aliens from a planet called transsexual…
But the Rocky Horror is not just a series of scenes more burlesque than each other, without any meaning or background.
This film is actually a true hymn to sexuality, but what is incredible for the time, I remind you that the film dates from 1975, is that it offers a true openness to the sexuality that are much less represented.
The themes of sexuality and love are approached in various ways throughout the film and from the opening scene.
Close-up on the lips of Patricia Queen who plays Magenta, so we assume, seeing female lips appear that it is a woman who sings, since the voice is relatively acute. This is not Patricia Queen’s voice at all, but Richard O’Brien’s voice. From the beginning, we try to destabilize us to get full foot in the unbridled atmosphere of the film.
The film covers other topics, such as first love, first emotions and adultery, but The Rocky Horror Picture Show is above all an ode to difference and encourages tolerance.
We see it mainly in the totally unbridled sexuality of Transylvanians:
- Patricia Queen and Richard O’Brien are camping a brother and sister to the supposedly incestuous relationship long before Game of Thrones.
- It can be assumed that Magenta and Collumbia are not just filing the nails in their room
- And Dr. Frank N Furter who creates a pure sexual object…
Frank N Furter who could seem perfectly unfriendly from the beginning to the end of the film and yet offers us the most committed song: “Don’t dream it, be it”.
Song while sub-text about transsexuality.
The message of tolerance and criticism of American society is all the more clear that in the film this form of sexuality is presented as a norm, which will upset the clean and all-pink world of Brad and Janet.
Beside that, I think it would be a bad idea to put this film as a serious spokesperson for the LGBTQ cause, alongside more realistic films that deals with the subject in a more profound way.
The other major reason for his rise as a cult film is its context. In the USA, the film has aided, it is quickly found at midnight sessions, where people had the least chance to see him and yet it is there that he will start to be successful.
Indeed since “El Topo” by Alejandro Jodorowsky a community of moviegoers became more and more interested in the midnight sessions to see films coming out of the usual shackles of the cinema of the time. Word of mouth will make the projections complete. The film reached such an aura that people came to dress up to see the film.
You too play with the movie by responding to the characters with salacious comments, throwing water in the room during the rainy scene, rice during wedding scenes and snapping your latex gloves together with Tim Curry, in fact, this tradition is still being perpetuated throughout the world, or regular costumed sessions of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are on the bill.