However, a few minutes later the DJs assistant came over and informed me with a tone of voice that made it sound like the DJ had had to dig his way through a mummy’s tomb that after looking more thoroughly he had found it. As if this were not enough, just before playing it the DJ said. “And now I am going to take you way, way, way…back. Actually I lost track of the number of times he said “way,” but I felt I aged 10 years for every time he said that. Finally the initial notes of the Time Warp began to make their way out of the loudspeakers, and I had the sinking feeling that I would be the only one dancing.” To my surprise I heard screams and a commotion. Everyone, young and old, hastily made their way to the dance floor and we all did the Time Warp again!
This is the enduring magic of the RHPS. Created by the brilliant mind of Richard O'Brien, The Rocky Horror Show began as a play in London in 1973 and was adapted into a film bearing the name of the RHPS in 1975. While many A movies of that time have all but been lost to the interests of new generations, this B-movie musical with its hilarious over the top antics still captures the imagination of the young.
Conceived as a satire of earlier science fiction and horror flicks, the RHPS boasts the incipient talents of future Tony nominated actor Tim Curry in his amazing gender bending performance as the infamous Dr. Frank-N-Furter, future Oscar winning actress Susan Sarandon in her performance as the innocent/slutty Janet, and future Grammy award winner mega rocker Meatloaf who would also wow the world with the bestselling rock album of all time “Bat out of Hell,” playing Eddie a pizza delivery boy who meets a gruesome fate.
And not only are the performances and the storyline “out of this world” but the songs are pure foot stomping naughty fun. From the scandalous "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” to the touching "I'm Going Home”. From the energy packed "Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul" or “Wild and Untamed Thing” to the commanding “Sweet Transvestite”. There is also the tour de force of old science fiction movies “Science Fiction/Double Feature” and the “Dammit Janet” song whose title every woman named Janet has heard. And, of course, there is the “Time Warp” and its choreographed moves with the bizarre commentary of the criminologist.
But what has made the RHPS a cultural icon for the ages is the audience participation. Even nowadays the practice is still going strong and there are groups of youngsters that show up en masse for RHPS performances to shout their lines at the screen. Most of these groups have names related to the movie such as The Satanic Mechanics, The Wild and Untamed Things, or The Transylvanians. Many of the kids in these groups have seen the movie and or play dozens of times. In any given week there are dozens of performances of the RHPS going on in the USA and this increases towards Halloween when showing this movie is practically a tradition. In fact the RHPS bears the distinction of being the film that has remained on limited release for the longest time in film history.
So this Halloween find the RHPS playing at a theater near you or rent/download the movie and invite your friends to take that jump to the left and that little step to the right, to place your hands on your hips, press your knees real tight, and be driven insane by that pelvic thrust while you do the Time Warp again!
If you like this blog you can have links to each week's posts delivered to your e-mail address. Please click here.