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31 July 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) [Musical Film-a-thon] 17#

Directed by: Jim Sharman
Written by: Richard O’ Brian & Jim Sharman
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy,
Runtime: 100 Minutes
If I were to rate Rocky Horror 11 months ago, I would have given it a 9/10. After giving it good thought I am now giving it a high 8/10 because as much as I love the songs, it’s plot is pretty weak. Regardless of that, I feel the Rocky Horror is a B-movie smash that is only trying to be a fun musical, and fun it most certainly is. It started in 1973 as a little Broadway show and soon became a movie, which released in 1975, but to a bad critical and box-office response. Over the years, the film just started building a cult and is one of the most popul.ar musicals today. With it’s weird story and characters and amazingly catchy music (like The Time Warp) Rocky Horror a very fun and comical musical film.

The story concerns the misadventures of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) inside a strange mansion that they come across on a rainy night. After the wholesome pair profess their love through an opening song, their car breaks down in the woods, and they seek refuge in a towering castle nearby. Greeting them at the door is a ghoulish butler named Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien), who introduces them to a bacchanalian collection of partygoers dressed in outfits from some sort of interplanetary thrift shop. The host of this gathering is a transvestite clad in lingerie, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist who claims to be from another planet.
The thing I identified with was the oddity of it all. First seeing the amazing Tim Curry appearing as Frank-N-Furter was quite an experience. Seeing him in those high heels, stockings and that corset was funny and the film’s whole style is where it’s culture comes from It’s an oddity and the characters are very corny, but that is the film’s true intention. Creator Richard O’ Brian just wanted to make a fun little music and he went and did that. It’s a very fun film that after your second, third or even fourth viewing have you possibly singing along. It was also fun to see the young Sarandon in the film.

This is the only musical I have ever seen live that became a film. The stage performance was exciting, funny, and the atmosphere was great because everyone got up and sang to the time warp, along with the encore it got. The material inspires affection, given its knowing pastiche of everything from Universal horrors to '50s grade-Z sci-fi, and a shamelessly hedonistic, fiercely independent sensibility that must have seemed a welcome relief from the mainstream bombast of other '70s musicals (not exactly Jesus Christ Superstar, is it?). The songs are where the film’s strength is for definite, as with most musicals. These songs are golden for sure and are overwhelmingly catchy, comedic and just plain fun.
The interesting thing is how the film just got popular through the years. It’s like what happened with The Nightmare before Christmas and the Wizard of Oz. They just soon get a fan base. Coincidentally those three films are musicals. The story is corny, the plot is weak but the characters are hilarious the songs are precious and the film as a whole is a gracious B-movie film filled with delightful music.

My Rating: 8.5/10

1 comment:

  1. Some great songs. I've seen it a few times. Each time it feels like it loses steam towards the end. Maybe it's just because I like the songs earlier in the movie more than the ones toward the end.

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