The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reviews
The film opens at a wedding outside of a church in the idyllic city of Denton Ohio. Friends of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) have just tied the knot, and Janet has caught the bouquet. Taking his cue, Brad proposes to Janet and the two decide they must travel to see their former science teacher, now friend and mentor, to share the good news. Along the way, the two experience car trouble and wander upon a mysterious castle to ask for help and use a telephone. What Brad and Janet have come upon disturbs them as they meet a peculiar group of people who have come to see an affair of a transvestite scientist. Brad and Janet are undressed by the domestic of the home, Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and the handyman Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien) and taken up to the master's laboratory. Once they formally meet Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) they begin to learn that he is a scientist interested in reanimation and has the secret to human life. The affair that they happened upon is one in which Dr. Frank-N-Furter is going to reveal the muscle man he has created. After the reveal of Rocky (Peter Hinwood), things take a turn for the strange, and everyone is escorted to bed as Frank and Rocky get better acquainted. After a night of trysts, it is unsure whom should be paired with whom anymore and everyone, including rival scientist, and friend to Brad and Janet, Dr. Everett V. Scott (Jonathan Adams), who happened upon the night's activities, is invited to dinner. After a raucous dinner reveal/birthday party more sexual liberation occurs and everyone participates in Dr. Frank N-Furter's floor show in full formal attire. After spending time in Frank-N-Furter's palace and submitting to his plans, Brad and Janet definitely don't leave the same way they came in.
From the opening sequence of Patricia Quinn's infamous red lips singing to the audience, one knows they are in for a wild ride. The beginning of the film is filled with fun nods to classic cinema, including The Wizard of Oz as the same characters that are at the wedding will also appear in Transylvania. There are also tons of nods to B-horror movies of the early days of Hollywood making The Rocky Horror Picture Show a treat for fans of classic films. My first experience with a rock musical did not disappoint. Since I first saw this movie just two months ago, I have bought the soundtrack in two different mediums so I can listen to the music anytime I please, yeah, it's that good. Speaking of the music, am I the only one that thinks that, as cute as Time Warp is, Sweet Transvestite is the song that really steals the show? Although, to be fair, any scene with Tim Curry stole the show. It's unbelievable to think that this film was Tim Curry's film debut; what an introduction! He was extraordinary in this role and proved that if he can do Dr. Frank-N-Furter, he can do anything. It's truly unfortunate that he has been so underutilized in Hollywood, with acting ability and a voice like his you would expect him to be in just about everything, alas, this did not turn out to be, although he has an extensive filmography of voicework to his credit. I suppose such is the life of a character actor, it's just so disheartening to see how great he can be (If you need any further evidence check out Three Men in a Boat or Blue Money) and to see him act in the worst American movies imaginable. I wonder if Tim Curry's entrance coming out of the elevator in The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn't the best on film. The Rocky Horror Picture Show does many things that are hard to do well on film. Not only does the film use a narrator which can bog down the storyline and come off clunky and often disjointed, but several of the characters also broke the fourth wall as well. This device is almost never done well but executed flawlessly in this film. What's more, however, is that The Rocky Horror Picture Show encourages rebellion of expectations, tolerance of differences, and acceptance of our own individuality. Of course, sexual freedom is explored in the film but so was rebellion from a meaningless middle-class existence where a new wife is praised for her cooking or a new husband is commended because he has a promotion on the way. The Rocky Horror Picture Show offers viewers the message of sexual freedom, but that's not all. Being true to yourself if the heart of the film, and to go after what you want no matter what it is; don't dream it, be it.
This film is highly erotic.
And even with only brief appearances of nudity, does it manage to convey such a great message on the dictatorship of love.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is directed by Jim Sharman (Shock Treatment, Summer of Secrets) and stars Tim Curry as Dr Frank-n-Furter, a deranged transvestite scientist who takes the role of host to a young couple seeking refuge in a spooky castle.
The good? I had a great time with this movie, I really did. Firstly, an excellent musical. The songs are feet-banging and hip-twisting and are great to dance to. They are explosive with rock 'n' roll and jive adding charisma and charm to the energy between characters. Let's talk about Tim Curry's character/performance. He is completely and utterly in hyperbolic love with this uneasy, unmoral creature of a person. A sexual, provocative mischief maker. The set design and costumes beckon a pleasure dome of spins and re-takes on classic gothic horrors such as 'Frankenstein's Monster' and 'Dracula'. The main principle of this movie is to give a satirical outlook on human behaviour specifically towards carnal desires. As personas cheat, murder and transform each other using hilarious methods, we see that no one here is comfortable with where they are physically. They want more...and more...and more until they feel completely and 100% in tune with their lust. Unfortunately, and as explained in the film's finale, it is the downfall of their confusion.
I think more in favour that Dr Frank-n-Furter's appearance was already the starting point of the spiral into self-absorbed acceptance rather than a statement crudely proclaiming that 'transsexuals are horrific monsters and this is what happens'. Because all characters here have a ying to their yang proving for me that the transvestite nature was only a ploy to get the audience enthralled into the idea that this is not only intriguing, but also applicable (no characters react to transsexualism negatively, they react to the murderous flamboyance like that).
The bad? This film is out of control in the sense that nothing makes real sense. There is a lot of telling not showing, but for a blend of musical, comedy and horror film, it fits the tone and style. So it's more of a nitpick than a huge critique as it would be for other films. My big issue with this movie is that it had mroe potential to showcase horror and blood and give more references to gothic culture. The slow patches that dwindle take away vibrancy, I want to see more Tim Curry murdering someone with a pick-axe, not more focus on the guy he murdered!
All in all, The Rocky Horror picture show is a musical blast, a good time with good intentions and a time warping wave on homosexual, heterosexual and lesbian obscurities presented at the time. It is accepting, repelling and interesting all at once which may confuse many. But as the movie states 'a mental mindfuck can be nice' ;-).
beautiful escapism movie.