The Rocky Horror Picture Experience
By Sam, age 19, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
For those who are not aware, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical parody of a science fiction horror movie. It was made in 1975 and starred Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry. The movie is about a young couple, Janet and Brad (played by Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick), who are suddenly struck by car trouble and stumble across a mad-transvestite-scientist's (Tim Curry) wild dance party. Though the movie's plot is ostentatious and very, very strange, the film has formed a strong cult following since its release.
Last year, the Orpheum Theater in my college town had a Halloween showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of my suitemates, who is a huge Rocky Horror Picture fan, organized a group of friends to go see it. I had never seen the movie, let alone gone to a fan-crazed theater setting, so I had no idea what to expect. But the experience was definitely one for the record books.
What separates The Rocky Horror Picture Show from other movies is not the movie itself, but rather the experience that comes with it. You're not just watching the movie; you're becoming a part of it. As a first time visitor to the show, I had to dawn a red "V" on the side of my cheek. The "V" stood for, well, if you can't figure it out on your own, then you're probably too young to go out and participate in this.
There are also certain cues in the movie that cause shenanigans to occur amongst the theatergoers. This happens almost immediately in the opening credits. As the giant red lips sing during the opening theme song, the audience shouts out "ad libs" in between the pauses in the song. Sort of like adding "like Monopoly" or "like George Washington" during the "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" song. And when Brad and Janet run out into the rain under a newspaper, drops of water actually fell onto our heads (thanks to a few stage hands from the balcony). Other "cues" involve throwing rolls of toilet paper across the audience sections (sort of like they would with beach balls at concerts) and something involving toast (which our theater vetoed due to previous messes).
My favorite part was when half of the audience jumped out of their seats and onto the stage to dance to the "Time Warp" song. I could barely figure out when to "jump to the left" but I had a great time bouncing around anyway.
It was a wild, crazy night and I loved every minute of it. I'm already making plans to see it again this year. And this time, I'm going to be shouting out lines and frantically dancing around like the greatest of fans.
For more information about how you can participate and other cool stuff, visit the fansite http://www.rockyhorror.com.