I see you shiver with antici—pation!
Jaws isn’t the only enduring horror classic released in 1975; The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released that same year. And while the former may enjoy Criterion-level status with a cemented cinematic legacy, the latter is still shown weekly in theaters across the country–across the world, in fact. The measure of a film’s success has everything to do with perspective.
Though not a horror movie in the strictest sense, The Rocky Horror Picture Show nonetheless uses many familiar genre troupes in the name of scathing satire. No, you won’t have the shit scared out of you, but the mix of b-movie horror and erotica may separate you from your pants!
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Whether you’re a long-time fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, an attendee at midnight screenings, or just a curious bystander wondering what this crazy flick is all about, the video below from Mark Bishop is a must-watch. Of course, anyone who considers themselves a fan of Tim Curry will want to give this a spin immediately!
Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section! If you can’t stream, the 10 things you probably didn’t know about The Rocky Horror Picture Show are briefly summarized below the video. After that, you can peep the trailer and synopsis for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, directed by Jim Sharman. Enjoy!
About Minty Comedic Arts on YouTube: As a lover of Cinema and general Pop Culture I peel back the layers of some of our most well-loved movies and try to discover secrets lying behind films that we would otherwise think we know everything about to bring a new love and appreciate to all those movies we grew up watching. Buckle up and get ready for my Top 10’s as I do a checklist of things that you may not know about the movies.
1. Before The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a movie, it was a stage musical, The Rocky Horror Show, which launched in London in 1973. The script and songs were written by Richard O’Brien, who would go on to play Riff Raff in the movie.
2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has one of those instantly evocative titles, which no doubt contributed to its success as a cult classic. Before it was released as a stage musical, however, the production was nearly titled They Came from Denton.
3. Tim Curry has talked about trying out a number of different voices for Frank-N-Furter while he was still developing the character. He tested both German and American accents for the alien scientist, but ultimately crafted his dialect after The Queen of England. It was his assertion that Frank-N-Furter should sound prim, proper, and posh with an air of royalty. Mission accomplished.
4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a critical and financial flop at the time of its release. This makes its mega-cult status especially extraordinary.
5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show succeeds in no small part thanks to its madcap soundtrack of catchy and bizarre songs. But one tune audiences never heard is Once in a While, a song Brad (Barry Bostwick) was to sing after his liaison with Frank-N-Furter. It was a sad, gloomy number that stood in stark contrast to the celebratory nature of the show/film and was therefore deleted.
6. So, what’s the story with those iconic red lips set against a black background? They belong to Patricia Quinn, the actress who plays Magenta. The effect was achieved by painting her skin around her bright red lips black. It’s important to note, however, that Quinn isn’t the actual vocalist for the song (Science Fiction Double Feature) the lips sing. The vocalist is actually Richard O’Brien.
7. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a practically unknown sequel, and for good reason—it’s awful. In 1981, Shock Treatment hit theaters in 1981 and turned the mythology on its head. While it had many of the same actors, most played different roles. It strayed far from the original and has become the metaphorical red-headed stepchild. Shock Treatment was also written and scored by Richard O’Brien.
8. Susan Sarandon was not well during the production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The future Oscar winner was so overcome by the damp, chilly conditions of the set (an actual castle in England) that she came down with pneumonia! It makes perfect sense considering how often her character is scantily clad throughout the film.
9. Mick Jagger wanted to play Frank-N-Furter in the film, going to far as to appeal to O’Brien directly. While he would have no doubt given a memorable performance, I don’t think anyone could have made the character iconic like Tim Curry did. Plus, Tim Curry had already played the character on stage and had developed many aspects of Frank-N-Furter himself, so, why hand it off to someone else? Mick got no satisfaction.
10. 20th Century Fox insisted that Brad and Janet be played by American actors, and Steve Martin was actually considered for the male lead. Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick were actually dating during the production.
Official Synopsis: In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”
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