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The Rocky Horror Picture Show review

Posted : 1 year, 5 months ago on 28 June 2020 01:55

An uproarious, enthralling and erratic low-brow performance art amalgamation of vividly-coloured punk and kitsch, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is Jim Sharman's wildly entertaining musical filled with delightfully wacky characters and melodious music. Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transylvania, played to extravagantly eccentric perfection by Tim Curry, captures the inscrutable queerness of the proceedings, embodying the inveterate theatricality and zaniness of the ensemble with boundless verve. Combining allusions to musclemen, rock'n'roll, science-fiction and B-movie horror tropes, the film's florid visuals, outlandish style and deliberately economical-looking sets are attributable to its derivative nature, perhaps owing to the fact that the props and set pieces were reused from actual Hammer productions. Developed entirely from its parody elements, the film's wispy plotting and unreservedly stage show adaptation script give way to an embracing of sexual liberation and madcap psychedelia, with the garish visuals, effervescent set pieces and snappy songs placed in the foreground for maximum audience involvement. Ensnaring two restrained, wholesome personifications of middle America within the confines of a castle owned by Frank-N-Furter, who is served by a hunchbacked handyman and a Gothic maid, provide the foundation for organised, episodic chaos; the film pays tribute to recognisable principals of theatre, cinema and music as well as fashions, yet the costumes, props and even make-up went on to become influential in their own right, affecting styles, looks and crazes for years to come. From the portentous dialogue, unintentional humour, and innumerable inspirations mirror not only the glam era, but also the stilted, hilarious repressiveness and cultural callbacks to the 1950s. Exposure to such unabashed androgyny and visible sexual fluidity naturally leads to the release of the straight-laced hero and heroine's inner camp, Frank's wily seduction of them both and the animation of his musclebound creation Rocky, hence the title, cement its status as a pansexual romp that prefigured its own fandom in the Transylvanians. Raucous, riotous and downright bizarre, this iconic 1970s musical launched a cult following and deservedly so; the celebratory sincerity, reckless abandon and abundance of quirks and details encourages ritualistic viewing, let alone endless soundtrack replays. Once the Time Warp kicks off, just try and stop yourself from dancing and singing along. Oddly compelling and mesmeric, you'll be hard-pressed to find many musicals as spirited and fun as this.


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A classic

Posted : 6 years, 8 months ago on 17 March 2015 10:30

I remember very well when I saw this flick. Indeed, it was a while back, I met this dude who was just as a crazy as I was about movies and when we met, we would be constantly talking about our various favorite pictures. At some point, we agreed that he should come over to watch some movies together and we ended up having my longest binge- watching night I ever had. Indeed, we watched, if I recall correctly, about 6 movies starting from 21.00 until 6 o’clock in the morning. It was pretty glorious and, at some point during the night, we ended up watching this cult-classic. According to my buddy, it was one of the best movies ever made and I just had to watch it. Eventually, I was indeed indeed quite impressed. Obviously, I have never seen anything like this before and, only for that, it should definitely get some credit. Still, I have to admit that I wasn’t really blown away by the whole thing. I mean, basically, it is original, weird and quite fun but it is still quite an acquired taste and I didn’t find it really hilarious or massively entertaining to be honest. Still, there is no denying that it is a huge cult-classic and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.


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The Rocky Horror Picture Show review

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 27 August 2013 05:33

As a bit of a fan of musical's this was not to bad. Many of the songs were catchy and the set design and visuals were great. A bit over the top acting, but that's not too uncommon in musicals. Aaand Meatloaf's song was the best.

I enjoyed it.


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The Rocky Horror Picture Show review

Posted : 9 years, 7 months ago on 28 April 2012 06:58

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show review

Posted : 10 years, 6 months ago on 10 May 2011 02:27

Is this a good movie? Of course not. But I had a lot of fun at the midnight movies in high school, throwing toilet paper and dancing the Time Warp in the aisles. I'll always remember that fondly. If you ever have a chance to see this movie that way (and not on VH1) then go do it!


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The ultimate cult movie...

Posted : 11 years, 1 month ago on 22 October 2010 02:29

"Give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh - erotic nightmares beyond any measure, and sensual daydreams to treasure forever. Can't you just see it? Don't dream it, be it."


Up until its release, there had never been - and, since its release, there never has been - a film quite like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In terms of the mixture of horror, camp, rock n' roll, sci-fi and sexual transgression, as well as the cheesy B-movie dialogue and the behaviour it continues to inspire during midnight theatre screenings, this classic film is absolutely unique in the annals of cinema. Added to this, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate cult movie and the queen of all midnight flicks. It was a box office bomb when first released back in 1975, but the film soon attracted a large number of devoted fans and gradually developed into a bona fide cult phenomenon. In short, The Rocky Horror Picture Show provides the right combination of corny fright-flick parody, comedy, outrageous vulgarity and musical numbers to entertain any viewer with an open mind.



The protagonists of the story are Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon); a virginal, recently-engaged couple whose car breaks down on an isolated road late at night during a thunderstorm (is that not always the case in horror movies?). Seeking a phone, Brad and Janet venture up to a mysterious castle which, as it turns out, belongs to a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry). Unbeknownst to the couple, Frank-N-Furter is holding the annual convention of visitors from the planet Transsexual (in the universe Transylvania), and he is about to bring to life his first creation: the blonde, muscular Rocky Horror (Hinwood). The night that ensues can only be described as weird in ways that must be seen to be believed. A barely coherent plot eventually begins to emerge concerning Rocky escaping and a UFO scientist showing up to investigate the Transylvanians, but it barely matters. All of the narrative threads merely serve to string together the unstoppably infectious songs.


Really, the plot is just incidental to the movie's outrageous tone. At its heart, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a '50s rock musical that's been pumped up with a camp sensibility and a delicious sense of humour. Admittedly, there are little technical glitches here and there, but rarely has there been a more creatively shot and edited motion picture than this. Practically every single angle, cut, zoom and optical transition was employed to effectively maximise each respective scene. The musical numbers are solid evidence of this - in particular, The Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite are models of brilliant filmmaking which capture the rhythm of both the tunes and the characters. The songs themselves, too, add to the pervasive sense of fun. The majority of the songs will likely remain in your head for days after watching the film (The Time Warp is going through this reviewer's head right now). The sign of a good musical is how memorable the songs are, so it's fortunate that the songs are so good here. They are the major driving force behind the flick, after all, as the plot is a decidedly secondary concern to the musical set-pieces.



Originally written as a stage music by Richard O'Brien - who stars here as the hunchbacked, Igor-esque butler Riff Raff - The Rocky Horror Picture Show is essentially a send-up of B-grade sci-fi and horror clichés as well as a satire of mainstream America's reaction to the depravities of the sexual revolution. In addition, there was one factor which allowed The Rocky Horror Picture Show to emerge as something more than just another quirky film: audience participation. In fact, the film brought a new meaning to the term "audience participation" - devoted fans put on their own shows during screenings that are as entertaining as the film itself. Fans typically don transvestite costumes, sing along, dance in the theatre aisles, add their own "calling back lines" (to respond to lines of dialogue or take the plot in a new direction), and bring props to use at certain moments. No film before or since has managed to engage audiences to this extent. If there's a fault with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it's that, with the film charging forward from set-piece to set-piece at a furious pace, things get a tad tiresome towards the end.


Constantly driving the film forward are a number of extremely enjoyable performances. The film's androgynous powerhouse front-man is Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter; essentially the Willy Wonka of this pleasure factory. On screen, the star struts and purrs like the most self-confident burlesque queen in history. In both the musical numbers and scenes of pure dialogue, Curry's performance is delightfully dynamic and makes the film even more enjoyable. Outside of Curry, the film also features great performances by Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors, and a very youthful Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a constantly exhilarating experience, and the level of fun will undoubtedly be elevated if you see it in a cinema full of people who know all the song lyrics and dance moves.



An interesting story exists regarding this movie's elevation to cult phenomenon. After initially flopping at the box office, it was quickly pulled from general release. Once it left theatres, a curious turn of events took place in New York City. Groups of devoted fans started demanding repeat showings of the movie, and a theatre agreed to screen it at midnight once regular showings for the day had ceased. This trend eventually caught on, and fans began attending regular midnight showings. The rest is history. As of its 35th anniversary (2010), The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still playing certain in cinemas across the globe; a mind-boggling fact considering that modern big-budget movies remain in cinemas for a couple of months at most. The uniqueness of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is essentially lightning in a bottle, which is emphasised by the fact that the same creative team were unable to replicate the film's success with the follow-up feature; 1981's Shock Treatment.


Essentially, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has ceased being just a movie - it has instead become the centre of a ritualistic celebration of popular culture in all of its twisted forms. To be complete, The Rocky Horror Picture Show requires a two-way exchange between the movie and its audience, making it an engaging communal experience. It should be noted, however, that the film is not necessarily for everyone - the reckless abandon with which the characters "give themselves over to absolute pleasure" and "swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh" may turn off those with somewhat puritanical viewers. Those capable of adapting to the film's anything-goes attitude, though, should enjoy themselves. But one thing is inarguable: love it or hate it, this is a hard film to forget.

8.8/10



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RHPS

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 27 October 2008 08:33

Yeah, this is a great film in my opinion. I first saw it when I was about 9 and I was so amazed. I watched the Time Warp with fascination, and actually joined in while I watched. I did that part where Columbia is in that cute glittery outfit and she spins... that was fun... I really think that everyone on Listal should watch it. A must see if you ask me.


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Cult Classic

Posted : 14 years, 7 months ago on 29 April 2007 06:56

I remember the first time I saw this film, in an underground theater where a group of misfit actors portrayed every scene on stage while the movie played behind them. I don't think you could look any further for the definition of a cult classic.


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:-)

Posted : 14 years, 8 months ago on 25 March 2007 07:21

:-)


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