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Classic movie review: 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' (1975)a

Tim Curry as the irrepressible Dr. Frank-N-Furter in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'
Tim Curry as the irrepressible Dr. Frank-N-Furter in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'
Movie still

The Rocky Horror Picture Show


As far as campy horror sci-fi gender-bending musical parodies go, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that beats The Rocky Horror Picture Show. From the spoofing of the opening fanfare over the 20th Century Fox logo, to the corny depiction of the naïve lovers, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), and the flamboyant world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), it is an over-the-top extravaganza that hits all the right notes.

Over-the-top, but not overdone
Sarandon and Bostwick are wonderfully goofy as the hicks from the sticks, possessing not one iota of awareness. And Curry's flamboyant performance is a riot. In fact, all the performances are bravely outrageous, which can only come from a conviction and trust in the material (based on the stage play by Richard O'Brien, who also plays Riff Raff) and the director (Jim Sharman).

Creative production design
It's been said that the filmmakers wanted to open the movie in black and white (like "The Wizard of Oz") and then cut to color once they got inside Frank-N-Furter's castle, but that idea was quashed when the cost proved prohibitive. However, they do manage to convey the same notion with a more muted palette in the opening scenes versus the gaudy excess that comes once the party gets started.

Pushing the envelope
I suppose there are those who might find Rocky Horror tough to swallow (Frank-N-Furter trying to talk with his mouth full, for example), but when it comes to pushing the envelope it's pretty tame compared to, say, the films of John Waters, who often ripped the envelope to shreds. If, however, one allows himself to just go with it, he will sense a method to the madness. There is, indeed, a mind behind the contraption.

This Friday, June 13, Lola's Outdoor Retro Cinema and LB Cinematheque present The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Sunnyside Cemetery, on Willow Street, featuring a live shadow-cast performance by the "all-dancing, all-lip syncing cast of Rocky Horror at the Art Theater Long Beach."

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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