bad/awesome flixxx review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

"And crawling, on the planet's face, some insects, called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space... and meaning." - The Criminologist

"Hot patootie, bless my soul! I really love that rock n' roll!" - Eddie

"Enchanté. Well! How nice. And what charming underclothes you both have. But here. Put these on. They'll make you feel less... vulnerable. It's not often we receive visitors here, let alone offer them... hospitality." - Frank Furter

I often wonder why its taken me SO long to see this movie.  I have to admit, until recently I'd never seen it, although I must've told my Earth parents I was driving to Charlotte to see it at least 50-100 times when I was 16 or 17 for a midnight showing.  And I DID initially set out to go see it, but the fact that the Silver Screen Cafe showed it every friday and saturday night at midnight meant that I'd be able to see it sooner or later, AND the fact that everyone seemed to go to repeat viewings and they only STARTED at midnight meant that I could stay out super late on the weekends if I pretended that that was my destination.  So I definitely pretend saw it at least fifty times over the course of a few summers. However, even though I had interest in seeing it once upon a time, I never really gave a shit, and it wasn't until recently going over "my list" of classic flicks I've never seen, that I realized it was about time to see what this "time warp" shit was all about.  Who knows, I may even like it.  Did I?  Well... let's just say it starts off pretty good.  Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, and fuckin Meatloaf star in this glammed out rock(?) musical called THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW!!!

Ok, a lot of this shit doesn't make sense, and I think fans probably think they know what's happening here, and I guess its all PRETTY basic stuff, but again, some things never really add up.  Like who the fuck is the narrator guy?  "The Criminologist"?  If you've ever seen THE EIGER SANCTION you'll recognize him as Dragon (the albino head of the spy organization that tricks Clint Eastwood into "sanctioning" two more bad guys for them by stealing his paintings).  But in this, he's sort of telling a story, and it works to a point, but then they bust into this dance.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Ok, so in the beginning, there's a wedding.  A dude marries a chick and two guests at the wedding end up getting engaged at the church right after the newlyweds drive off on their honeymoon.  If you look closely you'll see our main antagonist and his crony standing on the front steps of the church with the other guests.  No explanation there, but the criminologist is looking at a pic of them with his magnifying glass suggesting something... but I digress.  "Brad" only asks "Janet" to marry him in the first place because the dude who JUST got married said something along the lines of her being hot stuff, and that maybe he had had his way with her in the old days or something.  Definitely Janet had a thing for this guy who got married as she keeps fawning over him even after he's gone.  So Brad ends up popping the question as well as busting into one of the first song and dance routines.  Here's where it takes a turn for the worse.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not 100% against musicals, its just that it doesn't really bode well for this one... Maybe this takes repeat viewings to get into..... OR maybe some of the songs are unnecessary.

So after they get engaged, Brad and Janet decide to head out on a trip, and they do so right before a storm is on the rise.  Late into the night, they head down a long deserted road (except for some wild night bikers) and end up getting a flat tire.  The rain picks up and Brad decides to walk back to a castle they saw a ways back and try to use a telephone because he unfortunately never fixed the hole in his spare.  They go over to the castle, sing another song, and then finally this lanky creepy heroin eyed butler lets them in.  Then a maid in camoflage emerges from the staircase.  They seem to have arrived during a weird midnight party.  During this party, the guests do this dance that is never EVER explained called "the Time Warp".  I kept thinking the whole time maybe they WOULD time warp or something like that, but they never do.  So finally their host shows up and does a very impressive albeit very suggestive dance number called "Sweet Transvestite from Sexual Transylvania".  I don't think anyone would have ever confused him for not being one, but maybe he wanted to show off.  Either way, they make them strip (I THINK maybe because their clothes are wet?) and then he gives them something to wear, and invites them up to his lab.  The other guests come up to but are on more of a "student-style" viewing level whereas Janet and Brad are on the main floor with Dr Frank Furter.  Now is when he finally explains why they are having a big celebration.

Ok, so the BEST part of this whole movie is that back in 1975, Susan Sarandon was a FUCKING BABE.  AND for 90% of this flick, she's in her fucking underwear.  Boner city.  So creepy ol Dr Frank Furter (And I say creepy NOT because he's a transvestite, that's his prerogative, I say it because we haven't even seen what he's really up to and if I was there, I'd already be creeped the fuck out) puts on some really long gloves and goes on and on about his wild invention that he's about to unveil for his amassed group of dancing guests.  What he rolls out is his perfect specimen, a man build like the proverbial "Adam", almost like "Adam" from He-Man actually now that I think about it, named Rocky Horror.  Dr Frank N Furter has found the secret of life, and has built his perfect man.  Unlike Dr Frankenstein though, it seems that Furter needed to take brains from humans who were still alive.  Enter Eddie (Meatloaf) who busts out of a freezer on a motorcycle at first having me believe he had been one of Furter's earlier attempts at creating life.  But I think from what I gather, Eddie was just a rocknroller pizza delivery boy that Furter kidnapped and stole his brain.  And I think the one groupie chick was his girlfriend that came looking for him but just became another pawn in Furter's real life sexual fantasies, because she gets psyched when he comes back, and pissed as Hell when Furter chops him to fucking pieces after he drives the motorcycle around the lab scaring the guests and raising a little rocknroll hell.

This is where it gets wild.  Ok, so somehow Furter then seperates and bangs BOTH Janet AND Brad.  I guess neither were really concerned with their engagement or maybe Furter REALLY is convincing.  Then Janet goes and bangs Rocky.  Then Janet and Brad's high school science teacher shows up confusing everyone.  Rocky thinks he's had Brad & Janet spying on him, and no one knows why he's there until its discovered that his nephew was Eddie.  Everyone busts everyone for having sex and they are all in the middle of a huge arguement, but the butler and his sister/lover/maid ring the dinner bell.  If THAT really worked in real life, and you could actually get everyone to stop fighting after adultery, and affairs, and murder and whathaveyou, then this would be a lot more tolerant world.  I'm not fucking buying it.  Maybe that's how shit worked in '75, but I doubt it.  We've all seen morning talk shows, that isn't how it works.  The dinner comes to a head when the groupie starts freaking out, and Furter says fuck it, and reveals that they've all been EATING Eddie!!! ONE UP!!  So then they all run around singing and chasing each other until Frank gets the butler to flip a switch turning them into marble statues.  Here comes some filler.  I don't understand this, but the statues are lined up, and they do this cabaret tribute, and then jump into a pool and start having an orgy.  My guess is that they've given in to their wildest animal inclinations and forgotten all the reasons they were pissed at each other.  Maybe they're brainwashed.  Then Furter sings the LAMEST song of the flick, which he's just all sad for himself.  Boo hoo.  Then the butler and the maid bust in all fucking Ziggy Stardusted out and starts zapping motherfuckers with this trident laser gun.  They reveal that they're aliens and Furter now has to work for them and go back to Transylvania or die.  He dies.  They tell Brad, Janet and the doc to scram or get fucked.  They scram.  Then they blast off in the castle back to the planet of Transexual.  The End.  Wow.  Like I said, it starts off well.  Its very ending is ok.  But there is a lot of filler, and I'm glad I didn't waste all my weekends watching this flick over and over and over and over like I said I did.  I do however wish that the Silver Screen Cafe was still there in Charlotte.  Back then there wasn't a lot of theaters that served beer.  Come to think of it, there still aren't in that area.  Should you see it?  Yeah, why not?  Once isn't gonna hurt ya.  But wait until there's NOTHING else going on.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gerald Abernethy