The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

rocky horror picture show poster 1975 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Frank-N-Furter and his crew, great looking, peppy music

You'll like it or hate it, pacing problems in the story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Musical/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 14, 1975

MPAA Rating:  R

rocky horror picture show hd frank n furter columbia riff raff magenta tim curry little nell richard obrien

Frank N. Furter always welcomes his guests!

A stormy night and a blown tire leaves newly engaged sweethearts Brad Majors (Barry Boswick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) stranded near a big castle.  When Brad and Janet go to the castle for help, they find themselves in the middle of a party filled with strange guests and led by the even stranger Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry).  Frank N. Furter has built a creature named Rocky (Peter Hinwood) and Brad and Janet are going to have their worlds turned upside down…but Frank N. Furter’s assistants Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) might have plans of their own.

Directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical horror science-fiction comedy.  The film is based on the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show which originally premiered in London on June 19, 1973 and was written by Richard O’Brien (who performs as Riff Raff).  Initially panned and a theatrical flop, the movie quickly gained a cult audience and has become the longest running theatrical release in history.  The film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005.

rocky horror picture show time warp hd review

Always time for the Time Warp!

In the mid-’80s, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was already a legend.  I can remember people going to midnight showings and talking about it on the bus.  Going to the show wasn’t just a movie, but an event with props, yelling, and those who had never been were labeled as “virgins”.  I never saw the film until it had a special showing on TV (complete with a live audience) for its 15th Anniversary…it was odd.  With catchy songs, the movie has grown on me a bit, but as a movie (aka minus the live aspect), the film has both positives and negatives.

The story owes a lot to horror and science fiction movies (as both the title and opening song indicates).  The science-fiction is largely 1950s science-fiction with mad scientists and crazy experiments while the horror is horror out of Hammer films or EC Comics (and it feels like Tales from the Crypt the series took some pages from this film in its presentation).  I do think that the film has a large dead chunk in the middle when they “go up to the lab and see what’s on the slab” and parts of the dinner party, but it does finish strong in an ode to classic films like King Kong and RKO musicals.

rocky horror picture show magenta columbia creature of the night hd patricia quinn little nell campbell

More!!! More!!!

I can’t imagine the casting any better for the film.  Tim Curry steals every scene as Frank N. Furter, but he’s balanced out by the perfectly geeky (and 1950s teen hero and heroine) Brad and Janet played smartly by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon.  I feel Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, and Nell “Little Nell” Campbell are strong on their own but unfortunately have to live in the shadows of Curry.  Jonathan Adams is rather a bore as Dr. Scott (which he is meant to be), but Bond villain Charles Gray is good as the stodgy Criminologist.  Rock star Meat Loaf is unfortunately is part of the slow part of the film, and Peter Hinwood who plays Rocky has his moments but sometimes looks really uncomfortable (and he is not very good at walking in high heels).

rocky horror picture show frank n furter im going home hd tim curry cast

You’re not going anywhere…

The movie is meant to be in the style of glam-rock and it succeeds in this (for many of the songs), but it is also mixed with a strange throwback style in songs like “Dammit Janet” and even things like “Rose Tint My World”.  The music ties in well with the visuals which are kind of hyper-real mix of colors and lights with a punk twinge.  It also has a great exterior set in the Oakley Court which was used in multiple films and Hammer productions (which further ties into the horror themes).

The Rocky Horror Picture Show became something it probably never expected to be and that is part of its originality.  A lot of groups that were considered fringe in the 1970s and 1980s adopted it because of its extreme nature and actually rather accepting views of bisexuality, homosexuality, and transvestites, and it became a nice escape for people where they were allowed to be themselves in a much more judgmental world.  The formula was emulated after the release but never mastered.  A sequel called Shock Treatment was released in 1981 (with some returning cast), and FOX presented a remake called The Rocky Horror Picture Show:  Let’s Do the Time Warp Again in 2016.

Related Links:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show:  Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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