I'm firmly convinced that it's primarily the music in The Rocky Horror Picture Show that has propelled it to cult status, making it one of the biggest cult films of all time. Would you stop dreaming and start being if the music didn't move you?
Set during Nixon's resignation, the campy sci-fi horror musical features a plot that's out of this world: heroine Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) and hero Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick), a young conservative couple, are driving to see their friend Dr. Everett Scott (Jonathan Adams). They have a flat tire in the middle of a thunderstorm. Realising the spare isn't worthy (since Brad forgot to have it fixed), they decide to stop by a castle they just passed and phone for help.
They are greeted by Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien) and his sister Magenta (Patricia Quinn), the handyman and domestic respectively, for Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) who is the master of the castle. Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his entourage are really sweet transvestites, er, aliens, from the planet Transsexual, in the Transylvania galaxy. Besides dressing up in high heels and stockings, and wearing makeup, Dr. Frank-N-Furter is creating a monster, er, man, Rocky Horror (Peter Hinwood) (spoofing Frankenstein movies; there are plenty of other spoofs and references here to classic horror/sci-fi films, including Dracula, Flash Gordon, and King Kong). When Brad and Janet stumble on to his plans, he takes them prisoner and seduces them. Unfortunately, his creation decides to rebel against him as Brad and Janet start to loosen up. Things go further downhill for Dr. Frank-N-Furter, culminating in his death at the hands of Riff Raff who is the "new commander" replacing Frank-N-Furter for having a "too extreme" of a lifestyle:
"Frank N Furter, it's all over.
Your mission is a failure;
Your lifestyle's too extreme. I'm your new commander;
You now are my prisoner.
We return to Transylvania.
Prepare the transit beam."
This movie made Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Meatloaf household names. Curry is simply brilliant and completely convincing as a transvestite. Besides Curry's brilliant fashion (and political) statement, the audiences themselves reacted in unexpected ways, setting up a pantheon of acts that have become legendary. And the music, ah the music... songs like Science Fiction Double Feature, The Time Warp, and Sweet Transvestite are pop-culture classics. The movie, even today, as the millennium almost comes to an end, is still politically incorrect, unabashed throwing topics such as homosexuality, transvestitism, and sex.
As almost everyone knows, the audience participation elevates the camp in The Rocky Horror Picture Show to an even greater high (or low, as the case may be). In a "normal" theatre screening, the audience reacts to various scenes in the movie with different actions and words. But besides being a great movie to watch in a crowded theatre, it's also a great party film. Make sure you're well-stocked up with rice, toast, newspapers, toilet paper, playing cards, and your super-soaker. Stockings, garters, and lipstick are optional.
"And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called the human race... lost in time and lost in space and meaning. All meaning..." --The Narrator