Rocky Horror Picture Show is a sci-fi spoof (1975)
by Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
An old cage elevator descends into a Pop Artish ballroom and deposits a figure in garish makeup. Spangled vest and elbow-length gloves, black bikini, black opera hose and steep ankle-strap wedgies.
No, it’s not Raquel Welch. It’s Tim Curry as Dr Frank N Furter, making his grand entrance in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (at the UA Westwood), an outrageous camp musical based on the stage hit “The Rocky Horror Show.”
Dr Frank N Furter, who’s really from another planet — Transsexual — in another galaxy — Transylvania — is kicking off the Annual Transylvanian Convention being held in his moldy Gothic castle, where the creepy delegates are doing a new dance, the Time Warp.
Science Fiction/Double Feature
Just before Dr Frank N Furter’s arrival, a couple of square kids, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and his fiancee Janet (Susan Sarandon), have come to the castle seeking shelter during a violent storm. (In the time-honored fashion, they’ve had a flat tire — but while listening to President Nixon’s resignation speech on the radio!)
Now the highlight of the convention is to be the unveiling — more specifically, the unwrapping — of Dr Frank N Furter’s creation, a blond, blue-eyed Adonis (Peter Hinwood) dubbed Rocky Horror.
Rocky, alas, seems to have more of a yen for Janet than for his creator, who, in turn, has a yen apiece for Brad and Janet.
All of this plays less depraved than it sounds. but “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is unquestionably consenting adult fare. “Young Frankenstein” it isn’t, but then again, it also isn’t the morbid Grand Guignol-gory outing that “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” and “Andy Warhol’s Dracula” were.
Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul
This Richard O’Brien musical is simply too exuberant and too funny to be seriously decadent. Indeed, there’s an underlying quality of tenderness and even innocence in this loving send-up of horror and sci-fi flicks and celebration of post-graduate sexuality.
One big musical number follows another, climaxed by an extravaganza featuring Curry wondering, in song, whatever happened to Fay Wray as he stands before a stage set re-creating the old RKO logo.
Rocky, Brad and Janet, having been temporarily zapped into statuary — the easier to dress them in outfits identical to Dr Frank N Furter’s — reawaken to form a chorus with Curry before diving into a pool decorated on its bottom with that section of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling depicting the creation of Adam — a bottoming-out of taste, as it were.
Our now happy quartet, however, has not reckoned with Dr Frank N Furter’s jealous servant, the cadaverous Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) and his sexy sister Magenta (Patricia Quinn).
Adapted for the screen by its original stage director, Jim Shannan, and designed by Brian Thomson, who also created the settings for the stage version, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” moves fast and looks slick.
Performances are amusing, including that of Curry, who created Dr Frank N Furter on the stage, and who is husky and deep-voiced beneath his sequined elegance. Among other excellent principals is Charles Gray, the film’s smirky, insinuating narrator.
A 20th Century-Fox presentation. Executive producer Lou Adler. Producer Michael White. Associate producer John Goldstone. Director Jim Sharman. Screenplay Sharman. Richard O’Brien; based on O’Brien’s musical play “The Rocky Horror Show.“ Camera Peter Suschitzky. Musical direction and arrangements Richard Hartley. Production designer Brian Thomson. Costumes Sue Blane. Film and music editor Graeme Clifford. Featuring Tim Curry. Susan Sarandon. Barry Bostwick. Richard O‘Brien. Patricia Quinn. Little Neil. Jonathan Adams. Peter Hinwood. Meatloaf. Charles Gray.
Running time: 1 hr.. 41 min. — MPAA-rated: R (persons under 17 must be accompanied by parent or adult guardian).