Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Science Fiction Double Feature

Third day in a row for blogging, and third request coming up....

I just love the fact that my friends know me so well. So far I've had Ana pick a subject that was probably the easiest thing to blog about in the world (at least for me), then Leesh picked HPANA, my favorite internet home. Today, I get the awesome Rocky Horror Picture Show courtesy of my fellow Burrower Leanne. Honestly, my friends are just fabulous....

Anywho; Rocky Horror. *sighs happily* Where do I even begin? This movie is like Marmite (a yeast extract used for cooking, spreading on toast etc) - you either love it or hate it. Obviously, I love it (the movie, that is,  not Marmite, can't stand the stuff. *shudders*). The thing is, it's not just a movie; the Rocky Horror Picture Show is a feast of delights best served with a group of friends, plentiful alcohol, and feather boas. And that's just for when you watch it at home - if you're wanting the full buffet, the theatre experience is what you should order.

I'd be fairly surprised if you haven't heard of this cult classic, but for the RHPS Virgins out there, I'll give a brief description (which probably won't be brief at all seeing as I love to ramble). A young and wholesome American couple, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) stumble on a spooky castle when their car breaks down in a storm. They enter the castle to ask for help, but get much more than they bargained for.

Initially they are greeted by the butler, Riff-Raff (the sublime Richard O'Brien). Riff-Raff is not your ordinary butler by any stretch of the imagination. He has the suit, but that's about it. Coming complete with hunchback, pasty skin and stringy white hair, he's not someone you'd normally bump into in a stately home. Brad and Janet are plainly wary of this strange butler, but it's only the first of many surprises. They are soon hit with three more dodgy looking characters.

We get to meet the host, one Frank N Furter, (affectionately known as Frankie). With full stage make-up, a curly hair-do, a basque, and endless legs encased in fishnet stockings, I'm guessing Brad and Janet were more than a little shocked by Mr Furter. Me, I loved him. Tim Curry played the role to perfection, and being a tall man, the suffering he endured in the scarily high platform shoes he had to wear must have been crippling. Not to mention his eyes, which by the end of the film look redder than a hot poker.

The other primary characters are Frankie's two sidekicks, Magenta (the frizzy-haired maid) and Columbia (not really sure what role she had in the household, except as the on-off girlfriend of Frankie [and Eddie, but that's another story]).

Keeping up with me? Good! By the time we've met the primary characters, we know that this movie is going to be a little different (though honestly, if you hadn't worked that out from the opening credits, you deserve to be shocked by the movie's content). Oh, and did I mention that it was a musical? No? How remiss of me!

Moving on.

Now that Brad and Janet have met the members of the household, they are properly introduced. In ordinary cultures, this might be a handshake, a few words of greeting, or maybe a formal bow or curtsy if you are meeting the upper classes. For Frankie and his gang, a proper introduction means scaring the life out of your unexpected guests by belting out the classic Best Way To Freak Out Your Guests song Sweet Transvestite. With lyrics including I'm just a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania, and I see you shiver with antici.... (very long pause).... PATION, this is probably my favorite song from the movie. This scene also includes the hugely popular song The Time Warp, which even RHPS Virgins should be familiar with.

Frankie takes his guests (who by now have been stripped to their underwear and given lab coats to wear, as you do) to his laboratory where he has been working on making his man (with blond hair and a tan *winks*). Frankie's playmate is the 'Rocky' of the title, and though he doesn't say much (I don't think he says anything at all, actually), he is vital to the plot. Yes, the movie does have a plot, albeit a zany one.

I could go on and on here and guide you through the entire movie, and I would have a blast doing it, but I'm pretty sure this blog post is already too long, and I still have things to say. So I'll skip over the part where Frankie manages to do some naughty *coughs*  things to both Janet and Brad, and how brother and sister duo Riff-Raff and Magenta have a closer relationship than is strictly allowed between siblings, and I'll even gloss over the bit where Meatloaf randomly appears riding a motorcycle and kitted out in the very best from Leather R Us. I should probably mention, though, that most of the household are, in fact, aliens. From the transsexual planet of Transylvania, no less (see, this is why you need to pay attention to the song lyrics *winks*).

By the by, my son, when he was about three, managed to stumble into my living room one evening while I was hosting a Rocky Horror night. He coined the phrase 'Lipstick Aliens', and honestly, how perfect a description is that?

Anywho.... moving on again. I promise I'm almost done now, I swear.

The best thing about this movie (quite apart from the men in drag, the feather boas and the 'interesting' song lyrics (toucha toucha toucha meee, I wanna be diiiirty.... thrill me, chill me, fulfil meeeee, creature of the night.... *hums*) are the parts where the audience join in. You can do it at home, but it's definitely better when you're watching a live show [/ extra innuendo]. In order to participate properly, you need to dress up as one of the characters. I went for Magenta (the frizzy-haired maid), mostly because I already had the frizzy hair and basque (the two most important things), and also because I really love her character. When you are fully dressed up a la Rocky, you need a trusty bag of accessories, which include a newspaper,  water pistol, dried rice, and toilet paper (amongst other things).

Now you have your outfit and your props, you are almost ready. You need take nothing else with you except a good memory, because as with all the best audience participation movies, you have lines to remember. There are too many to list here, but there are many gems throughout the movie, and it is these ad-libbing extras that give you the thrill of the full Rocky Horror experience.

And when you're done throwing toilet paper and dried rice on the people in front of you, and you have finished yelling 'Vice' at the stage, you are in great spirits to move the night forwards; namely to a nightclub, accompanied by a couple of hundred basque-wearing, make-up plastered Frankie look-a-likes. Awesome!

If you fall into the 'Love It' category, I'd highly recommend seeing the show live. If you aren't brave enough to don a basque and fishnets (and that includes the guys - especially the guys), you can throw on a lab coat and a wee bit of eyeliner and probably get away with it. But if you are brave enough, go do it! It'll be the best night out that you've ever had, I guarantee it. And who knows, maybe you'll meet your very own personal love-slave. But not Rocky, because he's already taken (by several Lipstick Aliens, no less).

Next request?


  1. Stop press! A suggestion from my first reader has been made on my facebook page....

  2. Amazing!! RHPS is awesome ... too bad we don't get live shows here ... it sucks!