Happy 71st birthday today to Richard O’Brien, the English actor who is best remembered and known for penning the The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the homage to science fiction and B level horror films during Hollywood’s heyday of them back in the late 40s to the late 60s done with an androgynously glammed up delicious twist, spearheaded by the once-in-a-lifetime performance by Tim Curry (in the film adaptation) as the curly haired Tom Jones meets Marc Bolan meets the cheeky personality of Peter O’ Toole main character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
The film version of Rocky Horror (which already had experienced a large cult following as the stage original stage play a few years prior) was released in 1975 and without question became one of the largest cult phenomenons in the entire history of celluloid, taking a life unto itself as it pretty much spawned the concept of the Midnight Movie, in which a film is shown and re-shown and re-re-re-shown to ravenous audiences who can’t get enough of it. And it created a pioneering audience participation segment in which fans interact with the film itself, creating their own pointed jokes and jibes which they shout at the screen, or dance along with the film’s many memorable numbers like “Sweet Transvestite” and “Time Warp,” and actually dress in costumes which mirror their favorite characters. It’s one of the earliest forms of social media interaction ever manifested, as well as cosplay, and it all happened because of the play and songbook – leading to one of the most popular Soundtracks ever – created by O’Brien (along with director Jim Sharman), who also played the tall and limber Riff Raff in the film.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 35th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Jim Sharman
Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 19, 2010
It was great when it all began
I was a regular Frankie fan
Now Frankie fans can rejoice, because The Rocky Horror Picture Show is out on Blu-ray and there’s loads of features that will make you feel like you’re back in the theater, shouting along to the 1975 cult classic.
From the beginning, fans of the horror rock musical would flock to midnight showings dressed as the characters and act out scenes along with what was playing on the screen. There was also extensive ad-libbing, as well as the 4D-type experience: throwing rice during the wedding sequence; holding up a newspaper during rain scene. It’s these little touches that have been passed along for over three decades that make the film so special.
So, you might ask, why buy the Blu-ray when the real experience is seeing it in the theater amongst with other fans? Aside from the obvious issue of there possibly not being a screening near you, along with seeing it in high definition, there’s also the fact that the movie holds up all on its own. It’s got great rock and roll tunes, a wacky scifi/horror element, and of course, that flamboyant, yet sweet transvestite Frank-N-Furter, played marvelously by Tim Curry.