The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R)

Comedy 100 min. September 25, 1975
By Derek Nystrom
After more than two decades of midnight screenings and toast-throwing, this is pretty much your parents' cult movie. For the three people left in the world who don't know: The story concerns the arrival of a couple of straights, Janet and Brad (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick), at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry, in his finest hour), who is hosting the annual convention of Transsexuals, from the planet Transsexual, in the galaxy of Transylvania. After they do the Time Warp, Frank deflowers both Janet and Brad. Meanwhile, he brings to life his creation, Rocky Horror (Peter Hinwood). But whatever--that's not why you're going to see this movie. You're going to see it because of the interactive performance that has been produced and refined over the years by the film's dedicated audience. And, as anyone who remembers the repressed girl from Fame can tell you, you should experience this inventive call-and-response at least once. But it's hard to argue that, at this late date, Rocky Horror represents any sort of anarchic breaking down of barriers between film and viewer. Instead, the practice of shooting water pistols during the rainstorm and yelling "asshole" everytime Brad appears onscreen has become just as rigidly scripted and--to my ears, at least--just as tiresome as most mainstream cultural rituals. Still, some people love rituals (one study of the film's cult followers noted that a full half were Catholic)--and one that celebrates gender and sexual disorientation as this film does can't be all bad. (Derek Nystrom)
Jim Sharman Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn Richard O'Brien Lou Adler, Michael White 20th Century Fox


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