Phil Rambles

Phil Rambles, Phil Price blog.

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    Wed, 03 Nov 2004

    Movie/Performance: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    The last time I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show was in about 1990. Let's call it fifteen years ago, well over half my adult life. Well, last weekend (Halloween weekend) I went again, along with Juliet's sister (Beth) and two friends from work, one of them a Rocky "virgin". For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult movie by design, that was enormously popular throughout the country in the late 70s and early 80s and still maintains a healthy fan base after all these years.

    Not wanting to look totally out of place, I stopped in at a local costume store earlier in the day, and said "I'm going to Rocky Horror, what do you have?" They had---get this---an off-the-shelf Rocky Horror "kit", just like this one only more expensive. Even ignoring the fact that buying a ready-made costume seems somehow antithetical to the Rocky Horror spirit, I just didn't think this was for me: as I told the sales clerk, "I'm not sure I'm man enough to wear that." But she and her co-worker were very encouraging, so I thought What the hell, why not?

    I tried on the costume that evening at home, just to make sure it would be OK; as I told Juliet, "I want to make sure it doesn't make me look ridiculous." Later that night, I even added red lipstick, then went to the movie with Beth (dressed more or less like the Janet Weiss character in the film) and Rengie (dressed as Minnie Mouse, for no particular reason). Emily Wood came along too, dressed extremely tamely as a generic Irish lass.

    Here are a few photos of me, Rengie, and Beth.

    As for the show itself, well, there have been a few changes and a lot of things are still the same. The crowd is the same age as before (roughly 19-29, meaning Beth and I were old enough to be the parents of many of the people there), the movie is the same as ever of course, and the tradition of yelling comments at the screen is of course still very prominent. Indeed, the "yelling at the screen" tradition has gotten entirely out of hand (he said grumpily..."it was better back in MY day"). As I remember it from back in the good old days, there used to be something yelled at the screen every few minutes..."The man you are about to see has got no fucking neck", that sort of thing; some of them clever, some of them not. But there were long sections of movie---well, at least a few minutes long---in which the movie was allowed to just be the movie.

    No longer. Now, the audience commentary is pretty much nonstop. Some of the stuff is clever, some isn't. If only the clever bits were retained, and the rest were discarded, I think it would be an improvement.

    The other big change---and perhaps this is just because it was Halloween weekend---is that instead of coming dressed as Rocky Horror characters, audience members simply came in any ol' costume. A pity, I was looking forward to running into some other Frank N Furters. (There were plenty of other scantily clad audience members of both sexes, but I believe I was the only Frank N Furter).

    Anyway, it was great fun, and perhaps I'll only wait five years rather than fifteen before going that. Of course, then I'll be hopelessly old and out of place, even more than now. Tough.

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