Rocky Horror Picture Show: The Cult Film That Will Never Die

By | October 9, 2017

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Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.' Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult movie that outgrew the term. This horror-film satire, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf, gained a huge following and was shown all over the country as a "midnight movie" -- and is still shown today. The story of mad Transylvanian transvestite Dr. Frank N. Furter, complete with rollicking rock soundtrack, is an American institution.

When The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a British-American film, premiered in 1975, it wasn't a huge hit. In fact, due to poor ticket sales, its run was cut short, and plans for a Halloween screening in New York City were canceled. Then a second poster -- featuring a pair of lips and touting "a different set of jaws" -- was produced, and Fox studio was able to convince theaters to screen the film in the emerging midnight movie category. There, it thrived.

This crazy film was intended to be a satirical take on low budget horror and old science fiction films dating back to the 1930’s. The film opened with a huge pair of red lips singing about that very genre of films, poking fun of their evolution.

The Movie Intentionally Deals In Horror Film Cliches

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The film begins with recently engaged Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) out driving on a cold, rainy night with the misfortune of getting lost; and on top of that, they discover that they have a flat tire. While they set out on foot to find a phone to call for help, they come across a creepy castle belonging to the zany scientist, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry). With no other choice, they approach the castle only to discover that Dr. Frank is hosting his annual Transylvanian Convention. The attendees are a bit eccentric, so say the least.