Title: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Country: UK, USA
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Director: Jim Sharman
To celebrate the Halloween, inadvertently I found out that this perennial cult classic would be shown in cinemas with its original version, which prompted my belated viewing of this notorious B-movie tour-de-force for the first time, although B-movie has evaded my entire childhood and I have barely watched any the classics to which the film pays its overt tribute, but, the film is a satisfactory and daring musical with its campy costumes and music arrangement (a cocktail of Glam Rock-New Wave-Nu-Disco musical numbers and giddying dancing routines), a perfect option for its groupies and people who are repellent to horror genre in Halloween. There were a bunch of devotees inside the full-packed screen hall, but the sing-along spectacle didn’t happen as I expected (incessant hails were very much present nevertheless), anyhow, we were all enthralling with the atmosphere and the film per se.
For me, the musical numbers rendered throughout the film are the predominant assets which should be much appreciated, Richard O’Brien (who is also the sidekick Riff Raff in the film) has managed to write a bunch of utterly spirit-rousing theme songs pandering for the sub-culture habitants, especially for the gay and transvestite disadvantaged groups, which facilitates its iconic status through its conspicuous delivery of messages such as sex liberation, homosexual impetus, free-your-mind and ravished by life. While you can decry its escapism and hedonism misappropriation in your hindsight, but at the moment the film was playing, the invasion of ubiquitous pleasure could encroach upon all the sensory passages, which is an undeniable achievement of the crew.
Tim Curry, arguably has delivered the best music performances in a film, whose knockout fabulousness alone could make the film stunningly enjoyable and substantially controversial (from the blood-red lips singing in the opening credits until his valedictory song near the end, it all justifies that either garishness or sappiness could be put into a moment as a revelation!). Susan Sarandon’s voice bent is creakily suitable for her shallow and flashy character, which is in tune with other standard B-level performances from the rest of the cast members (although Meat Loaf’s one-off interruption of the Transylvanian orgy has the only slash movie quality).
An atypical exploitation of Frankenstein (e.g. Peter Hinwood’s immaculately sinewy body and a young Robert Redford resemblance is a slap in the face to the usual disfigured stunt of the monster), both male and female bodies should be worshiped in an equal scale, which uncannily prefigures today’s zeitgeist. It is a pity director Jim Sharman’s career has never taken off, even in his own cult way, but at least he has built a miracle, the film’s leggy longevity will never wane, and it will summon its zealots generations after generations.