REVIEW: Let’s Do the Time Warp… Again. Rebecca Sayce Revisits This Truly “iconic piece of queer cinema” – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step back in time to 1975 when cult sensation The Rocky Horror Picture Show first hit cinema screens.

Created by king of the Crystal Maze Richard O’Brien and Australian film heavyweight Jim Jarman, the musical extravaganza, unbelievably, received a lukewarm reaction when it was first released.

But the blood-covered and fishnet adorned flick found its place in the midnight cinema circuit, where you are guaranteed to still find a screening of it more than 40 years later.

The science fiction double feature follows the story of Brad and Janet – dammit – a young, newly engaged couple on their way to tell their beloved college professor of their upcoming nuptials.

Along the way, however, their car breaks down in the middle of the storm and they seek help in a creepy castle in the distance. When they arrive, they find they have interrupted the eccentric Dr Frank-N-Furter and his eclectic followers on a very special night.

Horror and hilarity ensue as the naive couple have all of their values questioned at the hands of Transylvanian transexual Frank-N-Furter, his God-like creation Rocky, and the dark secrets hiding in his castle.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of my all-time favourite films. I was absolutely transfixed by all the glitz, glamour and ghoulish scenes from a very young age. You could practically catch me doing the Time Warp in my nappy before I could walk.

If it wasn’t for films like Rocky Horror, I wouldn’t have the passion for cinema that I do today.

It’s an iconic piece of queer cinema that has truly stood the test of time thanks to its die hard fan base that propelled this unusual piece to unknown heights of popularity.

It’s no secret that seeing a Rocky Horror screening is an experience – with fans acting out the scenes and singing along to their favourite show tunes.

Whether you were lucky enough to see a screening where it all began – The iconic Waverley Theatre in New York – or head to your local theatre for a live production, you’re bound to see hoards of people carrying bags of props and dressed in their finest Rocky Horror costumes.

This inclusion of the audience in the film creates a real community atmosphere – strangers unite in their roles to act out their favourite wild and wacky scenes with no judgement, making friends with someone with a deliciously freaky common interest in the process.

The acting out of these scenes also allows the audience to take part in salacious and ludicrous behaviour in a completely safe environment; a sense of escapism that many film lovers crave.

The film was daring enough to cover a variety of taboo subjects at the time of it’s release – from gender fluidity to drag, polygamy and free love to name a few – without fear of ridicule. Rocky Horror gave a voice to people within these marginalised subcultures that did not aim to condemn – it instead aimed to showcase them in a positive, celebratory fashion that had never been seen before.

And almost 50 years since it’s release, it still has a strong community of die-hard fans that champion inclusivity and fun above all else. No one is excluded from a good sing-along or a crude exchange with the cast.

Rocky Horror immediately stands out from the crowd – its lewd, its crude, and it’s unlike anything else you will ever see.

This Pride month, shiver once more with antici…

…Pation with the titillatingly taboo antics of the Rocky Horror Picture Show – again!

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