Arts and Culture

A sinful salute to sexual liberation

The night before Halloween, The Alliance club  sponsored a Halloween tradition: a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a musical comedy horror film – not descriptions you often see used together. Rocky Horror, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is not just any old movie. Seeing it is truly an experience between the absurdity of the movie itself and audience interaction.

Rocky Horror was first a theatrical production in 1973 and then a movie that premiered in 1975. Believed to have impacted the development of punk music fashion, the film was a humorous tribute to science fiction and horror movies from the 1930s through the early ‘70s. The story follows a young, newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, whose car breaks down near a castle where the Annual Transylvanian Convention is taking place. Here they meet self-described “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania” Dr. Frank N. Furter, servants Riff Raff and Magenta, and groupie Columbia – all of whom happen to be aliens. Frank then gives life to his creation, Rocky, and kills his former lover, Eddie. From there, sex and general creepiness ensues, as Frank seduces both Brad and Janet, Janet gets intimate with Rocky, then Eddie’s remains are served for dinner, and there’s a floorshow, because why not?

Though largely ignored at first, it went on to gain a cult following as the most well-known midnight movie. Over time, people started shouting responses to the character’s lines – from puns to vulgar jokes to pop culture references. Some of the most popular examples include remarking on the neck-lessness of Dr. Scott, shouting “Asshole” whenever Brad’s name is mentioned, and throwing toast when Frank proposes a toast. People also often dress up as the characters, and some showings even have “Shadow Casts” acting out the movie below or in front of the screen, as seen in the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, for instance.

Wheaton’s showing was no exception to these traditions. Though there was no “Shadow Cast,” several people showed up in costume and there was a fair amount of shouting back at the screen. Additionally, there are traditions for acknowledging “virgins,” people who have never seen the movie before, but at this showing, they just received a round of applause – a much less embarrassing alternative. Then the movie opened with the iconic pair of female lips dubbed with a male voice, and the shenanigans ensued. As far as kick-offs for Halloween weekend go, “Rocky Horror” is high on the list.