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The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical science fiction comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and Richard O'Brien based on the 1973 musical stage production, The Rocky Horror Show, music, book and lyrics by O'Brien. The production is a satirical tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through early 1970s. The film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original productions.

Plot

The movie starts with a pair of red lips singing about the chain of events that science fiction has been following ("Science Fiction/Double Feature"). During which the characters are introduced which are Brad, Janet, Frank N Furter, Columbia, Magenta, Riff-Raff, and Dr. Scott.

After the song it shows Brad Majors and Janet Weiss both at a wedding for their friends and when everyone is cleared out Brad proposes to Janet. Through song ("Dammit Janet"). She, of course, says yes.

Only hours later the newly engaged couple of Brad and Janet are stuck in a thunder storm while driving down a distant country road. While they are driving down the road they are passed by several people dressed in leather riding on motercycles pass them going the oppisite way they are going. They than get a flat tire at the end of the road were Brad remembers a castle that they had past a mile behind and tells Janet to stay in the car while he goes to the castle to see if they have a phone he could use. But Janet comes with him.

After getting back to the castle they go through a gate that has a message- "ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!"- on it, but they go in anyway. Approaching the castle they see that all the lights are on and the windows are showing the many lights inside. Brad and Janet are so happy that they sing (with a small verse by Riff-Raff) a song ("Over at Frankenstein`s Place").

RockyHorror Ensemble highres

They are greeted at the door by the butler Riff-Raff and also meet the maid his sister Magenta who show them the rest of their kind (called the Transylvanians) and they all sing the show's must popular song ("Time Warp"). At the end they try to back away from the Transylvanians but they are stopped by the sudden appearance of Frank N Furter.

He comes down from an elevator and sings a song ("Sweet Transvestite") and then tells Brad and Janet that they are invited to his labrotory to see him finish his creation. After being undressed and redressed by Magenta and Riff-Raff, Brad and Janet are taken up to the lab. There they see Frank in a green rubbed lab coat with pink glooves and gives the spark of life to his creation Rocky Horror.

They both give a song ("I Can Make You A Man") and then as Rocky is about to be taken by Frank one of the doors that lead off from the laboratory burst open. Eddie, an ex-delivery boy, comes out of a frozen bunker and it turns out he was Frank`s former play toy before he had started to make Rocky; and that Eddie was a partial brain donor for Rocky.

Coming out on an motorcycle he jumps out and sings another song ("Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul") that Rocky sings along to. Fran N Furter in a jealous rage runs into the ice bunker and tear an ice pick from the wall and intterupts the song by chasing Eddie into the bunker and kills him off-screen. To gain back Rocky Frank sing a reprise song to the one he and Rocky sang earlier ("I Can Make You A Man (Reprise)").

They than go off into a bridal suite and Brad and Janet are kept in seperate rooms. Later during the night Frank goes to Janet's room disguised as Brad and has sex with her, promising not to tell Brad. Afterwards, during the night, Frank goes to Brad disquised as Janet and has sex with him, too.

Riff-Raff and Magenta are up stairs in the lab where Rocky is sleeping in his birth tank but when they try to have intercourse Rocky wakes up, so using a candle flame (very Frankenstein Monster like) to scare Rocky off. After they're done Riff-Raff sees on a television monitor that Rocky was outside the castle and unleashes the dogs on him. But all in vain because he vanishes off the monitor after Riff-Raff goes and tells Frank about the missing creation.

Janet meanwhile is searching for Brad and sees him with Frank on the television monitor and starts to cry, but then she finds Rocky hiding in his birth tank, injured by the chasing dogs. While tending his wounds Janet eventually has sexual intercourse with Rocky in the birth tank and starts to sing ("Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me") while Columbia and Magentia watch from their room on their television moniter.

Rocky and Janet are interrupted by Brad, Frank, and Riff-Raff, who Frank is torturing for the loss of Rocky with a whip. Then Riff-Raff looks up at the televison monitor and sees that there is a stranger at the door who Brad reconizes as Dr. Evert Scott, a teacher he used to have. When Dr. Scott is in the Zen Room Frank uses a magnet to pull Scott into the room (he is in a wheel chair) and, after passing through the entire castle, Dr. Scott flies into the room.

That is also when Frank hears a cry from the birth-tank. He lifts up a blanket and discoveries Janet and Rocky together, much to his rage. Frank N Furter is intterupted by Magentia who says that 'dinner is ready' and Frank, annoyed, says that formal dress will not be needed and storms out. They go to dinner, celebrating Rocky`s birthday. They all ironically wear party hats, and Evert Scott tells them that he is there with a purpose.

Frank says that Scott is researching UFO`s and aliens for the government, but Dr. Scott says that he is actually looking for his nephew, Eddie. Columbia realizes what the birthday dinner was all about and runs out screaming to the next room. Scott sings with help of Janet, Riff-Raff, Frank, and Magenta a song explaining that Eddie had always been a 'no-good kid' ("Eddie").

Now very angered, Frank N Furter rips off the table cloth and shows the guest that the dinner they had been eating was from Eddie's corpse and they had actually been dining on top of it. Horrified, Janet leaps into Rocky`s arms and Frank throws off his birthday hat and slaps Janet, then chases her singing ("Wise Up, Janet Weiss!") into the lab tailed by everyone.

Frank captures Brad, Janet, Rocky, Scott, and Columbia (after stating that she loved him) by turning them to stone; and Frank N Furter says simply that it was getting to hard to have fun. Magentia and Riff-Raff are praised by Frank N Furter for being his most loyal servants and to prepare for the "Floor Show".

So now, everyone but Riff-Raff and Magenta are dressed in fish nets and leather and start to sing a three part called "Rose Tint My World" ("Floor Show") ("Fanfare/Don`t Dream It") and ("Wild and Untamed Thing"). But then, after a swiming scene in a pool hidden under a fake radio tower that is covered by a stage curtain as the song closes, Riff-Raff and Magenta some in dressed in space suit-type clothes and they sing that they were taking Frank N Furter prisoner and returning to their homeplanet of Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania.

At first, when Riff-Raff points an antimatter gun at Frank, he doubts it works and sings a song to explain what he had been doing ("I`m Going Home"), but they say that when they said they were going back they meant only themselves and they were going to kill Frank N Furter, who rises to his full height. Then Columbia screams and Riff-Raff swirls around and kills her with a single blast; Frank, now sure that the gun works, he tries to climb up the stage curtain. But a single blast kills him and Frank tears the stage curtain off as his body falls to the floor, and Rocky goes to his master and carries the corpse with him up the fake radio tower. After several hits with the antimatter gun, Rocky dies and the fake radio tower becomes electric, and, had Rocky been alive, eletrocutes his body. The tower breaks and the dead bodies topple backwards into the swimming pool.

Riff-Raff and Magenta let Brad, Janet, and Scott go as they prepare to Time Warp back to their home planet and the humans all escape as they set off in the castle itself. The narrator comes in and sings/reads the final ending song ("Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise)"):

And crawling on the planets face,

Some insects called the the human race.

Lost in time and lost in space.

And Meaning.

Meaning...

Cast

Main Cast

Minor Cast

  • Jeremy Newson as Ralph Hapschatt
  • Hilary Farr as Betty Hapschatt
  • Trevor White as Rocky Horror (singing voice)
  • The Transylvanians - Perry Bedden, Christopher Biggins, Gaye Brown, Ishaq Bux, Stephen Calcutt, Hugh Cecil, Imogen Claire, Tony Cowan, Sadie Corre, Fran Fullenwider, Lindsay Ingram, Peggy Ledger, Annabel Leventon, Anthony Milner, Pamela Obermeyer, Tony Then. Kimi Wong, and Henry Woolf.
  • Uncredited cast (Wedding guests, Floor Show Audience) - Lewis Alexander, Gina Barrie, Hyma Beckley, Ernest Blyth, Rufus Collins, Victor Harrington, Mark Johnson, Juba Kennerley, Petra Leah, Frank Lester, Aileen Lewis, John Marquand, and Koo Stark.

Crew

  • Art Direction - Terry Ackland-Snow
  • Makeup Department - Ramon Gow, Pierre La Roche, Peter Robb-King, Graham Freeborn, Ernest Gasser, Helen Lennox, Mike Lockey, and Jane Royle.
  • Production Management - John Comfort
  • Assistant Director - Mike Gowans and Bob Howard
  • Art Department - Dick Frift, Ian Whittaker, Don Bradburn, Norman Dorme, Bob Douglas, Bob Hedges, John Leuenberger, Bryn Siddall, John Siddall, and Bob Spencer.
  • Sound Department -Ron Barron, Ian Fuller, Bill Rowe, Peter Glossop, Doug Smith, and Len Tremble.
  • Special Effects - Colin Chilvers, Wally Veevers, and Roy Spencer.
  • Camera and Electrical Department - Dennis Lewiston, Mike Roberts, Fred Anderson, John Jay, Jack Roche, and Ronnie Rogers.
  • Casting Department - Celestia Fox
  • Wardrobe Department - Gillian Dods and Richard Pointing
  • Editorial Department - Rodney Glenn and Nigel Galt
  • Music Department - Richard O'Brien, Richard Hartley, Graeme Clifford, and Keith Grant.
  • Principal musicians - Count Ian Blair, John Bundrick, Mick Grabham, Phil Kenzie, B.J. Wilson, and Dave Wintour.
  • Background singers - Helen Chapelle, Brian Engel, Barry St. John, Liza Strike, and Clare Torry.
  • Transportation Department - Charles Cox
  • Continuity - Susanna Merry
  • Accountant - Ron Swinburne
  • Chef - Robin Demetriou
  • Publicist - Geoff Freeman
  • Assistant choreographer - Gillian Gregory
  • Stand-ins - Janette Scott, Liz Coke, John Birkinshaw, Alan Harris, Eric Kent, Dave Murphy, Gerry Paris, Erica Simmons, Melita Smith, Richard Smith, and Tuppence Smith.

Sequels

Main article: Shock Treatment

Following the unexpected and overwhelming success of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the midnight circuit, Richard O'Brien approached producer Michael White with the idea of making a sequel. In 1978, he began work on a script titled Rocky Horror Shows His Heels, which found Frank and Rocky resurrected, Brad and Dr. Scott turned gay, and Janet on the verge of giving birth to Frank's baby. Director Jim Sharman was resistant to revisit the material and Tim Curry had no desire to reprise the role of Frank, but O'Brien had put some work into the songs, so he decided to retain them and simply revise the story.

The new script was titled The Brad and Janet Show. This version is closer to what became Shock Treatment and was planned to be produced, but the filmmakers were plagued with a variety of problems. Dr. Scott had been included in the script, but Jonathan Adams was not interested in reprising his role. Tim Curry had committed to portray Farley Flavors, but when he discovered Barry Bostwick was unavailable and he'd have to play the dual roles of Farley and Brad, Curry backed out too, fearing he couldn't pull off a convincing American accent. The filmmakers intended to shoot on location in Denton, Texas, but production screeched to a halt in 1980 when the Screen Actors Guild went on strike.

With only a small window when cast and crew were available, the filmmakers had to get creative. Television had been a heavy motif in the script, so production designer Brian Thompson came up with the notion to rework the story and set it in a giant TV studio utilizing a film studio in England which shaved a million dollars from the budget and gave them the luxury of working in a controlled environment. The script endured a final draft in which all of the locations were changed to television shows, and the role of Dr. Scott morphed into game show host Bert Schnick. "I was frightened the strike was going to finish too soon and we’d have to go back to our original conception," commented O'Brien.

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