The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of those movies, you either love it, or you hate it (I love it).
The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened in the United States at the United Artists Theater in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, on September 26, 1975, it did not do very well.
The film was then re-launched as a midnight movie, beginning its run at the Waverly Theatre in New York City on April 1, 1976. Over time, people began shouting responses to the characters’ statements on the screen (These mostly include melodramatic abuse of the characters or actors, vulgar sex jokes, puns, or pop culture references.) The film gained popularity because of the audience participation as much as anything else. “Shadow Casts” of fans acting out the entire movie below, or in some cases directly in front of the screen, are almost always present at showings.
Audience participation also includes dancing the Time Warp along with the film, and throwing toast, water, toilet paper, hot dogs, and rice at appropriate points in the movie, along with the call back lines (ad lib responses shouted out in response to events occurring on screen, as a form of audience participation). Fans often attend shows in costume as the characters. But beware Newcomers to the midnight showings are called “virgins” that must be “deflowered” as they watched the showing and the audience participation. (Side note, mine was awesome, I had to let a stranger lick chocolate syrup off of my chest)
Now let’s take a Jump to the Left to April 2015, Fox announces a remake of RHPS with air October 2016. Many fans awaited in Antici…. (SAY IT!!!) Pation, because let’s face it, wither you were happy or not, you were going to watch it. And I did, and unfortunately I was less than impressed.
Everything that makes RHPS so great was lost in the remake. Their attempt to have small clips of an audience yelling call back lines felt forced, and out of place, and where the fans would say call back lines were either removed, or the scene was so rushed you were unable to do a call back line. Where the original was excitingly dirty, this is squeaky clean, like you would not feel awkward watching it with your Grandma clean. Gone is the raw sexuality you got from the film. The sex scenes aren’t even sex scenes, they’re more like playful pillow fights. Janet, Brad, and Rocky are supposed to experience a sexual awakening, with the first two also undergoing a sexual liberation, yet the transformation does not come through on screen. The anticipation from the original is lost along with the sexual tension, thanks to quick cuts and sped-up music, there’s not enough pause to create that kind of atmosphere.
The music, one thing we love about RHPS is the music, originally written by Richard O’Brien who plays Riff Raff in the original, is classic in it’s own right (as well as the music to the sequel Shock Treatment). Even though the numbers were not changed, the music had more of a pop feel, instead of rock opera, and seemed very rushed, which helps kills the mood for RHPS. I mean come on even Glee kept the tone and feel to the music, which Le’t Do the Time Warp Again, just threw away.
As for the characters, Ryan McCartan, who play Brad Majors was more wooden than a naive nerd trying to act self assured.
Laverne Cox, who plays Dr. Frank-N-Furter appearance should be one of shock with a small tinge of fright, but the look of this Frank gives off neither. Which is the same to be said for the Transylvanians, they all look liked they stopped at Hot Topic, just to have a shock value.
So are there any highlights? YES!!!
The beginning of RHPS Let’s Do the Time Warp Again starts off with Ivy Levan performing Science Fiction/Double Feature, as Trixie the Usherette. I loved this performance, walking through the movie theater showing movie goers to their seats. I loved the nods it gave to the classic movies, and was a nice change (unlike the other changes) to the beginning. This actually had me excited and thinking to myself, “It’s OK!”
Victoria Justice played Janet to a T, it was like she studied Susan Sarandon’s every move form the original movie.
Laverne Cox playing Frank-N-Furter, does well at emulating Tim Curry’s enunciation and flare from the original film, She’s gorgeous, impeccably dressed, and carries herself extremely well.
Adam Lambert as Eddie, was a great choice, and did justice to the role originally played by Meatloaf in the film.
And then one thing I loved was when they started playing the Time Warp, there was a nice nod in the beginning just as the music starts with the acoustic guitar, sounds just like how Richard O’Brien started it during a live performance of the song, too bad the rest they mucked up.
The sad part is even with a few good things, Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, does even really come close to the original, it might be enjoyable if you have no idea what RHPS is, but then I recommend going to a real showing. All and all this remake took a jump too far to the left, that no step to the right is going to be able to bring it back.