Rocky Horror Picture Show Rose Tints My World

One does not usually condone the wearing of fishnet tights, embroidered bodices, lingerie, or gold booty shorts in public on a Friday night– most people are actually arrested for it. However, Oct. 31 was an exception AND acceptance of dressing like a streetwalker or someone of the opposite sex.

What better night than Halloween to feature “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, a racy and unpredictable hybrid of musical, comedy, and horror formulated into the best (and only) cult classic I’ve ever experienced.

As I walked through the doors of the Walton Arts Center, I was met with fellow “creatures of the night” uniquely dressed up as characters from the film. It was oddly beautiful to witness the commitment people had for RHPS and to see them expressing themselves without fear of judgement. I was immediately faced with the regret of not arriving in costume myself.

I was ultimately disappointed that it was not a theater performance, but a screening of the movie; however, the iconic status of the film overwhelmed my disappointment with anxious excitement for the losing of my RHPS virginity.

I digress.

The movie opens with simply a mouth, disconnected from its human face, on a black screen singing “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, but the actual story begins with the newly engaged Brad Majors and Janet Weiss getting caught with a flat on a stormy night in the middle of nowhere. The couple seeks refuge in a castle, only to be greeted by Riff Raff, the hunchbacked handyman of scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter; the singing transvestite alien that the musical is centered around.

Before meeting Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the audience engages in the “Time Warp” led by Riff Raff, his sister Magenta, and the rest of Furter’s strange group of sexual deviants. The dance is a simple four step routine requiring participants to: jump to the left, step to the right, with your hands on your hips bring your knees in tight, and do the pelvic thrust until you go insa-a-ane.

Watching everyone in the theater dance, and joining in myself, was my favorite part of the film. That is, until the following scene completely trumped it by Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s introductory appearance.

Furter struts onto the scene to the tune of “Sweet Transvestite”, donning his iconic tight, black corset, fishnet tights, and killer heels, and boasts about who he is, what he is, and most importantly where he’s from: Transexual Transylvania.

He presents himself as a combination of femininity and masculinity, coming out like a macho stud who prances around in lingerie. The whole performance was imbued with zeal and sex appeal. It was sassy, sexy, and absolutely fantastic.

Brad and Janet soon become settled within the castle happenings, and when Furter’s Rocky Horror, a toned and blonde man sporting a pair of gold shorts (short enough to be mistaken for a speedo), is brought to life, all sorts of hell breaks loose.

Brad and Janet abandon their squeaky clean statuses and explore sexuality throughout the performances of “Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me” and “Rose Tint My World”. The overall expression of sexuality on screen gives the audience the same opportunity to rejoice and emanate their sexuality.

Not only was the film accompanied by dancing and mutual relishing in hedonism by the audience, but the infamous audience participation in the performance with props and profanities. For example, during Brad and Janet’s journey to the castle, the theater mimicked Janet and put newspaper overhead for protection against the rain.

Toilet paper rolls were thrown at the mention of Dr. Everett Scott, unbuttered toast was thrown during Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s toast at dinner, decks of cards were flung across the room during the performance of “I’m Going Home”, and other props like noisemakers, rubber gloves, and flashlights were also used by the audience during the film.

The whole audience-participation phenomenon made the entire night a one of a kind cinematic experience. I would do it a thousand times more.