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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 79 The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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6 minutes ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

I don't think I knew there was a sequel....

I haven’t seen it either, but yeah, apparently he’s been trying to do sequels since forever. Shock Treatment is the only one actually filmed. Unfortunately, since Tim Curry didn’t want to return it focused solely on Brad and Janet (not played by Sarandon or Bostwick). According to Wikipedia, it flopped pretty hard, but has its own (smaller) cult following. According to O’Brien, its failure at the box office is why none of his other attempts were ever green lit.

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3 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I haven’t seen it either, but yeah, apparently he’s been trying to do sequels since forever. Shock Treatment is the only one actually filmed. Unfortunately, since Tim Curry didn’t want to return it focused solely on Brad and Janet (not played by Sarandon or Bostwick). According to Wikipedia, it flopped pretty hard, but has its own (smaller) cult following. According to O’Brien, its failure at the box office is why none of his other attempts were ever green lit.

This sounds like on Unspooled when Amy shocks Paul with a surprise sequel to a movie that did not need one.

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1 hour ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

I don't think I knew there was a sequel....

There is and apparently it is about Brad and Janet’s further adventures and apparently they get literally stuck on a TV show where crazy shit happens. Created by at least some of the same people, not the same cast. Has a 57% on RT.

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5 hours ago, tomspanks said:

I’ve seen this a few times and have always wondered why exactly Riffraff and Magenta kill Frank at the end?  

Has anyone seen the remake?

This is a great time to get inside this crazy ass plot, cause I'm not totally sure if I really know either. I think it's because he became too passive in his duties to their home planet? And they were tired of keeping an eye on him? 

Also, are you referring to the Live version on TV?

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My concern with the movie is not really about trans representation. I think language has changed so much since the movie came out, we didn't have the words to really explain a gender and sexuality-fluid character in 1978, so Frank had to sing a song about it. Unfortunate that the backstory for Frank is that they are a LITERAL ALIEN and not just a person that is not all man or all woman, and attracted to both.

My problem with the film is that Frank is so determined to get their rocks off, that Rocky is a being created for the sole purpose of getting fucked. Rocky is created with the mind of a child, designed to be nothing but the sex toy for this mad scientist. Not only that, Frank sneaks into both Brad and Janet's rooms, pretending to be the other's fiance, and they molests them until they like it. If we're going to call scenes like James Bond kissing Pussy Galore until she's not a lesbian in 'Goldfinger' a rape (it is), then I think we have to come to terms with what Frank does here. I know this movie is about sexual liberation and personal freedom, buy Frank is FORCING their sexual politics on Brad, Janet, and Rocky, the latter a creature Frank is responsible for bringing into the world. It's pretty gross. 

Charles Grey is my favorite character.

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I also sort of resent this movie for usurping camp and the midnight movie in general. Maybe not so much anymore, but the fandom for Rocky Horror really did bring out this sort of sneering irony to midnight movies. So the Forbidden Planets, the Curse/Night of the Demons that were referenced in the song "Science Fiction" were now objects of derision and mockery. Midnight movies are now places where we throw spoons, not to be genuinely entertained or, God forbid, moved emotionally. That's not the film's fault, but it became part of the phenomenon. Jacques Tourneur was now silly because his movies had no ironic distance, because those kind of films DIDN'T turn the idea of aliens or the supernatural into a camp joke. 

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Ok, I have time to address this movie now. I’ll try to be succinct: I think it’s fun, I think it’s dated (I totally agree with Quasar Sniffer’s points), Tim Curry is great, parts of the movie are funny, parts are overlong and the ending is weirdly flat.

I never saw a midnight screening of this, although it was screened on a weekly basis for decades in Seattle. I first saw it when it was first released—on VHS (I’m fucking old)!—in the early 1990s. After I watched it—as other people have noted—I was kinda underwhelmed and not really motivated to see a midnight show, and not many friends were dying to go either (I was in high school at the time). After all the years of mysterious buildup (I would repeatedly hear in the 80s, “It’s so outrageous!”), I didn’t find it bad but didn’t see what the hype was for. I worked in a mall that was a hub for gay culture and had a karaoke bar, so I saw some people who were dressed up like Frank N Furter anyway.

Now, I think the film was a good Halloween choice and it was fun to rewatch after so many years. I probably picked up a few more jokes. As a creative writing major, my main issue with the movie is this: there’s not much character development. The most fully developed character is Frank N Furter, and Tim Curry gives a great performance, but to build off of Quasar Sniffer’s comments, Frank is a narcissistic asshole. Not only does he take sexual advantage of people, but he also forces them into cannibalism, among other things. While I enjoyed the outrageousness of it (and there are a lot of moments that I did find funny), I didn’t give a shit about him as a person.

Which makes the ending truly weird because the film seems to be building to some outrageous climax, but instead he sings some self-pitying song and is killed. Then Rocky is killed. It has elements of over-the-top tragedy, but that doesn’t work for me if the characters aren’t really fleshed out. Then the house takes off and the movie ends, dumping Brad and Janet and Dr. Scott back on earth (all of whom are amusing but none of whom have much of a character arc). I legitimately don’t know what the takeaway from the final twenty minutes of the film is supposed to be.

If my comments seem all over the place, that’s because I think this film is all over the place, in ways good and not so good.  I respect the cult following it has and i’d be interested in seeing the play. I wonder if they remade it as a film, how they’d do it (I heard the live TV version was not good, but I haven’t seen it). Hopefully they’d make some of the songs a little shorter and the characters a little more nuanced (but still over-the-top). And they should still eat Meatloaf. Even if they have to digitally insert him into the film.

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10 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

If my comments seem all over the place, that’s because I think this film is all over the place, in ways good and not so good.  I respect the cult following it has and i’d be interested in seeing the play. I wonder if they remade it as a film, how they’d do it (I heard the live TV version was not good, but I haven’t seen it). Hopefully they’d make some of the songs a little shorter and the characters a little more nuanced (but still over-the-top). And they should still eat Meatloaf. Even if they have to digitally insert him into the film.

His name is Robert Paulsen.

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12 hours ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

This is a great time to get inside this crazy ass plot, cause I'm not totally sure if I really know either. I think it's because he became too passive in his duties to their home planet? And they were tired of keeping an eye on him? 

Also, are you referring to the Live version on TV?

Yes...the tv version starring Laverne Cox and directed by the guy who did High School Musical. 

I dunno, I’ve always felt the deaths at the end were out of place. Don’t these aliens believe in due process?! 😆 

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2 hours ago, tomspanks said:

Yes...the tv version starring Laverne Cox and directed by the guy who did High School Musical. 

I dunno, I’ve always felt the deaths at the end were out of place. Don’t these aliens believe in due process?! 😆 

Laverne Cox was the only part of that whole thing I was remotely interested in so I skipped out on it lol. Was it any good?

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14 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

My concern with the movie is not really about trans representation. I think language has changed so much since the movie came out, we didn't have the words to really explain a gender and sexuality-fluid character in 1978, so Frank had to sing a song about it. Unfortunate that the backstory for Frank is that they are a LITERAL ALIEN and not just a person that is not all man or all woman, and attracted to both.

My problem with the film is that Frank is so determined to get their rocks off, that Rocky is a being created for the sole purpose of getting fucked. Rocky is created with the mind of a child, designed to be nothing but the sex toy for this mad scientist. Not only that, Frank sneaks into both Brad and Janet's rooms, pretending to be the other's fiance, and they molests them until they like it. If we're going to call scenes like James Bond kissing Pussy Galore until she's not a lesbian in 'Goldfinger' a rape (it is), then I think we have to come to terms with what Frank does here. I know this movie is about sexual liberation and personal freedom, buy Frank is FORCING their sexual politics on Brad, Janet, and Rocky, the latter a creature Frank is responsible for bringing into the world. It's pretty gross. 

Charles Grey is my favorite character.

Yes, you are totally right. To all of this. These are things you never really consider when you're young and rape culture is still very present but yeah that's all so fucked up lol.

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20 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

Now, I think the film was a good Halloween choice and it was fun to rewatch after so many years. I probably picked up a few more jokes. As a creative writing major, my main issue with the movie is this: there’s not much character development. The most fully developed character is Frank N Furter, and Tim Curry gives a great performance, but to build off of Quasar Sniffer’s comments, Frank is a narcissistic asshole. Not only does he take sexual advantage of people, but he also forces them into cannibalism, among other things. While I enjoyed the outrageousness of it (and there are a lot of moments that I did find funny), I didn’t give a shit about him as a person.

Which makes the ending truly weird because the film seems to be building to some outrageous climax, but instead he sings some self-pitying song and is killed. Then Rocky is killed. It has elements of over-the-top tragedy, but that doesn’t work for me if the characters aren’t really fleshed out. Then the house takes off and the movie ends, dumping Brad and Janet and Dr. Scott back on earth (all of whom are amusing but none of whom have much of a character arc). I legitimately don’t know what the takeaway from the final twenty minutes of the film is supposed to be.

So here's my question for the group - Are we supposed to give a shit about Frank as a person? I think the movie and the subculture that was created around it definitely positions him as a liberator and an introduction into fringe/queer culture. However, he is the villain of this story. He murders, rapes, forces cannibalism, and physically controls everyone around him. Even if we think about the time this was made in he definitely is a terrifying person to be around. 

But as you said in your second paragraph, the ending is truly weird to give him this self reflective song that would almost posit a turn around for his character in the 11th hour. 

This is a weird ass movie y'all once you take out all those bops and the throwing of toast. 

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34 minutes ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

So here's my question for the group - Are we supposed to give a shit about Frank as a person? I think the movie and the subculture that was created around it definitely positions him as a liberator and an introduction into fringe/queer culture. However, he is the villain of this story. He murders, rapes, forces cannibalism, and physically controls everyone around him. Even if we think about the time this was made in he definitely is a terrifying person to be around. 

But as you said in your second paragraph, the ending is truly weird to give him this self reflective song that would almost posit a turn around for his character in the 11th hour. 

This is a weird ass movie y'all once you take out all those bops and the throwing of toast. 

In my opinion, Frank is more of a charismatic villain than an anti-hero. We love Frank even as we are repulsed by them. Frank really can’t be contained in any one way - which is why they are ultimately so attractive.

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I agree that Frank's a charismatic villain, but their position to the characters they oppose are the subjects of mockery and derision, people who need changed. Brad and Janet are repressed (sexually, socially, etc.) squares,  Doctor Scott is conspiratorial and duplicitous, and Riff Raff and Magenta are opportunists who are quick to murder Frank when an opening presents itself. So if Frank is the villain, who is the hero? I know Brad is labeled as "A Hero," but that is almost certainly sarcastic.

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7 minutes ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

I agree that Frank's a charismatic villain, but their position to the characters they oppose are the subjects of mockery and derision, people who need changed. Brad and Janet are repressed (sexually, socially, etc.) squares,  Doctor Scott is conspiratorial and duplicitous, and Riff Raff and Magenta are opportunists who are quick to murder Frank when an opening presents itself. So if Frank is the villain, who is the hero? I know Brad is labeled as "A Hero," but that is almost certainly sarcastic.

Is it possible, given the sexual and gender fluidity of the characters within, could it just be no one is a hero or a villain? That everyone is both?

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32 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

Is it possible, given the sexual and gender fluidity of the characters within, could it just be no one is a hero or a villain? That everyone is both?

That makes sense, especially with a character like Eddie, who is undeniably a victim, but is also described as a psychopath who might be better off dead anyway.

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1 hour ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

So here's my question for the group - Are we supposed to give a shit about Frank as a person? I think the movie and the subculture that was created around it definitely positions him as a liberator and an introduction into fringe/queer culture. However, he is the villain of this story. He murders, rapes, forces cannibalism, and physically controls everyone around him. Even if we think about the time this was made in he definitely is a terrifying person to be around. 

But as you said in your second paragraph, the ending is truly weird to give him this self reflective song that would almost posit a turn around for his character in the 11th hour. 

This is a weird ass movie y'all once you take out all those bops and the throwing of toast. 

First off, I want to apologize for referring to Frank as a “he” and not a “they.” I am 45 and—as an an English major—just too used to the old-fashioned uses of language even though I’m open to change. Damn you, patriarchy, for enforcing grammar rules I think are bullshit most of the time anyway!!!!!!! Fuck you, Strunk and White (that is an  inside grammar joke with which i’ve Impressed myself)!!!!!

i’m OK with Frank being the provocative villain (and I think that label is accurate), but I just don’t think they (I’m fucking doing it again and had to correct myself. FUCK!!!) earn that song this late in the movie. That’s why it’s confusing. No one else acts as badly as they (meaning Frank—fuck, this is confusing) do. 

I was also confused about their duties (I did it!), re: Tay-loe’s earlier post. What exactly were they supposed to be doing? It seems like Frank was doing lavish, fucked-up stuff for awhile. How derelict in their duties was Frank? Why did Riff Raff and Magenta wait until NOW to kill them, instead of before they made Rocky? 

I realize trying to impose logic on this film is a fool’s errand, but I think it could have used another draft to wrap up some loose ends.

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P.S. the “White” of Strunk and White is E.B. White, who wrote Charlotte’s Web. That book is a goddamn classic, so maybe just fuck Strunk?

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10 hours ago, tay-loe anne photo said:

Laverne Cox was the only part of that whole thing I was remotely interested in so I skipped out on it lol. Was it any good?

I haven’t seen it - haven’t seen it on any free streaming sites yet. But yes, I would also want to see it for Laverne Cox. 

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13 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

P.S. the “White” of Strunk and White is E.B. White, who wrote Charlotte’s Web. That book is a goddamn classic, so maybe just fuck Strunk?

Go big or go home.  Don't half-ass it. 🙂 (He also wrote Stuart Little.)

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14 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

First off, I want to apologize for referring to Frank as a “he” and not a “they.” I am 45 and—as an an English major—just too used to the old-fashioned uses of language even though I’m open to change. Damn you, patriarchy, for enforcing grammar rules I think are bullshit most of the time anyway!!!!!!! Fuck you, Strunk and White (that is an  inside grammar joke with which i’ve Impressed myself)!!!!!

i’m OK with Frank being the provocative villain (and I think that label is accurate), but I just don’t think they (I’m fucking doing it again and had to correct myself. FUCK!!!) earn that song this late in the movie. That’s why it’s confusing. No one else acts as badly as they (meaning Frank—fuck, this is confusing) do. 

I was also confused about their duties (I did it!), re: Tay-loe’s earlier post. What exactly were they supposed to be doing? It seems like Frank was doing lavish, fucked-up stuff for awhile. How derelict in their duties was Frank? Why did Riff Raff and Magenta wait until NOW to kill them, instead of before they made Rocky? 

I realize trying to impose logic on this film is a fool’s errand, but I think it could have used another draft to wrap up some loose ends.

I only refer to Frank as "he" because that is the way he is still gendered in the movie, if I'm remembering correctly. But "they" does feel more accurate. Oddly enough, Richard O'Brien (writer and Riff Raff) is super duper transphobic and doesn't consider transwomen to actually be women. Yet, they've also mentioned that they consider THEM SELF non-binary, so they're totally cool with a third gender as long as it extends to them and them only. 🙄

Frank definitely has something about him that lures so many people in. According to Columbia she was just someone on the street that Frank found and lured her in, and then got Eddie in, and then despite how much Brad and Janet hate being there, there's still something that attracts them. But, also, I definitely think they are all villains in this story. No one except maybe Rocky comes out really clean in this story. Even with Brad and Janet being victims of stumbling across this castle in the night, they are total assholes (ASSHOLE!) and I don't exactly *root* for them throughout the story.

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I'm sorry I'm late to party on this. I have actually a long a involved history with this movie and show.

I originally wrote a long paragraph about my history of with the show but I'll just boil it down. First time was sixteen seeing a shadowcast performance then watching it on TV a week later. Did a one night guerrilla live production of it as the criminologist for a my friend who took me to the shadowcast the previous year. Never seen a proper production of it live. Own the soundtrack and revisit the movie now every other year or so. I've introduced friends and family to it, but I prefer to watch it alone.

So with all that do I like the movie? Yes and no. If you truly want to enjoy the movie do not go see the shadowcast first. There is nothing inherently wrong with it and it can be fun however I found that there was some gatekeeping and inside jokes that are just confusing when you don't know what's coming. I think if you go to one you are there to enjoy that aspect of it and not the movie itself. It is something I think that is more fun if you just like the music or want to have fun with friends. As for the movie itself again I think it is a real mixed bag. I do think the movie is fun but I think the last act kinda falls a bit flat. I think it takes the biggest leap in logic and storytelling and thus looses some momentum. While the songs are good they aren't as fun or catchy as the earlier songs. Then there is the whole issue of themeing. The movie is a send up of old B-movies and that's where the horror and sci-fi themes and campy acting come from. However on top of that they add extra layers of camp and flair that I think that original idea kinda loses some punch. However, I think that's also the secret ingredient that makes the movie work. I have seen Shock Treatment and it's nowhere near as good and I think that's because you loose a lot of that camp and flair and it is a bit too straight. I think also Rocky Horror being written for the stage and rehearsed and fine tuned helped it while Shock Treatment just went right to film. It is also odd to me that Rocky Horror has a lot of more 60 free love ideals despite it being a bit removed form it. Then comes the issue of how literal you want to take the events and actions of the movie. I do think there is a lot of metaphor or meaning may or may not have been fully intended. I mean look at Brad. You have him go from prim and preppy to embarrassed to be in his conservative undergarments to in drag and not caring. You can read that as the path of acceptance of others and their sexuality or you can maybe even read that as Brad himself being liberated of some possible repressed desires or feelings. In that sense some of Frank's actions are in service of serving the larger picture and maybe more palatable? I think it comes down to what was previously discussed about him being a charismatic villain verses an anti-hero. I think he is a villain but his actions move the characters to figure things about about themselves and we are never really asked to forgive him for his actions but rather because Tim Curry's performance and charm you end up kinda liking him and doing it anyway. In the end I find the songs catchy and the whole production fun that I always sit through it all despite issues I might have it.

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I did want to add, I just realized this year (before Tay-loe made this pick) that I didn’t already own this album. After I bought it, I must have listened to it straight through every night for a full week. The soundtrack is really strong on this movie.

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8 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I did want to add, I just realized this year (before Tay-loe made this pick) that I didn’t already own this album. After I bought it, I must have listened to it straight through every night for a full week. The soundtrack is really strong on this movie.

I enjoy almost every single song sooo much! Like Cam Bert said above I do think that the later songs aren't as good, and honestly the dinner table song that Dr. Scott sings can be skipped over, but I keep many many of them on my rotation still to this day. Oddly enough I think the very first song - Science Fiction Double Feature - might be my favorite??? But every time someone says "Oh there's a light!" I have to start singing, "There's a liiiiiiiight over at the Frankenstein place!"

No matter how good the actual movie is, or how good you think the shadowcast performances are, these songs are fuckin straight up bops!

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8 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I think he is a villain but his actions move the characters to figure things about about themselves and we are never really asked to forgive him for his actions but rather because Tim Curry's performance and charm you end up kinda liking loving him and doing it anyway. In the end I find the songs catchy and the whole production fun that I always sit through it all despite issues I might have it.

FTFY -  I kind of brought it up earlier, but I really hate seeing Frank get killed off even though he is the villain because of that☝️

Question for the group - what are your favorite Tim Curry performances/characters?  I think mine is Wadsworth from Clue.

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