Movie review: For ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ audience action is better than the screen action

Timothy Page, Arapahoe Pinnacle Movie Critic

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” opened in 1975 and immediately crashed and burned, but as the years have gone by more and more people have begun to see its strange charm.

As I walked into the Half Moon on Oct. 28, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had seen bits a pieces of it, and knew that the audience interacted with the movie as it went along.

Some people even act out the scenes as the movie is playing. If you’ve seen “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” you’ll know what I’m talking about.

These three audience members arrived in costume
Tim Page
These three audience members arrived in costume

As I entered, I was handed a bag full of different props and a guide on when and how to use them during the movie.

The Full Moon wasn’t packed, but enough people were there to enable us to interact with the movie without feeling awkward.

As the film starts, you realize what you’re in for as a huge pair of lips show up on the screen and start singing a song (“Science Fiction/Double Feature”).

That’s honestly the mildest this movie gets. It continued, and the musical numbers went from a nice love song (“Damnit Janet”) to Tim Curry in a corset singing about how much of a “Sweet Transvestite” he is. I realized this is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen.

It’s very hard to describe this film without spoiling it so I won’t go into great detail. Just know that a normal couple gets lost on a back road, and they end up in a giant mansion that is home to Dr. Frank N Furter (Tim Curry), and they definitely won’t be the same after the night is through.

It’s weird, uncomfortable, and wouldn’t work without the audience participation. The audience squirts water guns when it’s raining, rings a bell when the right key word comes up on the screen, yells “slut” every time Janet (Susan Sarandon) is on screen, and so much more.

As a movie, it’s an absolute train wreck.

But go in knowing that – that it’s not a good film – and just have fun as the crowd throws toilet paper, rice, toast and confetti at the screen.

Know that its songs aren’t that great, but they will get stuck in your head.

As I left the Half Moon, after helping clean the place up a bit, and still trying to process what I just saw, I ran into three girls who were in costume. I didn’t get their names because they had to run a catch the bus, but one said to me. “Trust me, it’ll become and addiction.”

I agree. While I’m not going to actively search out screenings of this film, I can see myself walking into a bigger theater with more people, props in hand, ready to yell out and throw things at the screen.

It wasn’t a great movie, but if you go see it you’re definitely going to have a good time.

Tim Page