‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Review

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The musical event of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again! premiered last night on Fox and it was the treat of the night! Everyone knows of the film’s iconic plot and legacy. The film is the longest running movie in theaters, after all. With the cast containing stars such as Victoria Justice, Christina Milian, Adam Lambert, Laverne Cox, and the legend himself, Tim Curry, it’s impossible for this film not to tug at your heart strings at least a little bit.

Right away, we see the first change occur with this version. Gone are the infamous red lips (they make an appearance during the end credits, don’t worry), and in their place is the introduction of a movie theater. We’re welcomed by Ivy Levan playing Trixie, the Usherette who sings the first song: “Science Fiction Double Feature”. She leads us to a movie theater where a plethora of die-hard Rocky Horror fans await this new film. The film within a film trope is used continuously throughout, featuring several of the audience participation moments that have been standard with in-theater viewings for years. This is included but not limited to: putting a newspaper on the head when Brad and Janet do, throwing popcorn at the movie screen when Columbia and Magenta do, and saying various phrases throughout during extended pauses, etc.

What did everyone think of this element? Personally I found it a bit jarring and it took my attention away from the film, to be honest. If I want to experience the live audience moments during the movie, I could just attend a screening at my local movie theater.

In terms of the cast, each member had their own standout performance. From Justice completely belting out “Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me” (and practically shedding her Nickelodeon image with it), to Cox’s version of “Sweet Transvestite”, and Staz Nair’s “Sword of Damocles” was swoon worthy – as were his abs. Whether they were your favorite character/performer or not, you could tell that each cast member give it their all.

Rocky Horror Picture ShowProbably the two actors that were antici….pated (last time I make that joke, I swear) most were Laverne Cox portraying Frank-N-Furter and Tim Curry as the narrator/criminologist. A lot of controversy accompanied Cox’s participation in this project. Originally playing the “sweet transvestite” was Tim Curry, a male actor dressed in drag. This time around a trans woman was taking on the role. Laverne’s reasoning behind wanting to play Frank-N-Furter so bad is that from first seeing Curry in the original, she could relate. Cox told the Hollywood Reporter, “Rocky means so much to me because it presented the idea of possibilities of around not just dreaming it but being it, purely in terms of my gender expression. After I saw Rocky Horror for the first time, it became a turning point in my life. It’s part of what gave me the courage to truly transition.” I know several trans women are offended by Laverne’s portrayal, for many different reasons – but it’s evident that getting the chance to play this specific character meant a lot to Cox, and for that I applaud her.

Having Curry return to Rocky Horror was complete genius. Sure his scenes were rather brief and few, but boy was he the scene stealer. His facial expressions, and line delivery, had me either smiling or laughing out loud.

While Rocky Horror was an enjoyable watch, what would have made the performances even more impressive was having this be live rather than pre-taped. Fox’s very own Grease Live! was a huge success earlier this year. With a live audience, live singing, and the raw emotions from every actor (Vanessa Hudgens’ “The Worst Thing I Could Do”), it truly amplified everything. Maybe the audience interaction would have meshed better if this was done live. But with that said, I’m not sure how the actors would feel being practically naked for the majority of the film in front of an audience. That and the special effects would probably have to have been more on the imaginative side if this were live.

What did everyone think of Fox’s re-imagining of Rocky Horror Picture? Does it makes you want to do the time warp again and again? Overall, this writer thoroughly enjoyed this production. Or are you going to immediately see a screening of the original to wipe this version from your memory?

Let me know your opinions in the comments!