Re-Watch: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) + Peaches Christ

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Director: Jim Sharman
Writer: Richard O’Brien, Jim Sharman
Cast: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray
With an introductory performance by Peaches Christ
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2022
[Here are all my Rocky Horror reviews.]

Content Note: rape

Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) just got engaged and decide to visit their former teacher in whose class they met. But on the way there, they get lost and a flat tire and so they end up at a weird manor where strange things are going on. Not only is there a strange celebration, but the host, Dr Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) has announced that what they’re celebrating is that he built a man.

When the SLASH announced a Queer Horror Retrospective that included The Rocky Horror Picture Show (how could it not), I was hesitant whether I would watch it yet again (probably for the 100th time or so). But given that the screening was accompanied by Peaches Christ (Patricia Quinn was also supposed to be there, but had to cancel) and that I can hardly imagine a better audience than the SLASH audience to watch the movie with (and since the parallel program didn’t interest me that much), I decided I’d go for it. And that was an excellent decision – it was a superfun screening with a very nice, albeit slightly improvised intro performance.

The film poster showing Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) lounging in the oversized lips of a mouth.

Peaches Christ was at the SLASH for the second time (many years ago, she accompanied her film All About Evil, which was also part of the Queer Horror retrospective) and I enjoyed her performance this time just as much as I did 10 years ago. She was a bit hampered by the fact that Patricia Quinn was ill and had to cancel at short notice which threw off her plans for the show, but she found a good workaround and absolutely made it fun.

It was also simply an excellent warm-up for the screening of the movie itself. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of my all-time favorites and if you haven’t seen it, I urge you to see it (though it is hard to imagine that there are people who don’t know it yet). And if you can, watch it with a rowdy audience that knows (a lot of) the many audience participation cues. Whether you know the film or not, it is definitely an experience you should have once in your life.

Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) surrounded by Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and Columbia (Nell Campbell) in surgical masks.

Peaches Christ mentioned that when the film got made, the producers wanted Mick Jagger to take over the role of Frank N. Furter, but Jim Sharman put his foot down and insisted that it had to be Tim Curry (who had been doing the stage version, too). And thank goodness for that. He is still the perfect Frank, embodying the role in a way that it is always hard to imagine another person doing it (I have seen other actors in stage productions, and they were good, but they weren’t Tim Curry). Generally, the cast is absolutely fantastic.

The music still rocks, and knowing pretty much all of it by heart, I sang along to my heart’s content (and I wasn’t the only one). Water was shot around, gloves were snapped, lights were shined, and the actors on screen were heckled – just as it should be. It was an absolutely energizing experience.

Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) in their underwear accompanied by Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and Columbia (Nell Campbell).

Summarizing: good times for everybody.

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