On paper, it shouldn’t have worked, but “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the perfect example of a film that’s more than the sum of its parts. Adapted from the British rock musical “The Rocky Horror Show,” the film is a subversive, surrealist black comedy.
An ode to 1950s b-movies, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” follows squeaky clean couple Janet (Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick), who get a flat tire and seek shelter at a nearby castle. There, they meet trans iconoclast and mad scientist Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), and his collection of offbeat cohorts: his assistant Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), Magenta the maid (Patricia Quinn), and groupie Columbia (Nell Campbell). He invites them to bear witness to his newest creation: the perfect man known as Rocky Horror.
With loads of sex, murder, and a memorable role for rocker Meat Loaf, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is chock full of rousing rock n’ roll song and dance numbers. Initially negative reviews turned to acclaim over time, with critics appreciating it anew for its endless charm.
Sarandon perfectly captures the seemingly innocent Janet, who discovers her lust for life. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Sarandon noted that her agents thought she was “insane” to do the movie but despite difficulties of filming — like getting pneumonia — she’s “very proud to be part of [it].”
Of course, “Rocky Horror” might be most famous for its fandom and its status as the ultimate midnight movie. The film gained cult status thanks to late night screenings, during which fans show up in costume, ready with zinging quips and even props to throw at the screen (via No Film School).