I’m taking a break on my science non-fiction story (that really happened) to revisit one of my most popular (and most fun) to write about topics: movies I hate. My last update on this topic was my most popular article with 71 views. I don’t expect to repeat that kind of success and didn’t want to run to that well too regularly (to avoid staleness) but I figured enough time has passed that I can consider a new one. And it’s a biggie.

Any boners you have are completely disgusting.

Oh “Rocky Horror Picture Show”… where do I even begin with this one? I’ll freely admit to having only seen this movie one time. Of course, this may seem to be a problem as it may seem unfair to criticize a movie I only saw one time. In fact, my last article was criticized for this very reason.

However, I think it’s fair for me to critique this particular movie based on only review. There are a few reasons 1) the movie is pretty shallow and offers basically a “surface level” only critique and b) the movie has infiltrated the mainstream media and the popular consciousness to a point where even if I haven’t seen the movie more than once I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

Basically, the movie is the brain child of Richard O’Brien a rather strange character who had been lurking around the world of movies and theater for some time. He loved the ridiculousness of the old style monster movies and wanted to lightly parody them by going completely and utterly over the top. He wrote the original play, wrote the songs, starred and directed in the movie. It’s basically his little labor of love.

For those not in the know, he looks like this.

Basically, the movie features horror themes, highly sexualixed characterizations, transsexualism, homosexuality, Meat Loaf, awful, awful songs (which are still the best part of the movie) and a rapidly changing plot that brings in aliens at the last minute in a last ditch effort to keep the movie as confusing as possible. Also, did I mention it has Meat Loaf in it?

Like a “Bat out of Hell” Meat Loaf leaves this movie off his resume.

So, the movie (and play) are basically a huge mess but a mess with a wink and a nudge. “Sure it’s awful!” the movie says “but we know it’s awful! Laugh along with us at the sheer stupidity of it.”

Normally (as my friends can attest) I readily enjoy the joy of watching a piece of crap fly off the rails into realms of sheer stupidity that turns that stupidity into a sublime sort of entertainment that you simply can’t get from a “good” movie. Yes, “good” movies have qualities that must be appreciated (beautiful writing, great direction, original ideas and characters that don’t fall into utter cliche) but the joy a bad movie can inspire in true believers simply cannot be emulated.

And that’s the problem I have with this movie (and all of O’Brien’s output): it’s aware that it is bad. Bad movies can’t be bad on purpose: that defeats the purpose. The joy of a bad movie is in watching good intentions and a true desire to make a good, enjoyable movie fall apart. And it happens all the time: movies are really hard to make and even the best film makers crash and burn from time to time.

Ask Steven Spielberg about “1941” sometime.

Anyways, in this movie, O’Brien is trying to parody the kind of movies he claims to love but it doesn’t really work as a parody. Instead, it wallows in many of the same cliches and awful writing. Changing the genre of the movie at the very end is probably the funniest joke but even that isn’t as effective as it could be because it’s so abrupt and so out of nowhere there is no way you could have seen it coming. And that’s not a good twist: that’s cheating.

On second thought, “aliens” might make more sense than I thought…

The one thing I can say the movie does possess over others of its ilk is a hugely sexual nature that is unusually blatant and bisexual. As mentioned before, there is a transvestite (the famous “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania”) as well as a seduction sequence between Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon (hot) and Tim Curry and Barry Bostwick (not as hot).

Oh Susan, why?!

This aspect of the movie and play probably explain the massive popularity of both: people of these fringe sexual behaviors find something that they can identify with and join with each other in celebrating. This especially explains the huge gatherings of people that watch the movie in costume, laughing and throwing candy and popcorn at the screen. I have friends that actually travel seven to eight hours to get to a showing of the movie and who spend hours preparing elaborate costumes.

And this is why I can actually understand the appeal of this movie more so than the past movies I’ve explored. It is O’Brien’s tribute to the wild, wooly “freaks” of the world. And I honestly think that the movie is an excellent way for people to explore their sexuality in a healthy, collective state. More odd sexuality should be explored in a safe environment such as this as it can serve as an excellent way to introduce people to these sexual ideas.

Which is actually an important thing as far as I’m concerned because people need to understand and explore these ideas so they understand these sexual concepts more fully and to understand their own sexuality more fully. Remember: sexuality is highly complex and weird.

That doesn’t mean I still don’t hate the frigging movie. But at least I can understand the appeal.

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