“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the Most Important Cult Film Ever Made

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the Most Important Cult Film Ever Made

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more, and you’ll also get a free $5 credit! “I would like, if I may, to take you on a
strange journey.” What makes a cult classic? There seems to be no exact definition that
everyone agrees on, but the general consensus is that it is a creative work that transcends
its original failings to become an iconic piece of fiction with a passionate fanbase. So something like Star Wars would hardly be
considered to be a cult classic, because despite having a widespread and loyal community of
fans, the film was a smash success with both critics and audiences alike upon release. Whereas something like “Fight Club” failed
miserably when first released, but after years of retrospective viewing is now widely considered
to be a cinematic masterpiece. Films like Blade Runner, or Evil Dead that
weren’t understood or appreciated in their own time but through a loyal and passionate
community of supporters who spread the film through word of mouth, continue to reach a
wider audience with each passing year. And whether we’re talking about a misunderstood
masterpiece like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the “so-bad-it’s-good” films like “The Room”,
every cult classic offers something different than the regular theater fare of its day and
stands the test of time precisely for that reason. But among the vast array of films now considered
to be cult classics, none have had the same long lasting impact or cultural significance
as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Originally a stage production called “The
Rocky Horror Show”, it premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London, in 1973. Richard O’Brien, was an unemployed actor who
began working on the script as a way to keep himself occupied during a harsh winter. It was born out of his love for the iconic
Hammer horror films and B-movie sci-fi classics like Tarantula and Forbidden Planet, mashed
together with the bubble-gum rock of the 1950’s as well as the burgeoning glam rock scene
of the 1970’s. He brought his script to Australian director
Jim Sharman, who had garnered acclaim for his work on Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. The musical was an immediate and smash success,
consistently filling out the capacity of the Royal Court Theatre before moving on to larger
venues like the King’s Road Theater, where it eventually caught the eye of Lou Adler;
a reknowned record producer who had worked with Carole King and The Mamas and The Papas,
who secured the American theatrical rights to the musical and brought it to the Roxy
Theater in Los Angeles, premiering in 1974 with an all new cast with exception to Tim
Curry, notably bringing in then mostly unknown musician Meat Loaf for the roles of Eddie
and Dr. Scott. Throughout its original run in L.A. and London,
several notable names were in attendence; like David Bowie, Elvis Presley and Princess
Diana to name a few. “And Princess Diana actually requested to
meet me because she was such a Rocky Horror fan. She said ‘Oh yes, it quite completed my education.” After the unexpected success of the stage
musical, O’Brien and Sharman began discussing the possibilities of a feature film adapdation. There was original talk of producing the film
with a much larger budget and casting well-known names in the major roles, with people like
Mick Jagger being eyed for Dr. Frank-N- Furter and Steve Martin for Brad Majors. But Sharman decided to sacrifice the larger
budget to retain the show’s original cast and crew. Additional scenes were added to expand the
length of the film, a musical score was provided by Richard Hartley to fill the space between
O’Brien’s songs, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick were brought on board at the behest
of 20th Century Fox who wanted American actors in the lead roles, and Pierre La Roche, known
for his work with Mick Jagger and David Bowie was brought on board to redesign the make-up
for the characters. Many of the sets and props were directly taken
from the vaults of old Hammer productions, with the primary filming location taking place
at Oakley Court, a Victorian-era castle that was featured in Hammer films like “The Brides
of Dracula”. Despite a troubled production due to the film’s
low budget, and the poor conditions of the filming locations, production wrapped in 1974,
with the finished film hitting theaters in the summer of 1975. “Yes it is a good film isn’t it, died a death
when it first came out.” The film was pulled from theaters after one
just weekend, and the studio cancelled its premieres in other cities across America. Sometimes the magic of a stage show is lost
in translation when brought to the screen, or maybe the general of audiences of 1975
just weren’t ready for something as off-kilter and transgressive, but regardless of the how
or why the film failed to find the same success as its stage counterpart, and it seemed that
the studio was ready to cut their losses and shelf the film permanently. “They didn’t really know what to do with it,
or what on Earth it was.” And that may have been the end of it, but
Tim Deegan, who worked in the marketing division at Fox, saw the potential for success in the
midnight circuit. John Water’s film Pink Flamingos had already
established that there was a market for campy pastiche filmmaking, and Deegan thought that
The Rocky Horror Picture Show might find a similar success. He convinced the studio to take a chance,
and the film made its midnight debut at the Waverly Theater in New York City on April
1st, 1976. Shortly after its initial midnight screening
audience members began returning for repeat viewings, often yelling lines at the screen
as a way of trying to one-up the other theater-goers, with many of these lines being repeated verbatim
to this day. “There was a man who sat in the first row
of the balcony and when the criminologist says ‘I would like to take you on a strange
journey’ he screamed out ‘How strange was it?’. People laughed! And I would go home and think of lines that
we could shout at the screen the next week. Eventually people started showing up in costumes,
shadowing the performances on screen, and even bringing props like newspapers or rice
to use alongside the film. These traditions became the standardized Rocky
experience that spread the world over; with costume contests, shadow casts, audience participation,
props and call-backs dominating the midnight screenings that by 1979 had been playing twice
a week in over 200 theaters across the globe. “Never has there been a cult movie like this
one.” “I’ve seen Rocky Horror almost 400 times.” “Tonight’s my 350th time.” “302 times.” “267 times.” “My name is Sal Piro and I’m President of
the National Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club. Tonight is going to be my 425th time seeing
this film. You know, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has
been a midnight phenomenon in this country for almost 4 years now, 4 years running at
midnight and it started right here in the village, right here in Greenwich Village.” “You have people coming in caravans and buses
from all over the country. How much longer do you think this can go on
in midnight movies throughout the country, I’ve uh, some people are saying that it’s
kind of losing it’s oomph. That people aren’t throwing the rice with
the same degree of uh, enthusiam.” “Well you’ve got to realize that I live in
England and I don’t really see a great deal of this activity, but Sal Piro who follows
it very closely says ‘ask me in another twenty years and I’ll give you an answer’.” “This is truly an honor to be here today,
39 and a half years ago when I went to see the movie for the first time, and there was
something there, and you are all proof; this cast standing behind me, all the people it
interests, all you people who dress up, all you people who love the movie; you are proving
why we’re here 40 years later. Thank you.” The film celebrated its 40th Anniversary in
2015 and still shows no signs of stopping any time soon, which has earned it the noteworthy
achievement of being the longest-running theatrical release in cinematic history; which says a
lot about the devotion of its audience. It’s widely attributed to be the first movie
known for its audience participation, and is considered by many to be the most significant
midnight movie of all time, if not the first. And for a movie shot for about $1 million
that was nearly canned after its initial box office disappointment to go on to become this
massive cultural phenomenon is no small feat. But it speaks to what the film represents,
and who the film appeals to and why. This was a time before social media or the
internet. Before it was released on VHS or DVD, the
only way to stumble onto the film was through word of mouth or pure chance. To get the details of the costumes and the
make-up just right you couldn’t pause and study in an individual frame, to learn all
of the lyrics you couldn’t just play the songs on repeat, you had to go see the movie time
and time again, and for many it became a weekly ritual. Where you felt like you were a part of something
bigger than yourself, in a shared space with like-minded people. Which at the time, wasn’t easy to come by. When you consider the cultural landscape of
the time, where well-known LGBTQ spaces were frequently raided by police, where members
of the gay community were harrassed or assaulted, where you could lose your job or your housing
if your sexual identity became known. Where nerds and geeks were frequently bullied
and tormented for liking anything that wasn’t considered the cultural norm. It’s hard to imagine something like this now
that we’re living in a world that’s much more tolerant of these things, but back then it
was a time when anyone who was deemed to be different was regulated to the fringes of
society, taught to conform or to get out; but Rocky Horror gave them all a communal
space to be themselves and to find acceptance. It offered something for the self-identified
freaks and the geeks and the weirdos with a shared love of horror, sci-fi, musical theater,
drag, and all things camp; it gave the marginalized groups of society a space to explore their
identity free from judgement or persecution before those spaces were commonplace. It was a place for people of all walks of
life to coexist, whether gay or straight or trans or cis, to let loose and have a good
time. And in the years since its release it’s become
so much more than just a film, it’s become a cultural movement that embraces sensuality
and androgyny and freedom of expression. It’s often seen as a rite of passage for teenagers,
who may be questioning their own sexuality, and gives them an opportunity to see something
different than what they’ve been taught. The film itself acts as a parable, or a modern
fairy tale where Brad and Janet represent the template for the contemporary conservative
American couple, who are taken on an alien odyssey of endulging in the sins of the flesh. “Come on Brad, admit it. You liked it, didn’t you? There’s no crime in giving yourself over to
pleasure.” The Rocky Horror Picture show gave us permission
to be different, and taught us a valuable lesson about embracing your individuality. “Don’t dream it. Be it.” Thank you to Privacy for sponoring this video. With all of the online shopping we do these
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100 comments

  1. Thank you for watching! Was definitely hoping to have this up before Halloween, but alas, here we are. Be sure to check out http://privacy.com/filmradar to get a free $5 credit! Helps to support the channel, and hey, it's free money 😉

  2. I participated in a screening and shadowcast of the movie at my college every year for the last four years. It's been wonderful. So glad this wacky campy film exists <3

  3. This cheaper theater near me has been showing rocky horror pretty much since I was a kid. They have the poster up on the wall to this day

  4. "Cause I've seen oh, blue skies through the tears in my eyes
    and I realise, I'm going home" I'm going home moves me every fucking time.amazing ( Richard O'Brian is a fellow kiwi,but I have sadly yet to go see the statue of him as Riff Raff in Hamilton)

  5. I watched it a few months ago and this movie is absolutely amazing. For its time it is a really unique work and it is cult.

  6. I love this film dearly. I went to many a midnight showing back in high school and I wish they still did them in my town

  7. they filmed the movie with the same pacing as the stage show
    that is why there are places to yell out things at the screen

  8. My sanity and happiness on the Earth can be directly traced to watching this for the first time in Davis, California in 1978

  9. I think it's kinda funny that I used to get beat up in high school for playing a video game and learning computer languages and also being in drama class. Now – a decade later- I'm considered the cool one. Times change.

  10. My local movie theater has been doing Rocky every Friday night for as long as I can remember. They recently moved to the town next over but still do it every week. <3

  11. This movie is special to me.

    I first watched it after feeling lost about myself and it just hit me at the right time. Everything was perfect, so much so that I actually cried at the ending because I’d never seen anything like it or anything that spoke to me as much as it did. I attend midnight shows whenever they’re on and know every line of dialogue.

    Oh, and also I did my final History project on it’s cultural impact and got 100% so that helped!

  12. I was taken to see this by drama teacher when I was 13, I always knew I was gay but this film taught me being gay could be positive and have a happy life. I didn’t like the film or the stage production and I still don’t but it gave me the most important message of my life ‘ it’s ok to be different . Normal is BORING. Now ‘ LET THE PARTY ROCK ON’

  13. I adore this movie, and saw it more times than I can count at midnight movies during college. It's a fun movie on it's own but it always takes me back to that time period of my life and brings back great memories.

  14. I’m a performer at the rocky horror picture show shadow cast in Israel for 2 years now! Can’t get enough ❤️
    Where my Janets at?

  15. I'm not LGBTQ. I'm a white male heterosexual. BUT, I grew up a nerd in a jock community, and I associated more with female friends than male friends, and this movie was revolutionary for me. It touched my soul and allowed me to live without judgment. It changed my life.

    So, I agree, that you cannot understate how important this film was/is, and shall continue to be. And it's universal.

  16. I can't express how much influence this movie had on me. It was my mom's favorite movie and eventually became mine as well. Because of my mom, I got to meet half the cast(Brad, Magenta and Columbia) and have my comic books signed by them. They were probably the sweetest celebrities I've ever met and they were the most fun and interactive. They were loud and rambunctious and I don't know why I expected any less. This long comment just to explain that this movie has impacted generations of people old and young and I hope it continues to. And I'm just so glad that I got to spend time with some of the people who gave it to us. I really wish that I could meet Richard O'Brien somehow.

  17. I saw this for my 1st time when I was 5 in 96. It used to play on tv every Halloween. I absolutely fell in love with this crazy musical. I’ve gone to the shadow cast of this every year for last 10 yrs & look forward to it every year around Halloween. My absolute favorite & Tim Curry was sexy af

  18. I’m in my early 20’s. The first time I saw this movie was when I was 13 years old. My mom told me about how it was a cult classic and the audience participation, which appealed to me as a weird kid who was into all kinds of movies. I looked it up and watched it on my own back when Netflix still sent dvds to your house. I loved it (except I didn’t really get the ending and the point of the movie at that age) but continued to watch it. Now a decade later and after realizing I’m super queer and coming out, I have embraced this movie and what it represents even more. I go to live shows as often as I can and it’s my all time favorite movie.

  19. I first watched this movie when i was 4 years old, I grew up with watching the movie all the time and seeing the live shows…. This thing turned me pansexual I am calling it

  20. My first time seeing rocky horror was a hugely impactful experience to say the least. I knew it was an iconic piece of film before anyone told me that it already was one.

    Plus, Tim Curry is an icon on his own

  21. This movie brings me so much memories from when i was in school. I even draw some people from my school as the characters, for a page the school newspaper, but nobody knew what this movie was, so it didn't mattered and there was no problem 🙂
    And there was nothing better than coming home drunk from a party, and to play this movie till i sleep

  22. Could not get into this movie the first few times I tried, but now it’s one of my all time favorites. Not sure how that worked out.

  23. Back when you could lose your job if your sexuality is discovered? That can still happen, and the right wingers in America have been destroying LGBTQ protections with the encouragement – and assistance – of the Trump administration. It’s important that everyone who cares get out and vote. Vote these people out, so we can all live as ourselves, no matter how you identify.

  24. Princess Diana may have talked to Tim Curry about having been a big Rocky Horror fan, but your narration makes it seem as if she was a noted celebrity who went to the stage show during its initial run. In fact, she was only a teenager during that period and years away from fame and being a member of the monarchy. Oh, and you show a picture of Buddy Holly when you mention "bubblegum rock"? Buddy Holly was a pioneer of true rock and roll, not bubblegum rock (which really wasn't a thing until the 1960s anyway).

  25. I remember watching this for the first time when I was in elementary school. My brother picked it up at a Blockbuster. He thought it was okay. Something about it spoke to me. I've seen it so many times I've lost count. I've seen live shows. I've seen midnight screenings with shadowcasts. It really helped me understand myself, my sexuality, my gender, etc. It helped me realize what a freak I was and how to embrace it. This was probably want of the most important films I've ever seen. I plan to get "Don't dream it. Be it." tattooed on the side of my head when I've got a time I can do it and then have my hair grow back before having to go back to work…. since I work as a teacher in Japan that would be bad if they saw it…. xD

  26. I can't say I enjoy the raping of the senses that is the midnight showing, I get why people love them. I'll personally stick to loving the film without being surrounded by constant noise and drunks.

  27. I’m not gay or trans. I’m just a regular weirdo. Something happens the first time you watch Rocky Horror, it’s like a switch gets flipped and you realize you’re not alone in the weirdness. Don’t dream it. Be it.

  28. Hahahahaha!!! Finally, a RHPS video I’ve yet to see!!!

    (I’ve been obsessed for the past few years and I’ve seen everything, yes Sims Videos, yes Fandom Edits, everything)

  29. Abso-fucking-lutely. I first saw this when I was six, so it's been in my life for 22 years. It's such an important film to so many people. I would have people watch it in high school and it brought together a lot of us weirdos. I have a friend who is trans and only came out and started transitioning a few years ago. She was one of my friends in high school who I invited over to watch the movie. We watched it at her house again last week. The line, "Don't dream it. Be it," was something that really helped both of us growing up for entirely different reasons.

  30. I first saw Rocky Horror at a midnight showing in 2006 when I was fifteen years old. I don't think I would be the same person without this movie.

  31. Without watching this video, I agree. I have been saying for years that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the perfect movie ever made, it has a little bit of everything, so no matter what genre you like it will be in TRHPS. Also, there is no nudity (except for statues), and there is only one f bomb in the entire movie, and it is during a song.

  32. This is a funny story that just happened 2 weeks ago. I like reaction videos and Rocky popped up on one so of course I had to watch it.

    The man had never watched any of it. He watched Time Warp as his first video.

    He made the comment that it's so campy that he thought it was one of the cheesy movies that are shown at schools!!! You know to fill in an 1 1/2 hours.

    I was dieing laughing and told him that. I suggested that he watched Sweet T.

    He did and reacted to that as well.

    Needless to say his reaction changed and he understood why I made the first comment on Time Warp.

    We were both laughing and enjoying how funny that was.

    It brought 2 completely different people to a common place with laughter, with music, and understanding.

    I don't think any movie has ever done anything like that.

  33. For being such a fan of these films and the people he talks about therein this dude sounds so bored… Which makes me bored and ….

    ….

    …..

    Sorry I fell asleep.

  34. So glad to see it finally getting the scholarly attention it deserves, both as a work of art and a cultural phenomenon. My question: where do we go from here? The TV "remake" was a bust, and the 50th anniversary is fast approaching. Will Disney wake up to their asset? Will they look for new direction? Here's an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnDOBE89F8s

  35. If you haven't had the chance, search "2015 BBC Rocky Horror" to see what "the play" looks like today. It made me almost pee myself laughing, and it made me cry, TWICE. I didn't know Rocky could still do that!

  36. I was shocked the first time I saw this movie when I was 17, I had never seen anything like it before and my mind didn't know what to think. The second time I saw it, I liked it quite a bit and by the third time I saw it I knew all the songs and was singing along.

    Really shows you how society wants us to be afraid of things that shouldn't be taken so seriously.

  37. Good movie, most songs range from good to excellent (sorry "Eddie's Teddy", but the remake did you better, if only slightly), problematic-as-fuck depiction of trans peeps. Definitely still worth watching though, albeit somewhat in the same way that Dumbo is worth watching for the crows.

  38. Most videos that I find like this on YouTube are repetitive crap, both of other videos, and commentators even repeat themselves. THIS WAS NOT!! KUDO'S!! Very nicely (& professionally) done!

  39. I saw this on Halloween in college. It was the first midnight movie I've seen (the second was Showgirls which I saw out of curiosity). I watch it on Halloween every year since then, at home if not in the theater.

  40. when I first heard frank say, he wanted to dress like fay wray
    i knew i wanted that that too, but what could I do in junior high school in LA?

  41. My midnight movie fav,, yep im 62 now n did the time warp back in the day,,,Movies So fun ,so many fun people back then,,, the would was good n LOTS OF FUN,,,Miss that now

  42. Engagement Food for Big Al
    I saw it about 35 times between 1980 and 1982, my senior year in high school (and starting at the end of my junior year). Being any kind of weirdo in the stultifying suburbs was rough, and RHPS was, more than just a movie, a place where weirdos of all kinds could find their people. It was very important to me, and will always have a special place in my heart.

  43. In the early 80's my sister had the sound track on cassette and I loved it!
    Boy was I surprised when I saw the movie a few years later, when it came out on VHS!
    Hot patootie, bless my soul! I really love that rock n' roll!

  44. it's my fave movie and truly helped me at embracing my sexuality as a teen! it also helps that I'm rlly into musicals. haven't seen the movie live yet BUT I got to watch a British tour of the musical once and they pretty much recreated the movie for that one 😊 many ppl who saw it flew in from other parts of Europa and participated in the routines, it was sm fun!

  45. I was lucky enough back in the early 90s to see Richard O’Brian perform as Frank in the stage show when it made its annual trip to Liverpool on tour, every year I would go to at lest 2 or 3 or the shows all dressed up and loved it so much. I was in my early teens, had been hooked on the movie since my Mum first let me see it at about 11 or 12 years old. It always felt like going home going to the show.
    Years latter I am now no dreaming it but being it having finally left the closet and living my life as a gay woman, better late than never!
    This year I went to a Halloween screening in Oxford (where I live now) with my LGBTQ+ woman group, we even had a couple of ladies who had never seen its before! Was fantastic, I used the fact I am now wheelchair user to dress as Dr Scott in the floor show, was such a fun costume that was a bit odd at dinner before the show with the people who hadn’t seen it before but everyone loved it 😀.
    The independent cinema that hosted the screening but everything into it, was stunning when RiffRaff flung open the double doors and put out the wheelchair ramp for me!
    I can never say enough great things about Rocky Horror ❣️

  46. This is a B-grade fantasy movie, with laughably bad makeup and acting. Only the cinematography is okay-ish. I don't know this culture of "cult" films. It's best we get rid of it as a genre whole-together. Nowadays, no movies are able to coincide humor and horror in a palpably acceptable way. So, I wouldn't call it "influential" or "important", it's more "unique" than influential. Other than probably "An American Werewolf in London" no other movie has so masterfully re-incorporated humour and horror simultaneously.
    The most important cult movie I think is probably 2001 and Evil Dead 1. Evil Dead 1 is pretty much the template for all other 2000s and 2010s spooky-scary horror films. And 2001 a template for space sci-fi movies.

  47. Well, let's just hope Disney's new found enthusiasm for locking Fox's films into their vault doesn't reach Rocky Horror, it would be a shame to end such a significant tradition after all these years out of company greed.

  48. I was in a cast for 4 years and went this Halloween just to watch. It hasn’t changed since I stopped.
    Btw couldn’t focus on the vid half the time, I was singing to the instrumental music from the film in the background.

  49. In St. Louis many moons ago I was Frankenfurter and performed for a very long time before it kind of died out, but boy did we have full house every Friday and Saturday nights

  50. While this is all true, I think Rocky Horror taps into something even deeper than any of this stuff. I took my dad to see it back in the late 80s, and the next week, he was doing a presentation on it at the Jung Institute next to images of the frescoes from Pompeii's temple of Dionysus. Turns out, Rocky Horror is an exact recreation of an ancient Dionysian coming of age ritual in modern times. Fun facts!!

  51. HEEYYYYY I’m a new fan!! Here in New Zealand we have an exam analysing films with film techniques and cinematography! This year we did The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Unfortunately you don’t have a video about it yet, but if you did it would probably help me tremendously! But anyways, I’m still looking forward for an analysis for Perks even though we’re probably not doing an exam about it anymore.

    ((I’m talking about perks instead of Rocky is because Rocky plays a big part in Perks))

    edit:
    A scene of perks is actually in this movie hahahahahahaha

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