“So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab. I see you shiver with antici-(SAY IT!)-pation.”
There is no way to describe a true Rocky Horror Picture Show or to ever forget it. This Halloween, ECLA of Bard’s film professor Matthias Hurst hosted a “Spooktacular” movie night for the students, consisting of Tim Burton’s Vincent, Frank Oz’s musical Little Shop of Horrors (a movie based upon the play based upon a movie) and Jim Sharman’s Rocky Horror Picture Show. Around 19:30, students began to slowly mill into the lecture hall where bowls of marshmallows, gummies and glasses of juice awaited them. All seemed like a normal Halloween evening: the juice was called “blood”, the gummies were in the shapes of skeletons and empty marshmallow bowls revealed ghost designs. Yet something was slightly off…
…It might have been the various students dressed in corsets, fishnets, drag and marked by dark red lipstick.
For those who have never experienced Rocky Horror Picture Show, there truly is nothing like it. After its not-so-well received release in 1975, Rocky Horror went on to become the longest running film in film history, still played in cinemas every week all around the U.S. Although its tribute to horror B movies and science fiction films was not highly accepted by the public, its debut as a “midnight movie” in 1977 put this film on the map and transformed it into the interactive show that it is today. Unlike most movies people go to see at the cinema, Rocky Horror consists of a Shadow Cast, actors who silently act out the film in front of the movie playing on a big screen; the Rocky Horror games – humiliating games for the “Rocky Horror Virgins” or those who have never been to the show before; various props to throw throughout the movie; Audience Participation (otherwise known as inappropriate jokes added to increase audience enjoyment); and, of course – dressing up.
While the Rocky Horror tradition has not fully made its way into any cultures outside of the U.S. and Britain, ECLA’s own Rocky Horror Picture Show turned this year’s Halloween into a whole new experience. Students from all different countries dressed up for the occasion and participated in our own Rocky Horror games. Jokes were shouted at the screen, songs were sung, we did the Time Warp again, and by the end of the night, a whole room of students walked out no longer Rocky Horror Virgins.
I can remember every detail of my first Rocky Horror Picture Show and I can only hope that our little ECLA edition was as memorable (preferably a pleasant memory) as the day I lost my Rocky Horror Virginity. From the costumes to the shout outs, Rocky Horror creates its own way of life with all of the quirks and craziness of a mildly insane person. So, if there is any little part of you with a tinge of insanity that loves to dance the Time Warp again and again and again and then one more time shout “let’s do the Time Warp again”, then go to Rocky Horror Picture Show where every freak flag flown is loved and appreciated.