I attended my first showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a tiny baby in a car seat. My parents were diehard RHPS enthusiasts from the beginning, so naturally, they just brought me along. That being said, I grew up kind of sheltered and I didn’t officially watch the movie until I was 19 or 20. By then, my folks weren’t as into it anymore. Thankfully, I had cool friends that taught me the ropes. Now, I’ll help you, young Transylvanian.
FIRST: What the heck is RHPS, anyway?
It’s a musical comedy horror spoof movie from the 70’s. It got the “what the eff” reception in theaters, blossoming into a campy, cult phenomenon. The basic plot is that a goody-goody, newly engaged couple goes on a weekend trip. Their car breaks down on a dark, wooded road during a storm. They get out of the car to find a house to borrow a phone, whereupon they stumble upon Dr. Frankenfurter’s castle. Shenanigans ensue. Go watch the movie, I’ll wait.
OKAY, do you get it? It’s a goofy piece of ridiculousness. Now, it gets better when you dress up as your fave character, take some props and go to a big screen showing with a shadowcast (people in costume who act along with the movie). Go here to find a shadowcast showing near you!
Here’s a shopping list for the major characters, from easier to more difficult to obtain. I’ll list a couple for funsies, too. Keep in mind, the thrift store is your friend!
Brad (look: wholesome)
-white dress shirt
-dark dress pants
-”charming underclothes” (white tank undershirt, belly button skimming tighty-whities, tall black dress socks)
-black glasses (like Clark Kent)
-old guy dress shoes
-white dress shirt
-blue sweater vest
-tan “members only” jacket
Janet (look: wholesome)
-little pink dress
-”charming underclothes” (white full-coverage bra, white granny panties, white knee-length slip)
Eddie (look: chubby Elvis/greaser)
-leather vest/jacket OR denim jacket with the sleeves cut off
-thin white scarf
-head wound 😉
-knuckle tattoos: LOVE and HATE
–BONUS POINTS for a saxophone
Magenta (look: deranged)
-french maid outfit
-big poofy red hair
-pasty face/dark eyes/dark lips
Riff Raff (look: also deranged)
-too-short tux jacket with tails
-stained white shirt buttoned at bottom or white vest sans shirt
-too-short black pants
-epic power donut: bald top, long crazy sides
-crazy under-eye circles
Criminologist (look: old bourgeois white guy)
-fancy gray jacket
-wing collar shirt
-extreme side part hairdo
-no effing neck!
Dr Scott (look: intellectual older guy)
-lap blanket (remember, Dr Scott uses a wheelchair)
-BONUS POINTS: wheelchair, fishnet stockings under the lap blanket
Frank AKA Dr Frank N Furter (look: super hot transvestite)
-black fishnet stockings
-fingerless long black gloves
-some serious pumps
-wild face o’ makeup. Think contoured drag makeup. Don’t forget the bright red lips!
Columbia (look: colorful deranged showgirl)
-striped shiny shorts
-gold top hat
-gold jacket w/ tails
-crazy bright hair
Rocky (look: beefcake)
Now that you’re properly attired, let’s talk about what you do with yourself during the show.
There are key points throughout the film where it will become apparent that you are to interact with the onscreen action and other filmgoers. One way is through props.
PLEASE check with the theater before roaring in with your props bag. Not every venue appreciates rice and toilet paper flying everywhere!
Here’s a basic list:
–Rice (for throwing during wedding scene)
–Newspaper (to cover your head when Brad and Janet get out of the car into the rain)
–Water Gun (to simulate rain during said storm. Good thing you brought your newspaper 😉
–Flashlight (during song “Over at the Frankenstein Place” there’s a line that says “There’s a light…” Turn it on then.)
–Rubber Gloves (during creature reveal, Frank snaps his gloves. Snap yours too.)
–Party Horns / Noisemakers (when the partygoers cheer after Frank’s speech, toot your horn/make some noise.)
–Toilet Paper (Dr Scott appears in the lab, Brad hollers out, “Great Scott!!!” Throw the TP then.)
–Toast (Frank proposes a toast at dinner. Toss the toast!)
–Party Hats (Frank puts one on to celebrate Rocky’s birthday. Put yours on too.)
–Deck of Cards(During song “I’m coming home,” Frank sings a line “Cards for sorrow/Cards for pain…” Make it rain cards.)
You can also interact with the film action and the other filmgoers by hollering at the screen. There is no one set of “callbacks” to remember, though there are plenty of standard ones. Honestly, if it’s your first time to see RHPS, I wouldn’t get too caught up in trying to do callbacks. Just sit back and enjoy! If you feel like you have to know before you go, there’s a few scripts over here.
Okay, guys. I think we’re ready. Comment with your questions, musings, and happy RHPS memories!
OKC Area Nerdship: The Boom (OKC) is doing showings every Friday and Saturday in October with a special showing Halloween night, and Sooner Theater (Norman) hosts a Halloween night showing (my personal fave!!!). Come say Hi, I’ll be the girl dressed like Walter from The Big Lebowski! 😀
*photos are either stills from the film or from the internet. If one of the images is yours and you don’t want it up here, let us know.