A flash of skin exposed by the rip of a stocking, a bare arm
speckled with goose bumps from the cold, a man’s dark leg hair
protruding from the holes of fishnets attract a passer-by’s
attention to the mostly decked-out-in-black crowd populating State
Street. The occasion for the scantily clad women and cross-dressing
men?

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Every weekend before Halloween, the preppy khakis and Michigan
hoodies usually frequenting State Street are replaced by the black
make-up and fishnet stockings waiting in line outside the State
Theater. People buy tickets in advance and still arrive at 11 p.m.
for a midnight showing to wait in the cold.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” first premiered in 1975, after
the play had become an underground success in England and LA.
Unfortunately, the movie bombed. Like many box-office failures,
“Rocky Horror,” began establishing a cult following. Theaters
noticed the same devout fans returning again and again to watch the
film, and in 1976 “Rocky Horror” was released as a midnight movie.
Soon audience members were dressing up for the shows, throwing
objects at the screen, shouting things in unison and dancing the
Time Warp, which lead to the formation of a core group of “actors”
that mime the movie on a stage while the movie is projected behind
them.

Twenty-seven years later, “Rocky Horror” still reigns as the
king of midnight movies. The film, which both parodies and pays
homage to the campiest of horror/sci-fi flicks, is not a
particularly good film. But at the same time, its overt sexuality
and unpretentious camp make it somehow endearing. It wants only to
entertain, to have fun, and it succeeds in its goal. The way it
plays with gender and sexuality also makes it appealing and makes
it a very important film. “I think it rocks – it breaks social
barriers and taboos and says there’s nothing you can’t be,” says
Jamie Eldrett, LSA Junior. “It pushes the borders of sexuality and
says people should be comfortable with who they really are. It’s
cool that it appeals to the general public too; it’s a very healthy
attitude on sexuality that it conveys to the public.”

“Yeah, with songs entitled ‘Transsexual from Transylvania’ and
‘Dammit, Janet,’ how can you not love it?” asks Steve Cunningham,
LSA Senior.

Plus, the hilarious live show and the rowdy crowd make the
experience even more entertaining. “Last year, the guy at the door
drew a big V [for “virgin,” someone who has never experienced
‘Rocky Horror’ before] with bright red lipstick on my forehead,”
recalls Yu-Chen Hu, LSA senior, “and I got a bracelet that says
‘Pop My Cherry.’ It was pretty cool. I also loved the energy and
the atmosphere. Everyone was so enthusiastic and uninhibited. It
was great!”

So, if you are looking for something to do this weekend and
enjoy transvestites, musicals, or even just wearing lots of makeup,
celebrate Halloween early at the State Theater with “The Rocky
Horror Picture Show.”

 

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