Arts and Entertainment

Rocky Horror Redux — really?

Dr. Frank-n-Furter and Riff Raff in the original
Dr. Frank-n-Furter and Riff Raff in the original 'Rocky Horror.'
— image credit: File Photo

Not in Port Orchard, The Orchard plans its first midnight showing of the cult classic, Oct. 11

 Leave it to MTV.

I’ll leave it at that.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a film that never really needed a sequel, let alone a remake. It’s a B-movie so beguilingly bad that its deliciously good. It’s more of an experience than a mere movie. It’s the type of thing that some people remember most from their teenage years.

The film (which started as a stage show in 1973) is probably just as well known for the antics of its audience as it is for the pale-faced, broad-shouldered Tim Curry wearing bright red lipstick and a black leather corset as the flamboyantly gender-bending Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

It’s the longest running cinematic release of all time.

Made on a $1.2 million budget, the movie has grossed more than $140 million domestically since its 1975 release, spawning an entire culture of Rocky Horror fiends dressing up and reveling in the bewitchingly awkward movie musical oddity at midnight screenings across the nation.

It could be possibly be the ultimate cult classic — so endearing it’s garnered legions of dedicated fans, but still too weird for the mainstream to ever embrace.

Now word has it — in an article posted by Variety in July — that MTV is planning to remake Rocky Horror as a two-hour-packaged made-for-TV movie, using the original screenplay and a new cast — “but may also include music not featured in the original,” the article read.

Skimp on details, the article notes that Lou Alder, the executive producer of the original film, is partnering with mainstream media giants BermanBraun and Fox Television Studios for the time warp remake.

No casting decisions or timetables had been made, though Alder said he was hoping for release next Halloween. The IMDb has it slated for 2010.

In the weeks following the Variety article’s release, the blogosphere was ablaze with rants against the remake. Original Rocky Horror actors Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick have reportedly scorned it as well. Petitions have been circulated, collecting more than 16,000 signatures thus far, and there’s even a dedicated “anti- MTV Web site at www.stoptheremake.com.

In an interview with the BBC, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” creator Richard O’Brien — the man who wrote the book, the music and the lyrics and played Riff-Raff in the show — was quoted as saying that while he has no view on whether or not it should be remade, he won’t be involved in any way with the remake, and it does not have his blessing.

All of which points to the oft-ignored, yet seemingly simple moral rule of cinema — don’t mess with the classics.

The Historic Orchard Theatre in Port Orchard has taken heed and will be losing its RHPS virginity, showing the original “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at a one-night-only midnight screening Oct. 11. For tickets, show time and more information, go to www.orchardtheater.com.

And also check out the annual Rocky Horror Halloween feature at Bainbridge Cinemas on Allhallow’s Eve —  for details on that, go to www.bainbridgepavilion.com.

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