Geoff ‘Hollywood’ Bokuniewicz: ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’

Here’s a movie you should all go see: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Seeing as how you all got into Maryville College, I would hope that this is redundant advice for everyone. But after talking with many friends (some are now ex-friends), I’ve learned that a whole lot of you have never seen it.
Damn it, Janet!

This is a travesty that must be rectified. The movie, starring Tim Curry (some of us video game nerds might recognize the voice as belonging to Howe from “Dragon Age”) and Susan Sarandon, is the literal definition of a cult classic. It’s so popular that there are theaters that have been continually playing the movie since its release in 1975. Not even the original “Star Wars” or “Gone With The Wind” has had that much love.

The movie is essentially a send-up and satire of the old-school horror and science fiction movies–think “Giant Gila Monster” or “The Fly” or “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”. It was made to be intentionally bad but in the best way possible. The actors and singers commit so fully to their roles that you can’t help but get wrapped up in the earnestness of the comedy. It has Meat Loaf in it, for Pete’s sake!

Here’s all you need to know: a young couple’s car breaks down near a castle. They go to look for a telephone and meet the oddest cast of characters you can think of. Insanity ensues. There’s singing. There’s dancing. There’s deep exploration of sexual norms and practices through satire and gender-bending. Screw “Hamlet.” We ought to teach this in high school, day one.

I know that you’re interest is piqued, especially if you’ve never seen it. Luckily, you have an opportunity to see it the way it’s meant to be seen. It’s playing at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville on Oct. 19, and going to a public viewing of the movie is an experience that everyone has to do at least once. At live showings, people shout back lines at the screen, throw stuff, and almost everyone is in costume. There’s even a ceremony for Rocky Horror “virgins,” in which you experience a mixture of public humiliation and adulation, all in good fun.

I’m not sure when another opportunity is going to come around. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll get to see one of the best movies ever made. It’s a unique movie, too. Say what you want about “Citizen Kane” or “The Godfather” or “8 ½,” but those are all movies, essentially two-dimensional representations of human life.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is wholly three-dimensional, especially at the live shows. It’s more of a shared communal experience than it is a movie. It’s part theatre and part photography and part professional wrestling, quite frankly.

How could you not like it?

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