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How to rock at ‘Rocky Horror’
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is arguably the most well known cult movie of the past forty years. If not the most well known, it is definitely one of the most. If you haven’t seen it yet, where have you been? RHPS is a Halloween staple, as well as the longest running theatrical release in film history. The movie still gets show in theaters at least once a year, if not weekly or monthly in other (cooler, more well informed) parts of the country. In Birmingham, it is shown once a year around Halloween at the Alabama Theater. Maybe you’ve been, maybe you haven’t, and maybe you’re dying to go but don’t know the proper Rocky protocol. Well babies, don’t you panic. This guide to the Rocky Horror Picture Show will have you ready for the floor show in no time.
1. Watch the movie once, then watch the movie again.
Maybe you’re under the impression that keeping yourself “pure” for the showing will create a more magical experience. Oh, you silly little Rocky virgin! No, please watch the movie at home. Knowing the movie’s plot, lines, songs, and characters, will help you out a great deal at the showing. This movie is very interactive, but you must know where the appropriate scenes are and when interactions are expected. That will lead us to looking up call back lines and prop lists. But it’s important to note, if you are not already aware, that Rocky Horror Picture Show is not for the closed minded. If you are down with cross dressing, sex scenes (of the non graphic variety), and “boil in the bag perversion” as Tim Bisley calls it, you are not going to be freaked out by this movie. If you’re sexually squeamish, keep on walking.
2. Look up the call back lines.
This is part of what makes these RHPS showings so famous! You can find scripts of audience participation lines at various sites dedicated to the movie, including rockyhorror.org. Now, these texts can be pretty overwhelming and you are not expected to learn each and every one of them. The most standard call back lines are shouting out the word “a**hole” when Brad Majors introduces himself or his full name is said, and the word “slut” when Janet Weiss is introduced or her full name is said. These lines will get you through the movie just fine. Also, the wonderful movie introduction right after the 20th Century Fox logo appears: “A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, God said ‘let there be lips!’ and there were, and it was good!” Yes, you know you’re in for a fun time after that.
3. Gather your props.
Even more exciting than the call back lines is throwing things at the screen! Where else is this acceptable? There are props that can be used that correspond to scenes in the movie, and you can look up an extensive list of all those things online and when to use them. I will list the most popular props here just to entice you: uncooked rice to throw during the opening wedding scene (but not at the actors on stage!), a newspaper to put over your head like Janet does when she steps out into the rain (use an old issue of the Kaleidoscope!), a small water gun you can squirt to simulate the rain, party hats and noise makers during Frank-N-Furter’s creation speech, toilet paper to throw during Dr. Scott’s arrival, and unbuttered toast to throw when Frank proposes a toast at dinner.
Put these props in a grocery bag to take with you to the theatre and know exactly when they are needed. Now you know why it is so important to watch the movie beforehand!
4. Learn the Time Warp.
It’s just a jump to the left and a step to the right. Put your hands on your hips are bring your knees in tight! It’s an easy dance to do, and you DO NOT want to be the only person in their seat during this song! Watch this scene as much as possible to master the moves including the turns.
5. Get your costume ready.
Chances are if you are not a seasoned Rocky Horror-er, you will probably not be going as a character. That’s ok, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up as something else! There is a costume contest before events get started, so enter that for fabulous prizes, and it does not have to be RHPS related.
If nothing else, you can go in your fanciest lingerie. It doesn’t matter if you’re female or male, bone-skinny or covered in flesh rolls, put on a corset and fishnet stockings and you will be worshipped as a beautiful queen. Or if you rather, king. Seriously, this is the time for you to lose your inhibitions: don a feather boa, dance with strangers, throw food around (but don’t get mean about it), shout swear words at the screen, have fun!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be showing at The Alabama Theatre on Friday, October 26th. Check the theater’s website for info, included props that will be allowed into the building, costume contest times, and tickets.
Senior Staff Writer