Welcome to day seven of MONSTER-MONTH here at THE GOODS!
The month when we take a harder look at the FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER and his many interpretations over the years, well thirty-one of them anyway.
Tonight we feature Rocky Horror from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. He is quite unlike any Monster ever created by a Frankenstein, in fact, he’s actually a creation of Doctor Frank-N-Furter (played immortally by Tim Curry). Dr. Frank-N-Furter is a Transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania and he also happens to have discovered the “secret to life itself”.
The viewer is led into the world of Rocky Horror by a newly-engaged couple by the name of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who find themselves lost one stormy late November evening. They seek shelter at a nearby castle and walk right into the Annual Transylvanian Convention.
There they meet Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his servants Riff Raff, his sister/lover Magenta and a groupie named Columbia. Rocky Horror is brought to life.
The creation is an Adonis as played by Peter Hinwood. Rocky has golden hair a body sculpted from stone. This “Monster” more closely resembles a god or at the very least an ideal male. In the world of Rocky Horror, this makes a strange sort of sense as they’re looking at the world through gothic lenses, as opposed to the ones the original Frankenstein was invisioning for his creation. Had Rocky Horror arisen from the slab in Frankenstein’s castle, he would’ve gladly accepted the creature into his heart and hearth.
There is something OVERWHEMINGLY familiar to me when seeing the creation “Rocky Horror” for the first time and I’m sure I have this reaction merely because I am a comic book reader and more specifically, a THOR/FANTASTIC FOUR reader.
Does Rocky not eerily resemble Adam Strange in his earliest incarnation, when he was known only as HIM?
I didn’t think so.
And being that the film was released in 1975 and the first appearance of Adam Warlock was in 1969, well let’s just guess that there could be a visual influence.
(Adam Warlock will be featured later this MONSTER-MONTH as one of the interpretations of Frankenstein that I wanted to spotlight.)
Anyway, Eddie, an ex-delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky and Columbia’s lover, rides in out of a deep freeze on a motorcycle in a jealous rage. Frank kills Eddie with an ice axe. Frank then leaves the couple and takes Rocky with him to a bridal suite near the laboratory.
Later Brad and Janet are both seduced by Frank when he impersonates each of them to the other. Janted then wanders off, upset and discovers that her fiance is with Frank. She stumbles upon Rocky in his birthing tank hiding from Riff Raff. Janet ends up bedding Rocky as Magenta and Columbia watch.
Dr. Everett Scott has arrived, he is Brad and Janet’s old High School science teacher and he has come looking for his nephew, Eddie. Frank, however, suspects that he investigates UFOs for the government. Frank then makes the connection that Brad and Janet may be investigators as well.
Hijinks ensue and I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you, my fair reader, but I will let you in on the fact that there are battles waged, killings made, songs sung and a UFO Castle blast-off!
It doesn’t follow the typical plotline of a Frankenstein picture, but the elements that are there are certainly there because of the existence of the Monster and his story.
FIVE FRANKENSTEIN FUN FACTS:
1) THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is considered the longest-running release in film history as it has never been pulled by 20th Century Fox from it’s original 1975 release.
2) When the film was screened at midnight, starting in New York City on April Fool’s Day of 1976 at the Waverly Theater, it began it’s climb to cult classic. By that Halloween, people were showing up in costume and repeating the dialog back to the screen.
3) TRHPS was shot in the Hammer style and even used Bray Studios and Oakley Court, a country home in Berkshire, England, a Castle known for a handful of Hammer films.
4) Vincent Price was offered the role of the Criminologist, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. He had been interested as he had seen the West End musical and loved it.
5) Peter Hinwood couldn’t sing, so a session singer was used for Rocky Horror’s part. Hinwood mimed the vocals during filming. In post-production, Hinwood’s speaking voice was replaced by Trevor White, and Australian actor/singer. Hinwood’s actual voice does not appear in the film, he’s just a pretty face.
While I have your attention, there are a few films of note that will be playing over at TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES that you may want to know about.
Remember, these are LATE Sunday night and EARLY Monday morning…
Late Sunday, October 7/Early Monday, October 8, 2012
2:30am - NOT AGAINST THE FLESH (aka VAMPYR) (1932)
A tale of a young traveler staying in a sinister castle inhabited by an elderly vampire.
6am - DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932)
Fredric March in the title roles as the Doctor who tries to remove his impulsive dark side from his noble side--thus dooming both.