The iconic 70s movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show, known for its flagrantly erotic scenes and enthusiastically “transexual Transylvanians,” was remade by Fox and aired Oct. 20 with a modernized take that took on the challenge of translating the show-like atmosphere to the television screen. While it does not approach the must-see live performance at the local Plaza theater, the inclusion of all new costumes, sets, and of course, Laverne Cox as Frankenfurter, gives the movie new life and furthers discussion of sexuality begun in a beloved classic.
When entering The Plaza Theater on a Friday night, a “rocky horror virgin” is given the newcomers treatment of a kiss and a bright “V” drawn on their forehead in lipstick. If you don’t expect it, the scruff of a stranger’s lips on your cheek might catch you off guard (I speak from experience.) Meanwhile, the opening of the Fox version allows viewers to relive a similar experience when showing an audience entering a theater, getting snacks, and being seated.
The Plaza experience is interactive throughout. From taking cover with newspaper while Brad and Janet trek through the rain to dancing between the aisles while doing the Time Warp (again), viewers remain wide awake even as 3 a.m. approaches. Throughout the Fox movie, the camera pans back out to a fictional audience, paying tribute to the movie’s live show roots.
One of the best parts of The Plaza is possibly the live performance by the cast right in front of the movie screen. Their costumes are practically exact replicas, and the actors and actresses are completely synchronized with what is happening on screen. Fox took their costumes in a different, conservative direction that is disappointing. While the smothering of provocative clothing is probably necessary for television, the loss is felt by anyone who adores Rocky’s skin-tight boxers.
The highlight of any Rocky Horror viewing, classic or otherwise, is always the entrance of the one and only Frankenfurter. I didn’t think it was possible that anyone could live up to the murderous but scandalously sexy Tim Curry, but Laverne Cox did. She was the shining star of the Fox show. While some of the creep-factor of Curry was lost, she replaced it with a more sensual and beyonce-esque depiction. She was captivatingly beautiful, even when committing questionable crimes (no spoilers).
For old fans of Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Fox version doesn’t exactly do the classic justice, especially when it comes to the barely-clothed homoerotic scenes we all know and love and the hardly replicable feeling of being surrounded by other Rocky Horror enthusiasts. However, hopefully revived hype will pull newcomers into the crazy and cult-like world of the “double feature picture show.” Next time your Friday night schedule is open, consent to having your Rocky Horror cherry popped. Until then, watch the recording of Fox’s depiction, if only to see Cox hold you in antici……pation.
Photo Source: NY Daily News