October 24, 1995
Web posted at: 9 a.m. EDT
From Correspondent Dennis Michael
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- It really is starting to become a time warp for "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The only "audience participation" motion picture celebrated its 20th anniversary in Hollywood this weekend...and a celebration it was.
Sure, it's only a movie -- in the same way World War II was only a difference of opinion. The movie musical that inspired countless midnight act-alongs, dress-alongs and sing-alongs celebrated at the outrageous Pantageous Theatre in Hollywood -- and the crowd looked the part.
Hollywood is a strange town. It's a town where a hit can make millions of dollars, and a flop can induce thousands of men to try on corsets. It's something they don't tell you about in film school."
"Rocky Horror" costs $900,000 to make, a modest sum even in 1975, and seemed to be a flop in its initial theatrical run. But in 20 years of cult screenings, it's grossed an estimated $160 million, not to mention the financial boom for the corset and fishnet stockings industries.
For these people , it's not just a movie. It's a way of life.
"A lot of it has to do with the camaraderie that develops between the people who go to see it every week, so it's very family," said Lou Adler, producer of the film. "As weird as everybody might look or not look, they're all really good people having a good time ( 183K AIFF sound or 183K WAV sound)."
But why would people see the same film hundreds of times -- never mind dressing up as the film's main characters? "Rocky Horror's creator, who also played Riff Raff in the film, has a theory.
"I got a feeling that it's a root story, a fable, a fairy tale, that we all recognize subliminally perhaps," said Richard O'Brien. "And consequently we don't mind hearing it again and again and again."
"I don't know," said Patricia Quinn -- Magenta, Riff Raff's paramour in the movie. "It's all sex -- dare I say drugs -- and rock and roll. Sex, ultimately, I think."
Although there were hundreds of impersonators of the infamous Dr. Frank-N-Furter ( 35K AIFF sound or 35K WAV sound), the original actor, Tim Curry, gave the 20th anniversary celebration a pass.
"I think that me turning up is kind of a grim anti-climax," Curry said. "And I think that he should just have the life that he was meant to have. I think having a wrinkly actor show up 20 years after is a little old, really."
And get on with it they did, with make-up help, air-brushed tattoos, a karaoke contest, a costume contest, and even a lips-across-the-ocean multi-cultural offering by a Japanese "Rocky Horror" group.
But no one was allowed to hold center stage spotlight for long. This is, after all, a movie that the audience has dragged off the screen -- and made its own ( 51K AIFF sound or 51K WAV sound) .
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