In celebration of FOX’s Rocky Horror Remake, here’s a few thoughts from Kayla on this famous cult classic.
I recently got engaged, and one of the questions I got asked was, “are you going to throw rice?” I replied, “Hell, no! I’ve had rice stuck in a corset before and cleaning it up is not fun!” My friend then gave me one of those looks, the one that simultaneously says “Why?” “How?” And “I don’t want to know.” I explained that part of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) shadow cast experience is throwing rice, and when I’d get home and changed, I would have to bend to a 90 degree angle, to try and catch most of the rice in the corset, and then still vacuum dried rice up weeks later.
Silly anecdote aside, this story made me realize that being a RHPS fan in my teens was integral to who I am as an adult for many reasons. From attending RHPS shadow casts on a semi-regular basis, I learned how to be okay with me, I learned how to brush off haters, and most importantly, gained a sense of belonging and acceptance.
RHPS is one part science fiction spoof, one part statement on sexuality and identity. Through the cheesy, horrendous SCI-FI premise (a couple’s car dies, they go to a castle to find a phone, and get thrown into the middle of a science experiment reveal/celebration), there is also a deeper plot. Dr. Frank N. Furter, the transvestite from transsexual Transylvania, came to earth for vague, abstract reasons, but stayed because he found admiration and acceptance. One of his most famous lines, “Don’t dream it, be it,” was a line I took to heart. To me it said that I can be the person on the outside that I am on the inside. It’s what gave me the courage to wear a peasant skirt and boho blouse one day, and red fishnets and combat boots the next.
RHPS is full of characters like me, who are different. I love that because Magenta, who is dark and sarcastic, can be best friends with Columbia, who is all pep and sincerity. There is a character who all fans can connect with, and that draws a uniquely diverse fanbase. When beginning adulthood, 18 year olds are thrown into college where they have classes with people of all ages. They get retail jobs where they interact with and work with people from all walks of life. Going to see RHPS prepared me for building relationships with people very unlike me. I found people of all ages, genders, sexualities, and cultures that valued this movie as highly as I do, and that’s all it took to start some pretty serious friendships.
My hope is that as we near Halloween and more “virgins” come out to see Rocky Horror, they also learn what the gender spectrum and sexual fluidity are and why these identities matter so much. I hope that people attend shadowcasts, actors performing the roles in front of the movie, and see people of all sizes, shapes, and colors play these iconic roles. I hope that Rocky Horror continues to enlighten adolescents and help them see the world with open eyes.
What do you think of Rocky Horror? Tells us your thoughts on the remake and the original below!