“Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the type of film that simultaneously needs no introduction while also needing a ton of explanation as to why it’s such a beloved film.
See, I never fully understood what it means to be a “cult classic” until I attended my first interactive showing of the film when the film was shown on campus Saturday in the TSAR.
A lot of people who are aware of what this screenings are like, yet have never attended one, know about some of the milder participation moments such as throwing rice and toast about the room at specific moments. It was all of the bits of dialogue spouted from various die-hard fans in the crowd that made the experience so bizarre.
Most of the crowd’s shouts added to the experience of the night, even if some of them were a bit cringe-worthy. Either way, the devotion and specific knowledge needed to fully participate in the event is one worth admiring.
Seeing all of these oddball individuals come together to celebrate the macabre zaniness that accompanies “Rocky Horror” is an endearing sight to see.
The first moment that really made me think of this audience as a cult was the moment when Tim Curry’s illustrious Dr. Frankenfurter appeared on the screen. Up until that point, there was rarely a moment in the film where the audience wasn’t chiming in with their humorous little quips and interjections.
However, when Curry hit the screen jumping into his famous rendition of “Sweet Transvestite,” for the first time all night, there was a prolonged moment of silence, as if the audience knew to respect the sanctity that is Curry’s unforgettable performance.
It was at that moment I realized fully that this is not “just a film” to these people. To them, “Rocky Horror” is a means of celebrating the bizarre and the unconventional, something that they themselves feel defines part of their existence.
Now, I’m speaking for a whole group of people here, but it’s difficult to deny the jubilant electricity ricocheting through the crowd as the night unfolded, making this cult one of the happiest, most accepting groups out there.