Charles Gray welcomes us
I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey...


Prince Charles Cinema 7 Leicester Pl London WC2H 7BY


Friday 31st October 2014

Pretty much the grandaddy of all cult films, 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' became more of an interactive event than a stand- alone movie very soon after its release.

American college kids, gripped by a desire to leap into the 'don't dream it, be it' ethos of the mid '70s, got dragged up and generally horrified their parents, and, in doing so, transformed the movie into a hit, albeit a belated one.

Detached from the historical hoopla, you'd expect the film to be a bit on the time-withered side, but in fact it's stood the test of over a quarter of a century pretty well. The tunes are as loopily catchy as ever, Sharman's direction is zippy and the movie looks much bigger than the £1.5 million it cost.

But the powerhouse of the film is Tim Curry's cross-dressing alien, Frank N. Furter, who would never reach these kinds of gloriously demented heights again.

Simply a cult classic. See it once and laugh about it at dinner parties for the rest of your adult life. Or go along to the interactive viewings, dress up, and sing along. It's your call.

Empire Four star rating

All-American couple Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and fianceé Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) decide to visit their old professor. Unfortunately, their car breaks down outside a sinister house, and they are forced to stay the night. Inside the house Brad and Janet find a world filled with subversive sexuality.

The film itself is filled with great tunes and a slightly loopy plot. So it's just like your common-or-garden musical in that way. Where the film really takes off is in its subversion of sexual mores as Brad and Janet break free from their normality.

Richard O'Brien created "The Rocky Horror Show" for the London stage, and in addition to writing duties also shows up as butler Riff Raff. But the film belongs to Tim Curry as cross-dressing scientist Frank N Furter.

And if you've seen it so many times that you're tired of singing along, you can gain new thrills by seeing it at the cinema and entering the world of audience participation. Dress up! Throw rice! Squirt water pistols! Shout at the screen and enter conversations with the characters in the film! Many claim that audience participation is the essence of the Rocky Horror experience, and the film itself merely an excuse for this mayhem.

Will it appeal to everyone? Certainly not. But for those willing to experiment with something a little bit different, a little bit outré, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" has a lot to offer.