Last night, I revisited an old cult classic. The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
You remember, right ?
I hadn’t seen it since my late teens, and I was expecting a good laugh, a few roll of the eyes from my Polish boy, and a quick jump for the remote.
What I did not foresee, was the effect this corky, campy, all-together marvelously insane movie would have on us both. Queer people of the world: you HAVE to indulge yourself once more and give this movie another look. With fresh thirty, forty-something eyes. What a revelation ! The version we downloaded was the original one, with a few extra scenes I had not previously seen.
When Tim Curry steps out of the iron-wrought elevator singing, “I’m a sweet transvestite,” clicking his heels, batting his eyelashes, I held my mouth, watching, mesmerized by his performance. All through the movie, his passion and unflinching portrait of seductive madness, elevates this work, which, in all fairness, should have been a farce. But instead of squirming embarrassingly as I had done many years a go, I sat and gasped at his talent–his raw appeal.
Yes, they are weak moments in the film. “Tatatatouch me”, is undoubtedly one of them. Yet, one cannot help to enjoy Susan Surandon’s ample bosom falling out of clean white bra. The premise is still today, one if the most original plots brought to the screen, and the cast is something right off an Andy Warhol’s drug induced dream. Medusa and Riff-Raff ( played by O’Brien who wrote the musical ) are a pair I would love to have over for drinks any time, any day. Little Nell is delicious in her stockings and top hat, but it was Curry, always Curry my eyes were drawn to.
As a bisexual girl, I celebrate in this character unabashed sexual power. He seduces both Janet and Brad with humor and folly. A bisexual transvestite, who could ask for a more avant-garde character today ?
And it occurs to me: have we, as queer folk, lost the ability to laugh at ourselves ? There is so much “politically incorrect” aspects to the film, yet, the message is more powerful than most “serious” gay/bi/lez films I have seen lately. Does it always have to be about anguish or positive affirmation ? Movies such as Milk and Brokeback Mountain are indispensable, I agree, but can we throw in a few laughs in there as well ?
Movies like “La cage aux folles“, and “Rocky Horror“, serve their purpose and go far beyond !
I say, write a musical about Drag Kings whose quest for the perfect woman hurls them into a dizzying, mad plot ! More camp, less frowns.
Tim Curry, we salute you.