With songs like “Sweet Transvestite” and “Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show is strangely the one rock opera I can still take seriously — it’s also the only one that has held up over time. While I never got caught up in the costumes and the whole cult of it,* I also can’t tell you how many times I went to see it.
Strangely enough, the movie flopped when it first came out. Eventually, when the midnight showings caught on, it would help launch a half dozen careers, including Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, and, yeah, Meatloaf. It’s appeal was obvious — the soundtrack fucking rocked. I remember driving back from a party in Philly one weekend with a carload of friends who belted out the songs as we careened down the turnpike (well, at least until the denouement … we all agreed the musical falls apart toward the end.)
The beginning on the other hand … the first number for “Rocky Horror” is still one of the greatest opening credits of any movie ever: just a red mouth and white teeth chomping in the dark, lip synching to the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” and perfectly setting the mood:
*Ok, I did bring rice. And toast. And maybe a squirt gun. But that’s it.