Let’s start with a little movie back ground about yours truly. I have loved the art of film pretty much from birth. I grew up in Hawaii in the late 70’s early 80’s. I was exposed to Clash of the Titans, to which I would leave my brother and cousin in the back row and crawl under the seats all the way to the front row when Medusa would come on-screen and scare the crap out of a little white haired, three-year old. As well as the topic of this particular post The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but more on that later.
I spent most of high school working in local movie theaters. Piece of advice to any young kids, get a job at a theater in high school. Not only do you have a little change in your pockets. There is always something to do or place to go on a date, with the free movie bonus. Fast forward several years, my lovely wife and I decided to move from our home in middle of nowhere Kansas to La La Land Hollywood. Now I mean Hollywood we lived smack dab in the middle of it, in a lovely little studio right between Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Ave. I spent some time working in the vault of Technicolor. Now to a movie buff being surrounded with all that history was euphoric. Holding Original copies of some of film and televisions greats in your hands is something that I really just can’t put in to words. Along this time my wife and I spent years with one of the premiere Rocky Horror Shadow Casts in the world Sins O’ The Flesh. I spent about three years as the head of security, while my wife was the lead Frank N Furter for a while. Yes I was married to a woman playing a man, playing a woman. Let me tell ya the looks we would get driving home at three in the morning through LA with her in the Frank makeup were priceless.
For those unaware or in rocky speak still a virgin. Here is the skinny, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, got it’s start as a play in London, then made the jump to the big screen in 1975. Starring Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N Furter, a sweet transvestite from outer space, who is busy making the perfect man. Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss. A clean-cut couple out to celebrate their recent engagement. When an act of fate and a flat tire brings them to a Gothic mansion on a very special night, the birth a Frank’s creature. Enter the couple to find the domestics of the house with knowing looks and festive folk dancing. Brad and Janet are in for a wild night that will change their outlook on sex, gender and the world in large. Superior support actors, including the writer of the film Richard O’brien, Nell Campbell, Patricia Quinn, and the always entertaining Meatloaf (it’s whats for dinner). The sets are silly, the acting over the top, the music so damn catchy it will stick like a needle in the brain.
Now here is the secret and what makes this one so unique, this movie must be experienced in a theater with a live audience, even better with a shadow cast, which to those who don’t know is a group of people who love a movie so much that they spend their time, money and sanity to learn every minute detail, word, and step in a movie, then proceed to act out of the movie in front of the movie. Sins O’ The Flesh have done a show at midnight every Saturday for well over 25 years at the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica. Think on that for a second folks, a bad movie that tanked in its release, has since become the longest running in theaters, show all over the world at midnight. People whose parents were not born when the film was released, still show up in costume and do the steps. To spend an evening with others who don’t care, what you look like, what color your hair is, how old you are, what your sexual orientation is. They just say welcome to Rocky. Now yes with modern advances, the blu rays and dvds have features that allow you to watch at home and even have audience participation mode on. Which yes go ahead check it out, but don’t sell yourself short go see it with others, get into it, dress up, yell call backs at the screen, dance in the aisles, let your freak flag fly for the night, and just take in how much is possible in the world when you see how an entire packed theater come together and forget all the other bullshit.
So keep an open mind, an open heart, and a smile on your face. Of course if you ever happen to find yourself in Los Angeles on a Saturday night, make your way down to Santa Monica Blvd and The 405. There you will find a hundred people lined up outside a little one screen art theater, dressed in everything from drag to lingerie waiting to find there individual with everyone else. Don’t worry if you don’t know the dance they will teach you, It’s just a jump to the left.