• Larry

    The multiplexing of movie theaters had nearly made Rocky Horror and the whole midnight movie phenomena, which was big in the 70’s and 80’s, an endangered species. But thanks to the internet, fandom takes on a life of its own in ways not considered in the past.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Whoa, dude, yare right; you were a prude in those days.

    But we all should consider just who the RHPS regulars are: sensitive, plucky people of an artistic bent – IOW folks like those who take the Beatitudes seriously, to mix testaments there a little.

    Now, contrast that with the fascist notion of “Muscular Christianity” and its adherents’ emotional connection to NFL Football.

    I would sure rather any son of mine would group to be like the RHPC crowd than the devotees of violent sports – or as Margaret Cho said, “Who wouldn’t want a gay kid? That way, if there’s a school shooting, you’ll know right away it wasn’t him, because it would interfere with Yearbook.”

  • Jack

    To me, RHPS tells us something about American pop culture: Sure, the sights and sounds appear decadent, but the reality of life on the ground in America — in actual cities, towns, and states — is remarkable unchanged.

    In other words, when it comes to decadence, America’s bark is worse than its bite. (sorry for the unfortunate imagery arising from that….)

    The way Americans behave isn’t much different from a half century ago. In fact, by every measure, kids today are more wholesome than their counterparts in the 1970s and 1980s.

    So that’s why we can look back at Rocky Horror Picture Show and laugh, especially at audiences and their rituals. It has little to do with reality. It’s had zero effect on how people live.

    And that’s why RHPS doesn’t bother us. It’s not that we’re less prudish. It’s that if you view it as prophecy, the prophecy never came to pass. Imagery aside, America remains the same.

  • Larry

    The “decadence” in RHPS was damn mild even by mid-1970’s standards. They show it on basic cable these days. If you were bothered by it, you were easily bothered.

    This was the era of some of the most violent, gory, sexually explicit mainstream films hitting theaters. The era of “grindhouse” films that are homaged by Quentin Tarantino and co.

    The staying power of the film comes from the deliberate subversion of film watching. The audience responds back to the terrible on-screen jokes, stagey acting, terrible writing and a few genuinely decent modern rock-style show tunes. Essentially the audience saying, “your film is terrible, but endearing. We are having fun with it on our terms”.

    Americans were never as “wholesome” as their culture portrayed them to be. Culture is less broad and mainstream-oriented as it was in the past and become more niche. People are no different in terms of decadent/prudish than they were in the past.

  • Jack

    To say that “Americans were never as ‘wholesome’ as their culture portrayed them to be” is obviously true, but it’s a truth that’s been pretty much beaten to death for nearly a half century. It may have been bold or daring to say it in 1955, but today it’s like saying that wearing a beanie hat with a propeller, along with Bermuda shorts, white socks, and wingtips isn’t cool.

    It richly deserves a “well, duh” reaction.

    The more interesting fact worth repeating is that America is nowhere near as decadent as the worst of pop culture portrays it as being. Again, it is remarkably unchanged, and arguably better than in the decade after the late 1960s.