Back in the 1980s, I used to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue. I wasn’t one of those people who went every weekend, but I probably saw it maybe a dozen times.
In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t dress up. There wasn’t any single character I wanted to be. My personality was pretty much Brad, but my body type ran more to Eddie. And when you come right down to it, I kind of admired Riff Raff — he was a faithful handyman, and throughout it all he kept his cool and stayed on mission. (Unlike many of my friends, I actually knew the film had a plot.) In the face of that indecision, making a costume just seemed like too much work.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking for a while that somebody should do a remake, if only to give it some modern production values. I know it’s supposed to be cheesy, but dear God those special effects are awful. I was pretty interested when I heard that Fox was planning a new made-for-TV version of Rocky Horror, but I stayed away from reading much about it because I knew it would be controversial among the fans, and I just don’t want to read endless complaints and bickering about every choice from casting to choreography. So maybe it will be fun, or maybe it will suck, or (worst of all) maybe it will just be mediocre, but I’m still looking forward to seeing it when it airs this Thursday night.
I did however stumble across a preview clip of the title sequence from the new version, and they’ve brought back Trixie from the play. She’s a movie theater usherette who sings the opening number, “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” to set up the frame that the rest of the play is supposed to be imagined as a cheesy low-budget B-movie. Richard O’Brien wanted to keep Trixie in the film, but it would have been too expensive, and since Rocky Horror was an actual low-budget B-grade movie, the frame wasn’t as important, so they saved a lot of money by just filming the now-iconic floating lips. Although this version of Rocky Horror is based on the film, not the play, I guess they decided to put Trixie back in because that’s how it was originally intended to be.
(Also, it’s rumored that much of the cost of the original opening was obtaining the rights to images from all the films that it references, and nowadays, even though they’re all science fiction classics, Rocky Horror is probably more famous than most of them.)
And it’s a good thing Trixie’s back, because Ivy Levan’s performance is stunning:
[Updated with new Fox-approved version of the video.]