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movie review - Rocky Horror Picture Show

the journal of Michael Werneburg

twenty-seven years and one million words

Torono, 1998.03.07

Thanks to a friend, I now own a copy of this video. I first saw it in high school with a gang that went downtown (no way was this thing showing in suburban Calgary in the '80s), and it's got a special place in my heart (the place for off-the-wall cult flicks). The entire insanity of a movie made to lovingly send up '50s sci-fi and the indulgent '60s and '70s. Perfect!

There are actually two movies here; the movie the crew and cast made, and the movie they intended to be experienced, with maybe 20% of the lines supplied by a raucous audience. It's got great music, a superb cast, fourth-wall breaks, the odd murder to set the tone, and an inevitability despite the crowd warning one character, "You'd better make it good, you got shot the last time I watched this." I mean it all comes off without being too self-referential, somehow.

Underlying it all is a pretty straightforward message that is explicitly stated: "don't dream it, be it". The villain in the story lived that motto to excess of course, and he certainly dragged his um crewmates into that excess as well. But in showing the repressed Brad and Janet who they are, he puts them on a path to "being it" that they never would have found on their own. I envy them, and salute him.

Don't dream it, be-e-e it
How do you do

So, here's to everyone that ever danced the Time Warp solo on the deck of a ship. Hmm; it might be time for another tattoo.

A favorite. Strongly recommended. Tim Curry is a genius.

rand()m quote

One day you will take a fork in the road, and you're going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way and you can do something [...] for yourself. If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and get good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you have to make a decision. To be or to do.

—John Boyd, US Air Force