Dec 17, 2010

Rocky Horror Picture Show - 35 Years Later, Still A Great Costume Idea

Originally released in 1975, there is likely a generation or two that has missed out on the cultural significance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but there is no denying it's place in history. It is the longest running film release ever - full stop. There are cinemas that have never pulled it from their listings in over 35 years! It started out as a stage production in 1973, written by Kiwi Richard O'Brien. Within 2 years it was on the big screen, and shortly after that became one of the first midnight movies to play regularly, and where audience members took cult following to a new level: introducing props and singing along at key points in the movie. Check out the RHPS Virgin Guide if this is new to you!

The story follows two stranded travellers who come to spend the night in a castle with some gender-bending hosts. At the time it was highly provocative, exploring some gay and transgender themes that had never been the focus of a movie. There is alot of singing and dancing, all done with a dose of comedy of course. This all makes for a great theme party with many recognizable costumes!

The full cast of Rocky Horror is fairly large, but here are the main subjects that seem to have flair worthy of their own Officially Licensed Costumes, available at Costume Box:

Frank N. Furter - the flamboyant scientist from Transylvania that is coincidentally a transvestite (hence the stockings and pearls). Frank owns the castle the travellers, Brad and Janet, take refuge in when stranded, and offers up more than your average host. This costume is made for men, so you don't have to up size. Just add shoes and pearls. If you don't rock this costume once in your life, you just haven't lived!
Frank N Furter Wig
Columbia - a tap dancer with a thing for Frank. This costume comes with everything but the shoes, sold separately. Jacket, tube top, shorts, bow tie and top hat! Who doesn't love a costume that includes a top hat!
Columbia CostumeColumbia Wig

Riff Raff - Frank's handyman around the castle, and general creepy looking dude. His sister, Magenta, also works for Frank as a maid. The suit for this costume includes everything you see in the photo, except shoes: black tailcoat, white shirt front, pants, spats, fingerless gloves, and wig. Creepy.
Riff Raff Costume Riff Raff Wig
Magenta - Riff Raff's sister, and maid of the castle. Big hair. Enough said. Pair up this wig with a French maid outfit and you'll be ready to do the Time Warp.
Magenta Maid Costume Magenta Wig
Rocky Horror Make-Up Kit - Everything you need to perfect the quintessential 70's feel of the Rocky Horror look is here: glitter gel, foundation, lip stick... the show is narrated by a set of luscious lips, and has become an icon for the movie, so don't skimp on the lipstick!
Rocky Horror Make Up Kit

The music of Rocky Horror was hugely popular at the time, and still is. It hit the Top 40 in the U.S. and Australia, and reached Top 10 in New Zealand. The music site All Music gave it a 5/5 star rating, noting 4 of it's songs as exceptional timeless classics. The Time Warp is the most famous, of course, with its own dance moves even:

Download the entire Soundtrack for Rocky Horror Picture Show at Bigpond if you don't have it in your collection already.

It's great to watch this in the comfort of your living room, but seeing it in a theatre is a next-level experience. In 1977 midnight showings of Rocky Horror started popping up, with crowds arriving in costume and armed with props they'd introduce during scenes: water guns for when it is raining, etc. The official Rocky Horror website has a listing of props and actions so you can prepare in advance.

This is one of those movies that appears at outdoor cinemas and repertoire theatres often, so keep an eye on Events sections in the local paper or check out Eventful in your area.

Showings in Australia & NZ at the time of posting:
  • Sydney: starting in February 2011, the Chauvel Cinema in Paddington will be featuring midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, presented by Uber
  •  In Christchurch, packages through The Marquee Hotel offer a dinner theatre experience - click here for details and bookings.
  • has a showing listed in Melbourne until 25 January, get in there!

  • Flix 66 recently posted a Review of the Blu Ray edition of the movie, which has some cool features like a picture-in-picture of the movie with audience participation, sing-along lyrics, and alternative versions.

Anyone that watches TV will know that the show Glee loves to incorporate any musical icons into its storyline. They featured a Rocky Horror episode around the time of the shows 35th anniversary. Here's a clip...

There is a heap of info online, check out the official site for more:

 Shop for Rocky Horror Picture Show Costumes Online at Costume Box Now:

1 comment: