Oh, the Horror

Richard O'Brien's 1975 drag show/sci-fi-gothic parody carries on at weekly midnight screenings, attended by its devoted audience-participation following. Even these cultists have often underrated it as a film--it's a pretty good rock musical, with a witty ensemble cast led by Tim Curry in a hilariously swaggering, drolly macho performance as the "Sweet Transvestite" Dr. Frank N. Furter. O'Brien was wise to give the story an ironically downbeat ending; in sensing that somebody would sooner or later declare that the "Don't dream it, be it" '70s-style hedonism endorsed by the film was "too extreme" and end the party, he seemed to glumly foresee the era of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and AIDS. The cast includes Susan Sarandon, never more luscious, as Janet, Barry Bostwick as the hapless Brad, Patricia Quinn as Magenta, "Little Nell" Campbell as Columbia, Jonathan Adams as Dr. Scott, Meat Loaf as Eddie, Charles Gray as the omniscient Criminologist, Peter Hinwood as Rocky and O'Brien himself as the cadaverous Riff Raff. Saturday midnights at the Angelika.

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