Pop Culture References

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What movies have had references to RHPS?

The Eerie Midnight Horror Show BluRay cover art, currently being sold in batches from codereddvd.
  • And God Spoke - The Spinal Tap for filmmakers. Major RHPS references; a mockumentary of the making of a biblical epic which turns into a midnight movie sensation.
  • The Arrival - Charlie Sheen's character makes a reference to The Time Warp.
  • Blue Money - there's a 'come as your favorite movie star' party. Someone attends as Frank-N-Furter (ironically, Tim Curry stars in this movie, but attends as Fred Astaire)
  • The Crossing Guard - when Jack Nicholson's character is talking with a stripper backstage of the strip bar near the beginning of the movie. The RHPS "lips" are reflected in the mirror.
  • Eerie Midnight Horror Show - An Italian B-movie from 1974, released in the US in 1978. This doesn't appear to be an actual reference, but the video box and BluRay art has poorly-rendered lips and the familiar bleeding letters. The DVD box doesn't. Film was originally titled "The Sexorcist" and the plot reads more like an Exorcist ripoff than Rocky Horror.
  • Fame (1980) - a few of the characters go to see Sal Piro and RHPS in New York; it's a pivotal moment for one as she loses her shyness and gets onstage.
  • Fame (2009) - about 7 minutes in, one of the characters auditions with Columbia's "First, you spurn me for Eddie..." speech.
  • Goldmember - In a deleted scene, Austin is in corsets and fishnets; in a sort of split screen, the legs walk away from him and he whistles them back. (If you suffered through the Rocky Horror DVD menus, this should sound familiar.)
  • Halloween II (Rob Zombie's remake) includes character Laurie Strode and friends dressed as characters from RHPS while they attend a Halloween costume concert/party. They bought the same Columbia fabric the fans all buy (thanks, Larry) and Larry Viezel bought the bloodstained Magenta dress when it went to auction.
  • Jubilee - both Richard O'Brien and Nell Campbell starred in this movie, so references are plentiful
  • Lisztomania - features Nell Campbell, Imogen Claire, and the throne from RHPS (also features many of the crew from RHPS)
  • Loser - At one point, Dora and Paul walk by a bunch of people in costume waiting to see Rocky Horror.
  • Men In Black - while Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are wandering around on the streets looking for an alien, they go to a newsstand whose proprietor looks an awful lot like Riff-Raff. A comment is made along the lines of 'that alien's disguise isn't very good'.
  • Mr. Holland's Opus - a brief shot of Frank throwing off his cape during the "70's montage"
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower - The protagonist meets a couple of cool seniors (one is Emma Watson from the Harry Potter films) who belong to the local Rocky cast. He and his friends are shown visiting Rocky twice, and there's a thank you to Pittsburgh cast Junior Chamber of Commerce Players in the credits. See [Books_and_Magazines] for the book of the same title (the author wrote the script and directs)
  • Pulp Fiction - there is reference to the character "Tony Rocky Horror"
  • Saphirblau - a film of "Sapphire Blue," a novel about a time-traveling teenager. (Film is in German, in case the spelling didn't tip you off; the book was in German too.) Apparently the way to fit in at an 18th century party is to dance The Time Warp. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5cdMM-sQeE
  • Tank Girl - the Rain Lady is wearing a yellow "Lips" T-shirt
  • The Toxic Avenger - Leroy, one of three men who hold up the Mexican fast food restaurant, has Frank's boss tattoo on his left arm.
  • Valley Girl - while driving through Hollywood, the main characters pass a Rocky Horror theater, with a line of people waiting to get in. Blink and miss it (though one person seen from the back might be wearing a pink Janet dress and sweater). Punk-boy Fred introduces himself and says his favorite color is Magenta.
  • Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula - not really a reference, but extensively features Oakley Court (inside and out), the same castle as was used in RHPS (Vampyres was made first; 1974).
  • Vice Squad - the line in front of the Tiffany is shown, including a rather loving pan of a girl dressed as Columbia.
  • Willie and Phil - at the end, they pass people lined up for RHPS

What about porn movies?

Yes, the rumors are true. To my knowledge three have been made.

  • The Rocky Porno Video Show (1986, Excalibur). The setup is the same but there's no plot to speak of. Includes a loose parody of "Sweet Transvestite" over the credits and bleeding letters on the box. Frank is a woman and they couldn't afford an elevator, so she walks slowly down some stairs. Low budget and not particularly recommended except for collectors. Now available on DVD as part of a Mistress Tantala 3-pack.
  • The Funky Fetish Horror Show (2002). Features lips during the intro; plot is loosely followed. Unlike the RPVS, at least Frank is played by a man.
  • The Rocki Whore Picture Show (2011, Wicked). "A XXX parody." Detailed film-style costumes and at least some set pieces; features parody songs (about which Richard O'Brien hit the roof; early downloadable versions had the music cut because of this). Wicked used at least a few fan costumes and offered to have fans appear in non-sex roles as Transylvanians; at least one or two took them up on it. The director, Brad Armstrong, appeared at the Rocky Horror Prom at the 35th anniversary (where they were publicizing the movie and letting people sign up to be extras) in a pretty good-looking Brad costume.

There have also been some other porn films that referenced the title only but appear to have no Rocky Horror content, such as the "Raunchy Porno Picture Show" (1992 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0146168/), the Rocki Roads compilation feature "The Rocki Whore Picture Show" with Sunshine Films, and Knightbreeder's Rocky Whores Gay Picture Show (http://www.hotmovies.com/video/248945/Rocky-Whores-Gay-Picture-Show/ - WARNING, hardcore images of just what you think), which harkens more to the classic horror films Rocky is based on, if it harkens to anything, than to Rocky Horror itself.

Finally, a 1975 French porno called "Le sexe qui parle" was repackaged as "Pussy Talk" with a box cover that shows, on a black background, a pair of red lips (at least two different versions exist of the video art, with another for the DVD). No other references to the film.Nxs-Lesexequiparle1.jpg

What television shows have had references to RHPS?

Several of these excerpts are available on YouTube. See also the "References in Pop Culture" at Rocky's Wikipedia entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_cult_following .

Significant references

  • The Big Picture (MTV) - covered the 15th Anniversary (1990). Also used clips from the RHPS movie trailer in its opening sequence for about a year
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy - in next to last epdisode "Science of Music" (1998) the song parody (each episode had one) is "There's Science in Music" to the tune of the Time Warp. No acknowledgment or other references. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvJHDejD3mo
  • The Boondocks (the 2010 "Pause" episode), a cross-dressing parody of Tyler Perry and an entourage perform a musical number (entitled either "It's All Right to Cross-Dress for God" or "Hot Oil, Bananas and Cream") which includes the opening chords from Sweet T, Transylvanians, Tyler Perry in a Sweet T corset and pearls, and a woman in an abbreviated gold Columbia outfit.
  • Charles in Charge - (season 5, episode 21, 1990, "La Cage aux Fools") Charles and the kids are planning to go to the 15th Anniversary convention, but Charles and Buddy get locked in a monkey cage all night (those crazy kids). It's worth it just to see Adam dressed as Riff, Jamie as Magenta, and Sarah as Brad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TeEfnWgnsc - for the kids in costume, go to about 14 minutes in.
  • Cold Case - (2005, "Creatures of the Night) - Barry Bostwick guest stars as a suspected killer in a case connected to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1977. Includes footage of people at the show and several of the songs. Very nicely done; ads promoting the show took up the Rocky Horror theme. The style of the flashback "transitions" and filming in this episode are inspired by Rocky Horror and the songs are featured. They even had bleeding letters credits. The somewhat moving ending can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0_mytY4P-4 see the whole episode if you can.
  • CSI: NY - (season 8, episode 11, 1/13/12, "Who's There"). Someone's alibi is that she was at the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a fragment of a playing card from the film is one of the pieces of evidence.
  • Dancing with the Stars - http://www.hulu.com/watch/705640 On the Halloween 2014 episode, "Team Creepy" did a carnival-themed routine to The Time Warp. I didn't recognize whose cover they used, and none of the original moves are featured, but it's rather nice. ("I love the Time Warp!" gushes one of the judges.)
  • Drew Carey Show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRyAwr4Yb5A Drew and his friends dress up to go to RHPS, only to find out that it has been replaced by The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, for which Mimi is properly dressed. A "showdown" ensues, in which the Time Warp is pitted against a song from Priscilla. Except Drew and co don't dance anything resembling the Time Warp; we're not sure why, as they obviously got the rights to play the song - maybe the dance was extra? Actual LA area cast members can be seen in the background as extras.
  • Fridays - Season 2, episode 12 The Ronnie Horror Picture Show. Simply brilliant; obviously done by someone who loved the movie. Fantastic costumes for the era (Dec. 12, 1980! pre-VHS release) and multiple song parodies. Michael Richards, who later played Kramer on Seinfeld, is Brad.
  • Glee: dedicated an entire show ("The Rocky Horror Glee Show" - buy this at our Amazon store) to the crew planning to put on the Rocky Horror Show...and then not doing it. Notable for the lips singing the overture at the start of the episode and brief appearances by Barry Bostwick/Meat Loaf playing local radio hosts who hate Rocky Horror. The songs were bowdlerized mercilessly. Soundtrack available.
  • Hawaii Five-O - Halloween episode "Kupouli `Ia", 2013. The show opens to a bunch of people dancing to the Time Warp at an outdoor showing. No cast (or indeed anyone in a Rocky costume) is shown and the episode features no other references, just several minutes of Time Warp as someone acting like an actual flesh-eating zombie stumbles through the crowd.
  • Kids Incorporated - 1985, season 2, episode 18 ("Rock of Ages"). Disney gets their hands on the Time Warp and it isn't pretty. Not only was "the devil's eyes" revised, they censored "it's the pelvic thrusts." If you're not willing to sing about pelvic thrusts, you have no business covering the Time Warp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Sbo1vezfM
  • The Late, Late Show - October 31 2011 - Opens with "There's a Light" sung by Craig, a couple of zombies, and a rabbit puppet singing Janet's part. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sroqmHVueiI&feature=share). Later, musical guest Amanda Palmer from "The Dresden Dolls" and special guests Moby, Stephin Merritt and Neil Gaiman perform "Science Fiction/Double Feature". Of course it's on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI6zIqVxmmk&feature=share
  • Night Flight - highlighted 10th Anniversary
  • Saturday Night Live - In the episode hosted by Tim Curry with Meat Loaf as musical guest (Season 7, Episode 7, 5 Dec. 1981), they did a "Tim and Meat's One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop" sketch.
  • Sesame Street - Susan Sarandon and the Count's car breaks down. It's raining, and they're at the front door of a castle (Susan is holding a newspaper).
  • Starmania (Austrian game show, kind of like American Idol) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUL1MUvoWdY (Dec. 8, 2006). The various contestants perform a medley of songs. Introduction by a Criminologist and two of the contestants leave their broken-down car and walk to the stage. The songs are in a weird order (why is Columbia singing "Touch Me"?) but this allows them to finish with the Time Warp.
  • That '70s Show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6epLCnYq-8 In the Halloween 2000 episode (Episode 55, Season 3, episode 4), Fez dressed as Frank (though the rest of the show was more a tribute to Hitchcock) in the least sparkly Frank outfit we've ever seen.
  • 3rd Rock From The Sun - To promote a change in their time slot, they made a series of commercials parodying popular songs. Arguably the most clever one was entitled "Let's Do The Time Change Again," with the characters dressed as the criminologist and Transylvanians, singing a parody to the Time Warp, and making jokes and references throughout.
  • VH1 - Time Warp: 20 Years of Rocky Horror - with Susan, Barry, Richard, Pat, Nell, Meat, Lou Adler, Sal Piro, and Tim Deegan.
  • VH1's Rock 'n Roll Picture Show - In the opening credits, there's a quick shot of a group of people lined up with an RHPS poster on a wall behind them. The title is also an obvious reference.
  • VH1's Where Are They Now, Behind the Music, and Pop-Up-Video - in October 1999 VH1 featured RHPS-themed versions of all three shows. To celebrate the 25th anniversary, they did a "Celebrity Karaoke" with various "celebrities" (including Anthony Head!) in costume singing the songs. Eric McCormack from Will and Grace was wonderful. Some of the others were considerably less so...
  • Whose Line is it Anyway? - This improv show often uses 'movie styles,' and at least one reference to RHPS has been made over the years, notably a challenge to sing a song about a coffee grinder "in the style of the Rocky Horror Picture Show." They awkwardly Time Warp, more or less, while Wayne Brady intones "Let's make the coffee again!" Greg Proops even remembers to fall down at the end...

"Blink and miss it" and implicit references

  • The Amazing Spiderman - Spidey calls a villain "you reject from The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
  • American Dad - season 8, episode 13 ("Dr Klaustus") - Steve pretends the gay couple living next door are his parents; his real parents, alerted to the situation, see the couple (dressed as Frank and Rocky) acting out "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" through a pair of binoculars.
  • American Horror Story: Coven - episode "The Axeman Cometh". Queenie states that Spalding looks like Riff-Raff. OK, maybe?
  • Ballyhoo: The Hollywood Sideshow - John Waters compares RHPS to the 1950's gimmick films of William Castle
  • The Brady Bunch Variety Hour - reference in its premiere episode - the kids say they want to do a medley from the "Rocky Horror Show" but are shot down by their parents. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhObKKvzijc , 41 minutes in.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 3, episode 1, "Anne" - Lily wears a shirt printed with the Denton billboard for several scenes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 3, episode 6, "Band Candy" - Buffy says "Let's do the Time Warp again." when she and Willow walk into the Bronze.
  • Cagney and Lacey - in episode "Hotline," two young girls dressed in full RHPS regalia (not recognizable characters) find a body late at night - one of the cops has to explain to the other what Rocky Horror is. On Hulu at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvJHDejD3mo .
  • Count Duckula - Not really a reference. In episode "Igor's Busy Day" (S1, E12) a clean-cut Brad & Janet -esque duck couple get a flat tire and walk through the rain to Duckula's castle. This is less a reference to Rocky Horror than to every "Dark House" movie ever made, of which Rocky itself is a spoof. There is an explicit reference to "Young Frankenstein" at the door (they comment on the knocker) but the closest this comes to being a reference is the fact that Ruby Wax (Betty Hapschatt in the Rocky sequel "Shock Treatment") does one of the voices. Judge for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS9cUWdpgE
  • Daria - At the very beginning of the 1998 episode "Monster," the characters pass by the local theatre, and the ditzy cheerleader and her jock boyfriend mention "We saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show here-- and we wore each other's underwear!"
  • Ellen - Ellen and her hip wanna-be mom were talking, and her mom suggested that they "dress up and go see that Rocky Horror Picture Show"
  • Gilmore Girls: in the 2002 Gilmore Girls episode "Secrets and Loans...", Lorelai and Rory plan to attend The Rocky Horror Picture Show (dressing up as Magenta and Janet) to celebrate Rory's high PSAT score. Lorelai invites Luke to come dressed as Frank.
  • Good Vibes - episode 12, aired 12/29/11, "Backstage Babs". The principal tells Mondo's mom Babs that Mondo has been falling asleep in class - and a flashback is shown, with Mondo as Riff and Babs as Frank, leaving a theater with Rocky Horror on the marquee.
  • Head of the Class - mentioned in passing
  • It's Alive: The True Story of Frankenstein - an A&E documentary
  • Jeopardy! - On December 4, 1996, one of the answers was, "The Midnight cult classic that starred Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter." Also, in April 1997, there was a similar answer with regards to Barry Bostwick.
  • The List (VH1) - mentioned in an episode with topic "Best Rock Movie." They showed a Time Warp clip, but Rocky didn't make the cut.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 - RHPS references every now and again
  • Naked Truth - featured the Jeopardy show in which the answer was RHPS.
  • Night Court - not really a direct reference; more inspired by. Mac makes a documentary about his workplace and co-workers. The film becomes a cult hit. Fans attend ritual screenings and memorize every line, even reciting lines in unison with the film. One night, some fans come to the courtroom dressed as their favorite "characters" (Dan, Bull, etc.). Naturally, all hell breaks loose.
  • One Piece (anime series) - the character Emporio Ivankov (a male "Queen" in pearls, fishnets, a semi-corset and cape, sporting a purple Tim Curry 'do) bears a marked resemblance to Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
  • The Oscars (1995) - In a tribute to humor in film sung by (among other) Tim Curry, the dancers started dancing the Time Warp, and some clips from RHPS were on the screen. Tim, "shocked" that such a thing was going on, acted embarrassed and silly.
  • The Oscars (1997) - In a montage of "going to the movies", the RHPS scene in Fame was shown.
  • Pepper Ann (Disney) - in episode "One Angry Woman," - Season 4, Episode 6, Grandma goes to a "late showing of The Fuzzy Terror Picture Show." Later, in a dream sequence, she walks by and sings "Just a step to the right." In episode "Too Cool to be Mom," Denise, the "cool mom," asks who's up for a showing of The Fuzzy Terror Picture Show.
  • The Real Ghostbusters - on a trip to Transylvania ("Transylvanian Homesick Blues", season 2, episode 12) Ray tells Egon "Yeah, we'll get you a guest shot on the Rocky Horror Show."
  • Red Dwarf - Lister has a Rocky Horror postcard above his bunk on Red Dwarf [not in the first couple of seasons].
  • Real People - did a segment on a Rocky Horror convention. The early reality show ran from 1979-1984 and the original segment was pre-empted by a Ronald Reagan press conference.
  • Rocko's Modern Life - episode "Wacky Delly" After a screening of TV show "The Fatheads," characters quote the "credit to your genius" bit from lab scene.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch - "Some of My Best Friends are Half-Mortal" episode from the fifth season (originally aired November 10th, 2000) Hilda is in a hurry to get to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sabrina says "I love Rocky Horror," so they both leave (to modified chords from "The Time Warp") with Sabrina in a French maid costume and Hilda dressed as a Transylvanian.
  • Silk Stalkings - Cops are investigating a murder and they're interviewing a lady who sells tickets in a movie theatre. She says that she remembers the suspect was there watching 'Psycho' but she can't say when he left 'cause they were screening Rocky Horror Picture Show and "the going was pretty wild." Or something like that.
  • The Simpsons - In episode "A Star Is Burns" (aka the "Critic" crossover episode - season 6, episode 18: first air date 3/5/1995) Dr. Hibbert arrives at The Aztec Theatre in RHPS garb for a film festival (which was showing something else) and states, "D'oh! I thought they were playing The Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight, tee hee hee."
  • The Sing-off - S3 Ep.7 (aired Oct 31, 2007) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCA5Mo-JW8M This reality show's Oct 31 opener was a Halloween medley, featuring a rather half-assed but recognizable Columbia (blonde in gold top hat/tails with black sparkly shorts and top, red bow-tie).
  • Venture Bros - In episode "Return to Spider Skull Island", the protagonists are dressed up as Frank-N-Furter, Rocky, Riff Raff, and Columbia, explained only in a voice-over 911 call as being in some sort of accident. In a more detailed opening that was cut for time, the show would have explained that the Venture family was investigating a haunting at a Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight showing.
  • Veronica Mars Ahoy Mateys, episode in 2005 - Two girls trying to get inside someone's house duplicate dialogue that might be familiar to fans of "Sweet Transvestite."
  • Weeds - Season 2, Episode 10 - the main character's son Silas is wearing a shirt with "The Iraqi Horror Picture Show" in bleeding letters
  • Win Ben Stein's Money - occasional questions refer to the film, and one contestant appeared on a Halloween show as Riff Raff.
  • You Can't do That on Television - Episode 28, "Addictions" (1982) features a sketch about 15 minutes in where the punchline is that a Rocky Horror audience member isn't addicted to Rocky...but to the theater's popcorn. Rocky isn't mentioned by name, but the Time Warp is playing in the background, and a girl in a Magenta costume asks if he comes to see "Janet and Magenta." It's 30 seconds in a half-hour show, but it's a nice reference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJsyaDBqsBc

Title references only

  • Dream On - Season 3, episode 14 was titled "The Rocky Marriage Picture Show"
  • Grey's Anatomy - season six, espisode 15, "The Time Warp"- although there are no actual RHPS references in the episode, writer Shonda Rimes titles each episode of the show with a song title. Whether she is a fan of RHPS is yet to be determined.
  • Family Guy - season 2, episode 15 is titled "Dammit Janet." Stewie falls for a girl named Janet.
  • King of the Hill - season 11, episode 11 is titled "The Peggy Horror Picture Show." Other than the title, no other reference in the episode.

What music videos have had references to RHPS?

  • Tim Curry - "Paradise Garage" (features Dori Hartley in full Frank gear)
  • Meat Loaf - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" ("Leap of Faith" version) - Meat Loaf portrays multiple characters, including Eddie.
  • Britney Spears - "Hold It Against Me" - flashes a closeup of red lips mouthing the words against a black background. Approximately 5 seconds (in one second bursts) in a four minute song; for completists and Britney fans only.
  • Dana McCoy - (title unknown) (shot in Nell's and features a Columbia)
  • Gloria Estefan - "Hotel Nacional". A Brad and Janet like couple get a flat tire and go to a warehouse, where they're greeted by Gloria Estefan, stripped to their underwear and forced to swing dance. Appears to use a few seconds of actual footage from the film - the "Dead End" sign and flat tire are the same ones we see every week.
  • Green Apple Quick Step - "Kid" (from the soundtrack for I Know What You Did Last Summer). The video features a Magenta, Riff, Columbia, and Frank (all from the Nuart cast Sins O' The Flesh) and a Rocky (a hired actor). Jason Satterfield (the Frank) writes:
"The video opened with Riff Raff answering the door. The band is shown playing inside at a party where all the guests are characters from different horror movies....
The killer from I Know...begins chasing the cast members from the movie and when he goes after Jennifer Love Hewitt she runs in the bathroom and hides in a corner. The killer comes in and sees someone in the shower. He opens the shower curtain Psycho style and I am shown (as Frank) in an embrace with Rocky. We both scream as Jennifer Love Hewitt runs out."
  • Hossa - "House of Schlager" - a German pop music oddity from 1996 which appears to be a medley of old German folksongs put to a pulsing electronic beat. A young couple find themselves in a maze with various people jumping out singing at them, while a Riff Raff operates a control panel in the background.
  • Kylie Minogue - "Better Than Today" - amongst other retro images, red lips on a black background appear, mouthing the words of the song
  • Poison - "I Want Action" - after an intro, the music part of the video starts with red lips on a black background mouthing the first words of the song
  • Worth - "Caught Up" Members of Portland Cast The Denton Delinquents make a brief appearance (check 2:30 and 2:40) as performers at an outdoor festival.

How about magazines, comic books, etc.?

Okay, okay. Rocky Horror shows up periodically in comic books and other magazines which reflect American popular culture. See also "What parodies of RHPS exist? below.

  • Avenging Spiderman, issue 13: character Deadpool, subjected to the Hypno-Hustler's hypnotizing goggles, imagines himself as Frank singing "Let's do the Time Warp again," complete with Columbia, Transylvanians, and character "The Tinkerer" in a hunchbacked black suit, reading on a pair of misshapen lips. We can't make this stuff up.
  • Cracked Magazine: Riff Raff and Magenta appeared in a panel of a "coloring book" with other villains: "...color 'em the evil color of their hearts...pitch black!"
  • eBay Magazine, Jan 2000: Dr. Frank N. Furter was featured in the "Grudge Match" column pitted against Sylvester Stallone's Rocky. Frank trounced Sly 168 auctions to 72 (based on eBay auction totals).
  • "Friends of MAXX," issue 3: the characters attend the Rocky Horror Picture Show in costume and one of them has a revelation about his life during the pool scene.
  • Mad Magazine features references occasionally.
    • The "Incredible Bulk" parody features this dialogue: "You're going to KILL ME?!?" "No...I'm taking you to the Drive-In to see "The Rocky Horror Show"! Of COURSE, I'm gonna kill you!"
    • Tim Curry's character in their "Red October" spoof, Hunt for Last October, justifies his asking about his character by holding up a picture of himself as Frank N. Furter
    • Barry Bostwick's character in the Spin City spoof wears a button reading "I survived Rocky Horror"
    • The Drew Carey parody included the Rocky Horror/Priscilla danceoff (with Drew drawn in a Frank corset).
    • Recurring cartoon character Monroe, rejected by his Star Wars geek friends, finds a home with the rejects watching Rocky Horror.
  • "Ninja High School": The dialogue from Dr. Scott's "vibrator" speech ("You mean?!") is featured in one of the early issues.
  • "Shivers" Magazine, 50th issue: Riff Raff appears on the cover, which echos the famous Sgt. Pepper's album (others featured included Mulder and Scully, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Freddie, Pinhead, Jason, Jack Nicholson from "The Shining," etc.
  • Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 1 #17 (2013), features a page out of the 'Daily Bugle', the main article of which has the headline "LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN."
  • Superman series "Kingdom Come," Vol. 1 #3 (1996), features two characters who are obviously salutes to Columbia and Riff Raff. Don't get excited; it's one panel (showing "dangerous metahumans" in a prison built by Superman in an alternate universe). I've found references to her as "April Fool" and him as "Goblyn King" but have been unable to substantiate.
  • Superman "Earth One," volume 2, #1. Clark meets a neighbor, Lisa Lasalle, who tells him she's going to see Rocky Horror, stating she goes all the time. She leaves his apartment singing the words to "Touch Me." They later make it to the theater, with a couple of costumed folks in the background, but Clark is called away and doesn't go in.

What other movies have gotten the "RHPS Treatment"?

Spontaneous Audience Participation

What happened with RHPS (live performances and audience participation) was a fairly spontaneous and original phenomenon. However, other movies have received similar fan appreciation, usually by RHPS casts and people associated with them. Most notable is Shock Treatment (the "sequel" to RHPS). Later additions, still going strong as of this writing, are "Repo" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," though technically "Repo," while embraced by some fans, had AP pushed by the studio.

While Hedwig's and Shock Treatment's audience "call-backs" seem, at times, a bit forced, the live performances have typically been well received. This is due partially to the fact that RHPS has become old hat to a lot of people, and so the casts have a rejuvenated energy when performing a different show, and the audience has a renewed excitement when seeing a different show. Rocky Horror conventioneers often include a "Shock Treatment" performance as part of the convention - it has a lot of actors so sometimes having a convention is the easiest way to stage it. (It's also true that audience numbers at a regular theater showing of Shocky are often abysmally bad; a convention audience is much more likely to be interested.)

"The Room" has engendered some audience participation; the studio did very little to promote the film so I'm presuming it's spontaneous. People throw plastic spoons and there's an AP script up on Facebook.

Fandom around "The Big Lebowski" deserves at least a mention; they don't shout back at the screen, but they do have conventions and hold costume contests.

Films Shadowcast at Rocky Conventions

Seeing the success of Shock Treatment at cons, some conventions started shadowcasting "Clue," as Tim Curry was in it and there are some other parallels (the French maid, etc.). In an attempt to do something different, conventions have also shadowcast "Phantom of the Paradise" and "Young Frankenstein" (in black and white makeup, no less).

Films Shadowcast Independently By Rocky Casts

One could put "Shock Treatment, "Repo" and "Hedwig" here. But there's more! (Whether or not this is a good idea is another matter.) Other films that have been shadowcast include:

  • Army of Darkness
  • Batman (the 1966 film) ("Midnight Madness," Chicago, 7/19/08)
  • The Big Lebowski ("Denton Affair," Cincinnati, planned for 3/12)
  • Cannibal! The Musical
  • Cry Baby ("The Denton Affair," Cincinnati, 8/13/11)
  • Evil Dead
  • Forbidden Zone
  • Ghostbusters
  • Grease 2 ("Sins O The Flesh," LA, 6/30/03)
  • Little Shop of Horrors (which was filmed after the original Roger Corman film was remade as a play, simplifying the staging) ("Midnight Madness," Chicago, 6/07; also done by a group of some of the same shadowcasters in Wilmette in 2011)
  • Moulin Rouge (Phoenix, AZ, April 2008)
  • Psycho Beach Party (which started life as a Charles Busch play)
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School
  • Romy and Michele's High School Reunion ("Sins O' The Flesh," LA, 2/17/12)
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
  • Super Troopers ("Sins O' The Flesh," LA, 7/18/08)
  • Tommy
  • Up in Smoke

Closely related to the above is troupe Midnight Shift, which overlaps with the Fishnet Mafia in Columbus, OH. The Fishnet Mafia started in August 2011 with "Clue," and now plan to attack a new movie every month, assuming they can get the rights (Disney said "no" to Roger Rabbit). Since their website was 404 in January 2014, we're presuming it didn't work out.

Other movie-like shadowcast events include "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog" and Buffy The Vampire Slayer's musical episode, "Once More With Feeling."

Films Shadowcast Independently By Non-Rocky Types

Films that have been "shadowcast" long after they came out, essentially on general principle include:

  • Ghostbusters: The "Minions of Gozer" first started performing in November 2011, and apparently plan to perform at comic cons.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Many think that the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a "rip-off" of RHPS. Joel Hodgson, MST3K's creator, was once asked if RHPS was a major influence, and he said that it wasn't. Aside from the call-backs and occasional skits, MST3K is really much different than Rocky Horror. Rocky is meant to be a celebration of the movie and a treat for those who have seen it multiple times. MST3K is meant to be more of a "one-time" thing. That is, the premise is that the characters are watching the movie for the first time. So anyway, no, MST3K is not a Rocky Horror ripoff, tho' both do appeal to a lot of the same people.

Films with AP Promoted by the Studios

Sometimes when the studios realize they have a real stinker on their hands, the studios try to turn it into an AP classic. And the studios have also tried to take legitimate classics and piggyback on the Rocky Horror phenomenon - the whole Sing-a-long-a phenomenon is basically a big ripoff of the Rocky Horror experience. (Sadly, in London Rocky Horror was actually pre-empted at the Prince Charles by Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music, after a brief period of uneasy coexistence, and Sing-a-long-a's attempt to get exclusive rights to Rocky Horror showings in the UK were defeated only by the outraged efforts of fans.)

  • Sing-a-Long-A also does singalongs for the music of Abba and Elvis; they have rights to some films (such as Sound of Music) and do one-offs of others (Fiddler on the Roof; Moulin Rouge). Sing-a-long-a shows have included the Wizard of Oz, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mary Poppins, and Hairspray. In addition to projecting the words on the screen, costuming is encouraged, there's an MC to whip up the crowd ahead of time, and at least sometimes a costume contest.
  • Repo: The people behind "Repo" tried very hard to turn the film into something like Rocky Horror, going so far as to hand out bootlegs of the soundtrack in RH theater parking lots, and making a real nuisance of themselves on the Rocky Horror newsgroup. This, in addition to the overall quality of the film, has led to some backlash from Rocky Horror fans, while some fans love it.
  • Showgirls: Those behind the movie Showgirls tried to turn it into an audience participation film. They even went so far as to distribute pre-written AP scripts, throw cards during gambling scenes, and hire drag queens to act out certain scenes. They offered Sal Piro (RHPS Fan Club president) a job promoting Showgirls, but, thankfully, he turned it down.

What parodies of RHPS exist?

It's interesting that parodies have been made of RHPS, since RHPS was a type of parody in the first place. Transcriptions of some of these are available at the FTP site that relates to this FAQ (see introduction).

  • The Ronny Horror Show - put on by ABC's Fridays (Dec. 1980) - see TV references above
  • The Rocky Horror Muppet Show - by famous filker Tom Smith
    Tom Smith writes: "[T]he convention was the 1987 Ohio Valley Filk Fest in Delaware, Ohio." It was performed again at NEFilk 21 (2008) and ConFusion 2012; there may have been other appearances we don't know of. Tom Smith's script can be found at http://www.tomsmithonline.com/comedy/rhms.htm - the guest star has been made generic.
  • The Rocky Porno Video Show - call 1-800-BUY-MOVIES (seriously) [note: this is a horrible, horrible film. It's only worth viewing for the humor value - Frank is played by Mistress Tantala, and it's such a cheap shoot that there's no elevator: she walks slowly down some stairs. Some places do offer it to rent, so before you purchase it, try checking your more seedy video stores]
  • http://www.cosmosfactory.org/script_t-barf.shtml - Barf Magazine (June, 1990)
  • The Schlocky Horror Picture Show - Cracked Magazine, spring 1995
  • There's a story in an issue of "Archie comics" where Archie and Betty are saying goodbye to Jughead (he's going to take a nap) and tell him they'll be back to pick him up for the midnight screening of "The Horrible Rocky Picture Show" . Jughead suffers nightmares and later falls asleep at the screening because he hasn't gotten any sleep beforehand. There is even a girl in the audience with Magentaesque hair from the space scene. Betty is wearing a bride outfit and Archie is dressed in rain gear.
  • A showing of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Horror Picture Show is featured in furry comic "Shanda the Panda," including a couple of panels where you can see the film (peopled with Hanna Barbera characters, of course).

Many parodies have also been written by fans. See the next subsection for those.

What crossovers, sequels, stories, etc. have been written by fans?

Take a look at Fan Fiction and Parodies; also check out our Text Files section. Creative bunch, aren't we?

What's the RHPS Computer Game?

Originally there was The Rocky Horror Show Computer Game, released by Activision in 1985. Players assume the role of Brad or Janet and roam around the Frankenstein Place trying to find pieces of a machine to save the character not being played. It has a rockin' computerized version of Time Warp as background music. You only get one "life" and it's easy to "die", so the game can get a bit monotonous and frustrating. Worth picking up, tho'. A version for an Apple II emulator is available at http://www.archive.rhps.org/archive/software/.

In 1999, The Interactive Rocky Horror Show was released for IBM PC and Sony PlayStation-X (unfortunately, only for the UK PAL PSX). It's basically a spiffier version of the old game, again with the option of playing as Brad or Janet. The game features Richard O'Brien as the Game Devil, Christopher Lee as the narrator, a special rerecorded soundtrack, a jukebox with Rocky Horror songs, and video sequences. It was released in the UK but not in the US. The UK Fan Club, TimeWarp, put up a very informative page with reviews, sound clips, images, and a player's guide at http://www.timewarp.org.uk/games/gamesrm6.htm. It's out of print, so if you want to actually order one, your best bet is to check out http://www.darkrefrain.com and see if they have any, or check out eBay.

Anything else?

  • There is a Rocky Horror Slot Machine, featuring cartoon images of the characters. Periodically slot machines, fairground rides, etc. pop up in the UK: for more information, visit http://timewarp.org.uk/games/index.htm .
  • The Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas added RH-themed tables and table art when they hosted the 25th Anniversary. Rocky-themed poker chips were also made up (look for them on eBay)
  • There are rumors about a pinball game in the making.
  • There are persistent rumors about RHPS being made into a cartoon series by Fox - nothing solid on this so far, though
  • In Duckman Comics #3, Fluffy says, "Now the time has come to feast, to taste the flesh not yet deceased." It is still unsure whether or not RHS was the first to use this line, but it's pretty cool regardless.
  • There is a "No Fear" t-shirt which reads "Don't Dream It, Be It".
  • One of the cheat codes for "Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure" is "LETSDOTHETIMEWARP"
  • Elvira did a "Sweet Transvestite" parody number ("Sweet Elvira") during her 1997 appearance at Knott's Scary Farm (Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween extravaganza). Choreography included a Tim Curry-style cape toss. It's on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN6ZSULtTxQ
  • A RHPS track pack including "The Time Warp," "Sweet Transvestite," and "Hot Patootie" is available for on-line purchase for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as of Oct. 26, 2010. Songs also available separately.

[Category:Trivia]

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