History of the RHPS

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What does RHPS mean?

Haven't we been over this already?

How did RHPS start?

It was originally a musical - (see The Rocky Horror Show - and was made into a movie, with photography starting on October 21, 1974, with great help from Lou Adler, who had been running the RHS in his Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles for some time. Its world premiere was in London on August 14, 1975. Its US premiere was in Hollywood on September 26, 1975. October 31 is generally celebrated as Rocky's "birthday", for obvious reasons.

Where did it go from there?

Nowhere. It bombed everywhere (expect in Los Angeles, where a following had already been created by the RHS at The Roxy). However, some attentive cinema owners noticed that, while RHPS wasn't selling as many tickets as other movies, they were selling the same tickets multiple times - that is, the same people kept coming back. Twentieth Century Fox then re-released the movie for midnight runs - cutting out Superheroes and SF/DF Reprise along the way. Its first regular midnight run started in New York City at the Waverly Theatre on April 2, 1976. Soon, people had started dancing and singing along with the music, and the call-backs and casts were soon to follow.

RHPS hit its peak in the early 1980's. Many casts had live bands performing, and the crowds were often sell-outs, or close to it. Since that time, the newer generations have found other ways to alienate society, and RHPS has become more "mainstream" (highlighted by the fact that it is available on video and rerun on Comedy Central). However, most everyone acknowledges the importance that RHPS had - and still has - in giving the "outcasts" of society a place to go, interact, and collectively realize exactly how fucked-up mainstream society really is.

Where was RHPS filmed?

RHPS was filmed in England primarily on a sound stage and in an old "castle" (which was the site for over 200 horror films, and has since been restored into a hotel). This castle is now the Oakley Court Hotel, located at Windsor Rd / Water Oakley / Windsor / Berkshire / SL4 5UR. You can call them at 01753 609988 or send them a fax at 01628 637011. They are very used to RHPS fans visiting them. Their website is http://www.theoakleycourthotel.co.uk/ and you can even Like them on Facebook.

What is the cast and crew list for the movie?

Note: Links in this section are to entries in the Internet Movie Database

Dr. Frank-N-Furter......................Tim Curry

Janet Weiss...............................Susan Sarandon

Brad Majors..............................Barry Bostwick

Riff Raff....................................Richard O'Brien

Magenta and Lips (Trixie)............Patricia Quinn

Columbia..................................Little Nell

Dr. Everett V. Scott....................Jonathan Adams

Rocky Horror.............................Peter Hinwood

Eddie.......................................Meatloaf

Criminologist............................Charles Gray (RIP)

Ralph Hapschatt........................Jeremy Newson

Betty Munroe............................Hilary Labow

Transylvanians..........................Bedden
 Christopher Biggins
 Gaye Brown
 Ishaq Bux (RIP)
 Stephen Calcutt
 Hugh Cecil (RIP)
 Imogen Claire (RIP)
 Rufus Collins (RIP)
 Tony Cowan
 Sadie Corre (RIP)
 Fran Fullenwider (RIP)
 Lindsay Ingram
 Peggy Ledger (RIP)
 Annabel Leventon
 Anthony Milner
 Pamela Obermeyer
 Tony Then (RIP)
 Kimi Wong
 Henry Woolf

Bridesmaids.............................Koo Stark
 Gina Barrie
 Petra Leah

Written by................................Richard O'Brien
 Jim Sharman

Cinematography........................Peter Suschitzky

Music.......................................Richard O'Brien
 Richard Hartley

Special Effects...........................Colin Chilvers

Production Design......................Brian Thomson

Costume Design.........................Sue Blane
 Gillian Dods
 Richard Pointing

Film Editing...............................Graeme Clifford

Produced by..............................Lou Adler (executive)
 John Goldstone (associate)
 Michael White

What is the song list for the movie?

  • Science Fiction/Double Feature
  • Dammit, Janet
  • Over at the Frankenstein Place
  • The Time Warp
  • Sweet Transvestite
  • Sword of Damocles
  • I Can Make you a Man
  • Hot Patootie- Bless My Soul
  • I Can Make you a Man (reprise)
  • Once In A While
  • Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me
  • Eddie
  • Planet Schmanet, Janet
  • Rose Tint My World
  • I'm Going Home
  • Super Heroes
  • Science Fiction/Double Feature (reprise)

What changes to the songs were made for the movie?

Over at the Frankenstein Place

In "Over at the Frankenstein Place", Brad should have a verse all to himself (between Janet's and Riff Raff's) - it was never filmed:

  BRAD:  I can see the flag fly, I can see the rain;
         Just the same, there has got to be
         Something better here for you and me.

Sword of Damocles

"Sword of Damocles" had a few extra lines from the narrator/criminologist that were in the shooting script (it hasn't been determined if they were ever filmed.) The stage version is given here, with the shooting script version in parentheses.

         (Before Rocky's third verse)
  NARR:  Rocky Horror, you need peace of mind,
         (Rocky Horror needed peace of mind.)
         I want to tell you that you're doing fine.
         (He didn't know he was doing just fine.)
         You're the product of another time,
         (He was the product of another time.)
         So feeling low?  Well, that's no crime.
         (And as for feeling down - well that's not a crime.)

Charles Atlas Song / I Can Make You A Man

The words for "Charles Atlas Song/I Can Make You A Man" had significant changes made from the stage to the screen. The stage version is given here, with movie changes in parentheses.

 FRANK:  A weakling, weighing ninety-eight pounds,
         Got sand in his face when kicked to the ground.
         (Will get sand...)
         His girl split on him, and then, in the gym,
         (And soon in the gym, with a determined chin,)
         The sweat from his pores as he worked for his cause
                                   (... works...)
         Made him glisten and gleam; he was thin, but quite clean.
         (Will make him...)         (he'll be pink, and quite clean.)
         He was in good shape, but the wrong shape.
         (He'll be a strong man, but the wrong man.)
         He ate nutritious, high protein, and swallowed raw eggs.
         (He'll eat nutritious...)       (... swallow...)
         Tried to build up his shoulders, his chest, arms, and legs.
         (Try to...)
         Then a magazine advert with a new muscle plan
         (Such an effort, if he only knew of my plan,)
         Said in just seven days, I can make you a man.
         (In just seven...)
         He'd done pressups and chinups, cleaned and jerked, done the snatch.
         (He'll do pressups, and chinups, do the snatch, clean, and jerk.)
         Thought dynamic tension just must be a catch.
         (He thinks dynamic tension must be hard work)
         So he re-read the advert to see how it ran,
         (Such strenuous living, I just don't understand,)
         It said in just seven days, I can make you a man.
         (In just seven...)

Once In A While

Before Janet sings "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me", Brad should have a song called "Once In a While", which plays intertwined with lines from Janet. The song was filmed, but left out of the movie. While some of Janet's lines during the song are the same as in the final movie, they occur in a different context. After the song, there are more lines which were left out of the movie. These, as well as Janet's lines during the song, are much the same as those in the play.

Barry's version of 'Once In a While' was first heard on the 15th Anniversary Box Set, and a version of the film clip (including some stock footage) was showed at the 20th anniversary. The song is included as an "extra" on the SE Laserdisc and the DVD, though it's not what's printed here. It's a nice job of editing anyway.

 JANET:  (spoken) What's happening here?  Where's Brad?  Where's anybody?
  BRAD:  (sung) Once in a while, she don't want to call you,
         Speaking on the telephone.
         And once in your life, she won't want to know you;
         You look around, the one you've found, she is gone.
 JANET:  (spoken) I'm engaged to Brad just the same as Betty Munroe was to
         Ralph Hapschatt.  But Frank's kisses overwhelmed me with an ecstasy
         I've never dreamt of before.  Hot, burning kisses.
  BRAD:  (sung) And that's all the time that it takes
         For a heart to turn to stone;
         The sweeter the wine, the harder to make the break,
         You hear something about someone you thought you'd known.
 JANET:  (spoken) I could see Brad's face before me and my mind screamed No!
         But my lips were hungry - too hungry.
  BRAD:  (sung) So baby, don't cry like there's no tomorrow,
         After the night, there's a brand new day;
         And there'll be no pain, and no more sorrow,
         So wash your face and phone my place, it'll be okay.
 JANET:  (spoken) I wanted to be loved and loved completely.  My body 
         throbbed excitedly.  Oh, Brad, Brad my darling, how could I have 
         done this to you?
  BRAD:  (sung) And that's all the time that it takes
         For a heart to beat again;
         So give me a sign that a lover makes,
         You look around, the one you've found is back again.
 JANET:  (spoken) If only we hadn't made this journey.  If only the car 
         hadn't broken down.  If only we were amongst friends.. or sane
         persons.

Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me

In the original, the words sung by Columbia and Magenta in the movie are sung by Rocky. Additionally, at the end, Rocky sings the "Hot Patootie" chorus while Janet is singing the "Touch Me" chorus.

Superheroes

The last song (aside from the closing credits) is "Superheroes." Brad and Janet have verses in it that were used in the original version of the movie, but have been left out of some later versions. It was not on the 1990 release of the video, because the people at Fox claimed that they didn't have time to finish it. The scene is included in the SE laserdisc and on the DVD (both as a "Deleted Scene" and where it goes in the film: pick the UK version). (Note: the last verse is in all versions)

         (The castle has just taken off)
  BRAD:  (sung) I've done a lot, God knows I've tried
         To find the truth; I've even lied.
         But all I know is down inside I'm
         Bleeding.
 JANET:  (sung) And Super Heroes come to feast,
         To taste the flesh not yet deceased.
         And all I know is still the beast is
         Feeding.
  BACK:  (lots of ooo-oooh's and aaa-aaah's)
  CRIM:  (spoken) And crawling on the planet's face,
         Some insects called the human race.
         Lost in time, and lost in space.
         And meaning.
  BACK:  (sung) Meaning.

(Note: this last verse is in all versions)

Science Fiction / Double Feature (Reprise)

This song was cut from some versions of the movie. (See below.) It plays over the closing credits.

  RO'B:  Science fiction, double feature,
         Frank has built and lost his creature;
         Darkness has conquered Brad and Janet,
         The servants gone to a distant planet.
         Oh, oh, oh, oh,
         At the late night double feature picture show;
         I want to go - oh, oh,
         To the late night double feature picture show.

What different versions of the movie exist?

At last check, there was the original release of the film, the re-release of the film, the re-re-release of the film, the Japanese video (with subtitles), the UK mono video, two versions of the UK stereo video, the Australian video, the US video (15th anniversary), the laserdisc, the US video re-release, the special edition laserdisc, the US video re-re-release, and the US video re-re-re-release (25th Anniversary).

From version to version, different changes have been made to the soundtrack, the songs "Superheroes" and "Science Fiction/Double Feature (reprise)" have been added and removed, and, on the video and laserdisc versions, documentary footage and a "Time Warp" video have been added sometimes. The SE Laserdisc and the DVD also have oodles of extras, including a version of "Once In A While", as does the most recent US video release. All of these different versions can be quite annoying (and expensive) for completists who want every version of everything.

Original film (1975) and Japanese video (19??):
Has original soundtrack
Has Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Re-release of the film (1976):
Has original soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Does not have Science Fiction reprise
Re-re-release of the film (1990):
Has reworked soundtrack
Has Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
UK mono video (19??):
Has original soundtrack
Has Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Does not have documentary footage
Does not have Time Warp video
UK stereo video (19??):
Has reworked soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Does not have Science Fiction reprise
Has documentary footage
Has Time Warp video
US video (CBS/FOX video 1424; released November 8th, 1990; now out of print):
Has reworked soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Has documentary footage
Has Time Warp video
Video box has raised Lips/Logo on front, cassette is black and red
Laserdisc (1990):
Has reworked soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Does not have documentary footage
Has Time Warp video
UK stereo video (1991):
Has reworked soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Has documentary footage
Does not have Time Warp video
Australian video (1991):
Has reworked soundtrack
Has Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Does not have documentary footage
Video box does not have raised Lips/Logo on front, cassette is black
US video re-release (FOX video 1974; released November 1992):
Has reworked soundtrack
Does not have Superheroes
Has Science Fiction reprise
Does not have documentary footage
Does not have Time Warp video
Video box does not have raised Lips/Logo on front, cassette is black
Laserdisc Special Edition (1995):
Has reworked soundtrack
Has a new audience participation track
Has Once In a While on a separate disc
Has Superheroes on a separate disc
Has three alternate ending credits
THX transfer with a 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio (tho improperly done)
Has special disc with various outtakes, trailers, and the like
Includes 24K CD of the soundtrack, and the book Creatures II
US "Special Edition" video re-release (1998) (also available with Spanish subtitles and in widescreen):
Has new artwork on box
Has reworked soundtrack
Has Once In a While (after the film)
Has Superheroes (after the film)
Has laserdisc SE footage of various outtakes, trailers, and the like
DVD release(2000) :
Has new artwork on box, booklet
English Mono and newly remixed English 5.1 Surround soundtracks
THX anamorphic transfer with original widescreen theatrical format (aspect ratio 1.66:1)
English and Spanish language subtitles
Audience participation track with subtitles
Commentary track with Patricia Quinn and Richard O'Brien
Branching with excerpts of fans performing at the Tower Fox taping, 10th and 15th anniversaries
DVD-ROM extras (trivia game, website links, "jukebox" which jumps directly to the songs)
"Easter Egg" Wizard of Oz beginning (black and white until Time Warp)
Second disc with:
  • All the goodies from the laserdisc
  • The half-hour documentary "Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show"
  • A "Pop-Up Video" of "Hot Patootie"
  • Excerpts from VH-1's "Behind-the-Music: Rocky Horror Picture Show"
  • Cast & Crew Bios
US "25th anniversary" video re-re-release (2000):
Has new artwork on box
Has newly remixed 5.1 stereo soundtrack
Has Superheroes (in the film where it belongs)
DVD release(2002) : (thanks to Kevin Boycik)
Single disc. Contents are exactly the same as disc 1 of the 2000 DVD release.
Box is slightly different: They have changed the background colour of the cover from black to silver-gray, and "25 Years Of Absolute Pleasure" has been removed. All references to second disc have (of course) been removed; text/graphics are otherwise the same.
The actual graphic on the disc itself is different (Frank-sitting-in-the-lips picture)
One-page insert: cover art backed with chapter listing
Blu-Ray release(2009) :
The "digibook" includes a bunch of rare Mick Rock photos, though they're sometimes covered by text
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: Dolby Digital Mono; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Original widescreen theatrical format (aspect ratio 1.66:1)
Subtitles available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish
Includes the entire film performed by an auditioned-for-the-release shadowcast, including a "making of" featurette. Auditions were held in LA, NYC, London.
The Midnight Experience (on-screen AP, cues to throw toast, etc.)
Rocky-oke: Sing It! Commentary By Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn
Don’t Dream It, Be It: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part I
An-tic-i-pation: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part II
Mick Rock (A Photographer)
Mick Rock's Picture Show (A Gallery)
Deleted Musical Scenes
Outtakes
Alternate Credit Ending
Misprint Ending
Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show
Beacon Theater, New York City (10th Anniversary)
Time Warp Music Video (15th Anniversary VHS Release)

What's the difference between the stereo and mono versions? What about the 5.1 mix?

When Fox released the movie on video, rather than working from the original mono soundtrack, they decided to use the stereo release of the music soundtrack. Since the DVD and the 25th anniversary video release don't include this imperfect stereo mix, but instead a newly remixed 5.1 soundtrack, we can probably kiss it goodbye. We can only hope Fox will strike some new prints with the new remixed 5.1 soundtrack, which was mixed from the original mono stems. As of 2000, Lou Adler had no plans to do this...but anything is possible.

This is a partial list of the changes to the songs themselves (changes to everything else are primarily just which channel the sound comes out of). Thanks to Kevin J. Boycik and David Shetterly. David maintained a website called "Fix the Sound" for mono addicts for many years; he took it down after the DVD release but you can find much of the content at Derek Miner's http://minerwerks.tripod.com/ew/rsound.html. The site includes sound files of some of the discrepancies listed below.

Science Fiction / Double Feature

Mono: Richard's voice is predominant over the music.
Stereo: The keyboard and other various instruments can be heard much better. Mixed nicer and more evenly. The saxophone that plays throughout the mono version is cut off until the very end of the song.

Dammit, Janet

Mono: The piano can be heard more.
Stereo: More even mix of instruments.
Richard's, Pat's, and Nell's backing vocals sound like completely different takes on the different versions. Brad's vocals are stationary on the right-hand side, Janet's vocals are stationary on the left-hand side, and the "chorus of church folk" is always on the right side, even though they are all moving different places on the screen!

Over at the Frankenstein Place

The backing chorus are completely different takes in the different versions. The stereo mix is much more in tune. Some claim they can hear Richard, Pat, & Nell in the background of the mono. Again, the entire chorus is on the right-hand side.

The Time Warp

Mono: Magenta hisses and moans a lot throughout. Riff's voice dominates in the chorus.
Stereo: Magenta's noises are much more subdued and sometimes nonexistent. Most noticeable is when Riff says "I've got to" in the first verse. For the most part, the chorus is mixed differently.
As the music for the stereo release of the film was taken from the soundtrack, and Columbia's tapdance isn't in the soundtrack, some mixing between the versions had to be done. After Columbia finishes her tapdance, the first part of the chorus is from the mono version, and Riff's voice is prominent (unlike the other choruses of the stereo version). When it cuts to the Criminologist, it's back to the stereo version. The overdub cuts off parts of the Crim spots. "With your hands on your hips" becomes "your hands on your hips".
Additionally, as Columbia's tapdance is not on the stereo master, right before she jumps off the jukebox the music sounds as if it's about to end, but then cuts to Columbia screaming "yeeeaaawwww".
Finally, Magenta's verse is completely different on the soundtrack and so the mono master had to be used for her verse. Right after Riff sings "Like you're under sedation" it goes back to stereo and there is a noticeable difference in the balance of the music.

Sweet Transvestite

Mono: The lead vocal is much louder than the music. During the last "Transexual, Transylvania", only Riff, Magenta, and Columbia can be heard singing. The lead guitar is a bit subdued.
Stereo: There is a more even mix of vocals and music. Frank's voice can be heard singing the last "Transexual, Transylvania". A bit of Janet's scream is cut off as the music starts. When Brad starts saying "could we use your phone", etc., it cuts to mono, and then back to stereo after Frank throws the cup.
Also, at the beginning, the beats in time with Frank's heel start at different times in the different versions.

Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me

Mono: There is an echo in Janet's voice during this song, as she's singing in a tiled laboratory. There is much laughter when it cuts to Magenta and Columbia in the second verse.
Stereo: There is no echo to Janet's voice. None of the sound effects for Magenta and Columbia are in the second verse. Additionally, during "Then if anything grows" a string section can be hear that is nonexistent in the mono.
During the last run of "Creatures of the Night", Frank's, Rocky's, and Janet's lines are completely different in the stereo version. Rocky's and Janet's are not in synch at all.

Eddie's Teddy

Mono: Dr. Scott's voice is more dominant during the chorus. Brad's voice is dominant during the end "wo-ho-ho" and "hey-hey-hey".
Stereo: The voices are all mixed more evenly. The piano during Columbia's verse is louder.

Floor Show

Rocky's verse is completely different, though both versions are in synch. At the end of Janet's verse, the word 'landed' is sung completely differently and doesn't even come close to matching her lips (or arm motions) in the stereo version.

Wild and Untamed Thing

Mono: The voices are all mixed evenly. Because of this, Columbia's singing is particularly noticeable. At the end when Riff sings "you are now my prisoner," the word 'prisoner' sounds more spoken than sung.
Stereo: The voices' echoes are gone. Frank's voice is prominent and drowns out any of the specific voices that can be heard in the mono. 'Prisoner' is sung.

I'm Going Home

Mono: Columbia can be heard signing "oh, my, my" when it cuts to her. Magenta can be heard yawning.
Stereo: "Oh, my, my" is mixed evenly. Magenta can only be seen yawning.
Frank's line "Everywhere...it's been the same" is different in the different versions.

Superheroes

In most mono versions and some stereo versions, Brad's and Janet's verses are hardly noticeable (if at all). These are the mono/stereo differences for these versions.
Mono: The cut from the castle taking off to Dr. Scott lying on the ground is very smooth and not noticeable, mostly because music is played as the castle is taking off.
Stereo: The cut is noticeable because there is no music while the castle is taking off. When the song comes in it just sounds like a bad edit or a skip (which is what it is).

Science Fiction / Double Feature (Reprise)

Completely different vocal takes on the different versions.

The modern stereo prints finish with Science Fiction reprise, then the Time Warp Jam.

The cut mono prints finish with a version of the Time Warp instead.

What about the DCP, which is what they're playing at my theater?

Yep, that's different too. Some things have been fixed and some utterly new things screwed up. (Ask your editor what she thinks about the DCP version of "Hot Patootie." No, better, don't.) Notably, a completely different take is used for part of Janet's singing during "There's a Light." We're hoping to find someone to provide a summary.

Why are there so many different versions?

The primary reasoning behind removing Superheroes and Science Fiction Reprise is that they were felt to be too much of a "downer" for the US cult audience. The European version was never changed, however, and so among the various videos and films, the scenes are sometimes there and sometimes not. Fortunately, those at TCF seem to have wised up lately, so most every version released nowadays has the scenes.

Director Jim Sharman gave his perspective in an April 2010 interview at http://www.mediamikes.com/2010/04/interview-with-jim-sharman/ : "The version with Super Heroes is the original ending and the best one...there was some studio tinkering and Super Heroes was deleted, probably through a desire to give it a more conventional movie ending – which is frankly impossible with a film like “RHPS”. The fans eventually complained and the original ending was restored, for which I’m very grateful. ....The film begins and ends quietly, reflectively, and in darkness – and that’s how it should be."

As to the different soundtracks, the main reason is that Lou Adler likes stereo. Die-hard fans of the movie begged TCF to release a version with the original mono soundtrack, and finally after 10 years, it happened. (To anyone at Fox if you are reading this: THANK YOU!!) Why did it take so long? There are (relatively) few people out there who actually know about and appreciate the original soundtrack, and, quite frankly, when run through a heavy-duty home entertainment system, the reworked soundtrack did sound better from a purely aesthetic standpoint. People who pay thousands of dollars for laserdisc players (and amplifiers, speakers, etc.) want to be able to get the most from their systems, and a "remastered multi-channel" soundtrack is more likely to sell. Now, with the DVD, both gearhead audiophiles and mono addicts can be happy.

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