Pop Culture References

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What movies have had references to RHPS?

  • And God Spoke - The Spinal Tap for filmmakers. Major RHPS references.
  • 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 older B-movie. It is unconfirmed if this is an intentional reference, but reports have it that the video box has lips on the front and blood letters.
  • Fame - a few of the characters go to see Sal Piro and RHPS in New York
  • 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)
  • Men In Black - while Tommy Lee Jones and The Fresh Prince are wandering around on the streets looking for an alien, they go to a newsstand where a character 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"
  • Pulp Fiction - there is reference to the character "Tony Rocky Horror"
  • Tank Girl - the Rain Lady is wearing a yellow "Lips" tshirt
  • Valley Girl - punk boys and valley girls pass line of people waiting to get into RHPS. Punk-boy Fred introduces himself and says his favorite color is Magenta.
  • Vampyres: Daughters of Dracula - not really a reference, but features Oakley Court, the same castle as was used in RHPS (Vampyres was made first).
  • 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. Low budget and not particularly recommended except for collectors.
  • 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 Show (2011, Wicked). "A XXX parody." Detailed film-style costumes and at least some set pieces; originally featured parody songs until Richard heard about it. Wicked offered to have fans appear in non-sex roles as Transylvanians; at least one or two took them up on it.

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 .

  • The Amazing Spiderman - Spidey calls a villain "you reject from The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
  • Ballyhoo: The Hollywood Sideshow - John Waters compares RHPS to the 1950's gimmick films of William Castle
  • The Boondocks (the 2010 "Pause" episode), a cross-dressing parody of Tyler Perry and an entourage perform a musical number "It's All Right to Cross-Dress for God" which includes the opening chords from Sweet T, Transylvanians, Tyler Perry in a Sweet T corset, and a woman in an abbreviated gold Columbia outfit.
  • The Brady Bunch Variety Hour - references 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.
  • Cagney and Lacey - they pass two young girls in full RHPS regalia who were arrested under suspicion of being prostitutes when they were just on their way to the theatre
  • 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.
  • 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; featured Rocky Horror-themed ads, too.
  • Count Duckula - a clean-cut Brad & Janet -esque duck couple get a flat tire and walk through the rain to Duckula's castle.
  • 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!"
  • Dream On - one episode was titled "The Rocky Marriage Picture Show"
  • Drew Carey Show - Drew dresses 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.
  • 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"
  • Fridays - The Ronny Horror Picture Show. Simply brilliant; obviously done by someone who loved the movie.
  • 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.
  • Glee: dedicated an entire show ("The Rocky Horror Glee Show") 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. Soundtrack available.
  • 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.
  • MTV Rocky Horror 1990 Special (The Big Picture) - Costume contests and the like
  • MTV's The Big Picture - used clips from the RHPS movie trailer in its opening sequence for about a year
  • 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.
  • Night Flight - highlighted 10th Anniversary
  • 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.
  • The Real Ghostbusters - on a trip to Transylvania, Ray makes a comment about the Rocky Horror Show...in what may (or may not; does anyone know?) be a separate incident, in the Dec. 11 broadcast, Egon is told "Yeah, we'll get you a guest shot on the Rocky Horror Show."
  • Red Dwarf - Lister has an image from the CD above his bunk on Red Dwarf [not in the first couple of seasons].
  • Real People - did a segment
  • 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.
  • Saturday Night Live - In the episode hosted by Tim Curry with Meat Loaf as musical guest, 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). It's on YouTube.
  • 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 - Dr. Hibbert arrived at The Aztec Theatre in RHPS garb for a film festival (which was showing something else). When he arrived, he stated, "D'oh I thought they were playing The Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight, tee hee hee."
  • That '70s Show - In the Halloween 2000 episode, Fez dressed as Frank (though the rest of the show was more a tribute to Hitchcock).
  • 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.
  • 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 - was featured in a show about addictions

What music videos have had references to RHPS?

  • Tim Curry - "Paradise Garage" (features Dori Hartley)
  • Meat Loaf - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (Leap of Faith version)
  • Poison - "I Want Action"
  • Dana McCoy - (title unknown) (shot in Nell's and features a Columbia)
  • 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."

How about text references?

Okay, okay. Rocky Horror shows up periodically in comic books and other magazines which reflect American popular culture.

  • Mad Magazine features references occasionally.
    • Tim Curry's character in their "Red October" spoof 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.
  • The dialogue from Dr. Scott's "vibrator" speech ("You mean?!") is featured in one of the early issues of comic book "Ninja High School."
  • Riff Raff and Magenta appeared in a panel of a "coloring book" in Cracked Magazine with other villains: "...color 'em the evil color of their hearts...pitch black!"
  • Dr. Frank N. Furter was featured in the January 2000 issue of eBay Magazine in the "Grudge Match" column pitted against Sylvester Stallone's Rocky. Frank trounced Sly 168 auctions to 72 (based on eBay auction totals).
  • Riff Raff appears on the cover of the 50th issue of "Shivers" magazine, in a cover echoing 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.
  • In issue 3 of the comic book "Friends of MAXX" the characters attend the Rocky Horror Picture Show in costume and one of them has a revelation about his life during the pool scene.

What other movies have gotten the "RHPS Treatment"?

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 - see Section 9). Later additions, still going strong as of this writing, are "Repo" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

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 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. Other films fans have shadowcast at conventions include "Clue" and "Phantom of the Paradise."

The people behind "Repo" have 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.


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.

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.

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 (1981)
  • The Rocky Horror Muppet Show - done at an SF con (1990)
    Tom Smith, the author, writes: "[T]he convention was the 1977 Ohio Valley Filk Fest in Delaware, Ohio." So maybe it's been done more than once.
  • 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. Some places do offer it to rent, so before you purchase it, try checking your more seedy video stores]
  • The Schlocky Horror Picture Show - Barf Magazine (June, 1990)
  • The Schlocky Horror Picture Show - Cracked Magazine
  • 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?

Where can I get cool RHPS stuff?

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

There are various groups on the Net that sell merchandise, including Bruce Cutter (http://www.darkrefrain.com). Also, people occasionally sell stuff on alt.cult-movies.rocky-horror, though this happens less since the advent of eBay.

The Fan Club sells merchandise (http://www.insv.com/rhps/memorabi.html), and so do many of the other unofficial clubs. There is also an on-line store at http://www.rockyhorror.com/onlinestore.html, though I'm not crazy about much of the stuff there: still, completists should have a ball.

Variety maintains a store at http://variety.studiostore.com/ which has Rocky Horror items, though everything's on sale, so they may be getting rid of it.

The Vital Toys RH figures and survival kit are available directly from Vital Toys (http://www.vitaltoys.com). Shop around first; you may find them cheaper elsewhere. The website is slow, obnoxious, and not really that informative.

If you must go someplace mainstream, shops like Hot Topic and Spencer's have been carrying small amounts of Rocky stuff for years. Check them out (or your local comic book shop) instead of paying inflated prices on eBay.

ROCKY HORROR SHOW MERCHANDISE

The Broadway Shop includes Rocky Horror Show items at http://www.broadwaynewyork.com/main.asp?StoreID=1. (Also includes movie items.)

PHOTOS

If you are looking for photos, http://www.masterswarehouse.com/ has a good collection, including some hard-to-find autographed photos (they got Peter Hinwood, among others, to do a signing!).

Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Materials Store ( http://moviematerials.com/) in New York City, Still Things in Las Vegas ( http://www.primenet.com/~stills/Fantastique.html) and Cinema Collectors in Hollywood don't specialize in RHPS stuff, but they have lots of RHPS stills, if that's your thing.

Still Things has an online catalog of stills you can buy (text descriptions only). Nice selection, and they will sell you wallet-size color photos so you don't have to pay full price to buy a photo only to discover you already have it.

The website for Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Materials Store is pretty useless, but the store is a must-visit if you're in NYC (it's right next to Nell's). There's no on-line catalog, though they will send you a text listing of Rocky photos if you send a self-addressed stamped envelope (ask for the Rocky Horror List, #37).

Cinema Collectors isn't on-line (to my knowledge, anyway).

Cinema Collectors 1507 Wilcox Ave Hollywood, CA 90028 (323) 461-6516 (323) 461-6519 (fax)

You can also try your luck on http://www.ebay.com, which sometimes has interesting used rare stuff. However, it also includes plenty of run-of-the-mill current stuff marked "RARE!" that some yahoo is selling for way too much money, so buyer beware.

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 at times. 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. (Official (outdated) information and screen-grabs can be found at www.on-line.co.uk/iwpress/rhs.htm...but the TimeWarp page is much better.) If you want to actually order one, your best bet is to order one from http://www.darkrefrain.com.

Is there an official sequel to RHPS?

No. However, Richard O'Brien announced in 1999 that he was working on a sequel for the stage, with Janet having Frank's baby. In October 2001 he finished the first draft. We don't know much about it except that Columbia also returns and that Frank will sing the song "I'm Not Dead Yet."

There may some day be a made-for-TV remake; Richard went to LA to talk with Lou Adler and Fox about it, also in October 2001.

What about Shock Treatment?

What about it? To quote Richard O'Brien, it's "not a sequel, not a prequel, but an equal." It's just another movie. Granted, it happens after RHPS happens (we assume), but it's no more a sequel to RHPS than Silence of the Lambs is a sequel to Manhunter (ask the folks on a.c-m for that one).

Check the Shock Treatment section for more info.

What about Revenge of the Old Queen?

Like that's ever going to happen. Richard O'Brien has said he doesn't want to see it made. Look for it at about the same time Hell freezes over. For those truly interested, tho', here's some information...

New Characters:

  • The Old Queen - a very large royal grandmother
  • Steve Majors - younger brother of Brad
  • Lord DeLordy - first cousin to the Old Queen
  • Ray Ammbo - head of UFO investigatory agency
  • Sonny Ammbo - young and sexy rock star and regular Frankie fan
  • Judy Brankmire - UFO investigatory agent
  • Mary Lou - Ray's secretary

New Songs:

  • The Moon Drenched Shores of Transylvania
  • Sweet on the Street (?)
  • Short End of the Stick
  • I'm a Mother
  • Love at First Sight
  • Never Let Your Daughter Date an Alien
  • Judy Judy Judy
  • I Want to Get my Own Back
  • No Hiding Place
  • Little Old Heart Stopping Me

At least some of the songs made it as far as a demo tape; this was confirmed at the London Transylvania '92 convention. A script (very much a work in progress) is available at http://www.angelfire.com/movies/RevengeOldQueen/rotoq.html.

Anything else?

  • There is a Rocky Horror Slot Machine, featuring cartoon images of the characters.
  • There are rumors about a pinball game in the making. Keep a lookout on rec.games.pinball for occasional updates.
  • 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"

[Category:Trivia]