“A mental mind-fuck can be nice” Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Director: Jim Sharman

Language: English and the soft whispering of fishnet clad thighs

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I adore this delicious, sequinned, garter wearing, well heeled, exuberant mess of a film. I have loved it ever since I first saw it. To give you an idea of how much, I am pretty sure that a Halloween costume one year was the demonspawn of Gene Simmons at the height of KISS and Frank-N-Furter. My youth was a strange place.

This Halloween, the first in a new city, I found myself at a loose end at 4pm. I had been productive and I had no pressing demands on my time. I had also spent about two days obsessively re-reading old entries on The Toast, including Femslash Fridays. A whisper began in the back of my skull and crept through my hair. ‘Go on’ it said ‘Rocky Horror’.

So, without further ado, I give you the thoughts I had while watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show AND an homage to the great writers of The Toast’s ‘Femslash Fridays’. You know it makes sense.

  1. Ok. So last time I tried to do one of these my roommate’s kidney basically decided to stage a protest. Thus I am but halfway through DadVlad.
  2. Those of you paying attention last time will know VladDad is Dracula Untold. Probably. Or you’ll just be like ‘eh’.
  3. ANYWAY it’s Halloween today and I did exercise and applied for jobs so FUCK IT IM GOING TO WATCH ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AT 4 pm YAASSSS
  4. I know I have been lax lately, I have many other posts for you, I promise. But let’s start here
  5. I have to say now, already, that this will also involve a #femslashfriday. Even though it’s a Monday. I know, I’m sorry.
  6. But if you think for ONE SINGLE SECOND that I am going to watch this delicious mess and NOT comment on Little Nell and Magenta (1)
  7. And how they would just be SO MUCH HAPPIER IF THEY DITCHED THE LADS, then you have another thing coming, sirrah (2)
  8. I love that I just strode into my local in a black jumpsuit with heavy eyeliner and black lipstick and bought a shit ton of sweets (1)
  9. And because it’s Halloween NOT A SINGLE HUMAN JUDGED ME. (2)
  10. It is entirely possible they were out of fucks to give, also.
  11. Maybe it could be #femslashfrightnight?
  12. No, you know what, no. I don’t have to force alliteration in order to discuss ladies who should be getting it on. Femslash always.
  13. This theme tune is so glorious.
  14. Richard O’brien your allure is so confusing in this movie. Never more so than when singing this.
  15. Ok. So I’m watching this on Amazon Prime and X-ray is on. It is notifying me that this song references other movies…
  16. OF COURSE IT DOES IT’S A LATE NIGHT SCIENCE FICTION DOUBLE FEATURE PICTURE SHOW FUUEEERRGGGHHHHHH
  17. Who wore the close up lip look better? Rocky Horror or Samuel Beckett’s ‘Not I’?
  18. Richard O’Brien in this song sounds like the BBC radio Gandalf who creeped me out as a kid. This is appropriate.
  19. JUST SO YOU KNOW THAT ACTORS FIRST NAME WAS HERON YAH YOU’RE WELCOME.
  20. Yaaassss American Gothic reference.
  21. I lied earlier, Richard O’Brien is oddly attractive throughout. With all the charisma and the cheekbones.
  22. His cheeks are like the caves of rare birds
  23. DAMMIT JANET IS COMING I KNOW IT OH I AM SO EXCITED
  24. If you think being alone is going to stop me singing along then all of you can just leave now because this relationship is obviously over.
  25. THE RIVER WAS LONG BUT I SWAM IT YES BRAD BE INCREDIBLY REPRESSED AND SING THIS SONG YES.
  26. The way Barry Bostwick does the ‘oh … dammit’ is literally everything.
  27. I was wondering why all the tangfastics tasted the same and then realised I had opened only the fizzy cola bottles. That’s how excited I am.
  28. ‘When we met in his science exam it – made me give you the eye and then panic’
  29. I ACTUALLY FORGOT THE HILARIOUS NARRATOR WITH A CIGARETTE HOLDER
  30. ‘I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey’ said in Charles Gray’s criminologist voice is my new chat up line for all of time.
  31. His eyebrow raise should have its own credit in this film.
  32. The way he says Pendulous is MOMENTOUS. Also his cravat is RIGHTEOUS.
  33. BLOOD TRICKLE SCREEN TRANSITION YAASSS.
  34. ‘Life’s pretty cheap for that type’ – OH BRAD.
  35. ‘Didn’t we pass a castle down the road a few miles?’ – OH BRAD, YET AGAIN.
  36. Has holding a newspaper over your head actually helped at all, Janet? It is biblically raining. You are standing still. Veto.
  37. CLOSE UP OF RICHARD O’BRIEN BRACKETED BY A GOTHIC WINDOW AND SINGING LIKE A SECRET HEARTH DEMON IS ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN.
  38. The library aesthetic of the Criminologist is on fleek. I definitely want a bronze lectern that is an eagle.
  39. HI RIFFRAFF HI HI HI. YOUR CHEEKBONES ARE CAGES FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF ELDRITCH LOVERS.
  40. PATRICIA QUINN PLEASE BE IN EVERY SCENE AND MY BEDROOM.
  41. The way she laughs during the Time Warp is unreasonably glorious.
  42. IT’S JUST A JUMP TO THE LEFT AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE IM SINGING.
  43. Magenta, for real, stahp. Your face is a canvas for levels of beauty barely comprehensible to me as a mere mortal.
  44. I definitely once bought a sparkly mini top hat in the hope that it would transform me into Little Nell and it did not.
  45. I CALLED HER LITTLE NELL BUT HER NAME IS COLUMBIA LITTLE NELL IS FROM THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP.
  46. I feel that Dickens’ classic tear jerker might be improved by an outfit made entirely of sequins and a chin made from pure determination.
  47. The face she makes when she jams her hat back on her head is so beautiful that I must find a gif set of it. If it does not exist I will weep.
  48. (I could not find one. But I found several that will be the subject of keen scrutiny later in our Femslash section. Gird your loins)
  49. TIM CURRY IS ON HIS GLORIOUS WAY.
  50. The way he says ‘down’ is all kinds of sexual.
  51. FUUURRHHHHJHGGG THE LIP JERK I WANT TO BOTTLE YOUR CHARISMA AND TAKE IT WITH ME ALWAYS.
  52. MAGENTA THAT EYEBROW RAISE JUST OUT SEXUAL TENSIONED EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM AND TIM CURRY IS IN FISHNETS YOU ARE A COMPLETE GODDESS.
  53. Magenta holding Columbia’s leg is going to be an interesting piece of evidence in my lengthy discussion of why they should be ladyboning.

  54. Riffraff swigging champagne from the bottle is how I have looked at many a party and the comparison honours me.

  55. The laboratory in this film is actually kind of kubrickian in tone.

  56. Oh Brad, that glasses removal was an exceptional piece of acting.

  57. I really want a classical style statue of a naked dude as part of my speaker arrangement. Home deco INSPO AM I RITE?
  58. Where’s my vodka blood orange gone?
  59. Hiding behind the bag of sweets, you cheeky bastard.
  60. I’m going to go ahead and credit this film for all the times I tried to dye my short hair red. Clearly I wanted to be Columbia.
  61. I have matured. Now, I want to be Magenta.
  62. The foot pop Curry does on ‘kicked’ is poetry.
  63. Here comes Columbias ‘lover’. Pfft. No. Sorry, Meatloaf. No.
  64. The woman with the pure hair who goes ‘LOVELY PARTY’ is an unsung fucking hero.
  65. I wonder what her hopes and dreams are. Why you here, hun?
  66. Oh look magenta is dancing with riffraff and it’s obviously not to get Columbia’s attention because of COURSE they aren’t lady lovers. pfft.
  67. Why did you ride a motorbike around a room indoors, guy. No wonder you just got mashed to death with a pick axe. Respect the space.
  68. This film is basically sex dressed in tiny pants held together by red headed ladies, fishnets, and glitter and every single moment is ace.
  69. Columbia seems to have gotten over Eddie’s death quickly (maybe because truly she’s in love with a lady dunno just saying)
  70. The criminologists chin is a landscape of haughty thought and judgement and I prize it.
  71. Riffraff has only one spat. Edgy.
  72. I don’t believe there is a single look that Magenta gives anybody in this film which is anything less than gloriously alluring.
  73. Ok. Riffraff, honey. If you want to kiss Magenta on the neck then that’s fine but imma write this femslash argument anyway k thanks.
  74. Also is she your sister? I can’t remember.
  75. ‘There’s no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure’ YASS GEDDIT BRAD.
  76. Can someone explain how in anyway that weird underskirt is a useful piece of underwear for anyone? It is a middling bum swathe and I hate it.
  77. I’m going to come back to this scene HEAVILY because it is the centerpiece of why Magenta and Columbia should be regularly t-t-t-touching.
  78. Also I’m obsessed with Columbia’s inclusion of a plastic Mickey hat with her pyjamas.
  79. SRSLY THEY’RE OBVIOUSLY GIRLFRIENDS RIFFRAFF AND EDDIE ARE NOTHING.
  80. Riffraff, your twitch smile is half a reaction and a glorious insult to all who aim to please you.
  81. Frank-N-Furter, babe, I get you’ve been seducing people all evening but there’s a run in your fishnets and you might wanna look to that.
  82. Brad is crossing his arms at Janet like he didn’t bone Frank-N-Furter and that’s being a hypocritical little douchebag, Brad, so hush.
  83. I’m going to start always serving food in my bra. Magenta does it and I love it.
  84. ‘A rather tender subject, another slice anyone?’ FRANK-N-FURTER YOU PERFECT TROLL.
  85. DONT CRY COLUMBIA YOU HAVE A MICKEY HAT.
  86. Tim Curry’s tiny chair bound chin dance is a majesty of cruel angles and perfect bones in harmonious arrangement.
  87. ‘You’re as sensual as a pencil’
  88. ‘You’re a hotdog but you better not try to hurt her, Frankfurter’
  89. ‘Do you hear me I loved you’ Columbia, baby, you have made some questionable life decisions.
  90. ‘It’s not easy having a good time, even smiling makes my face ache’ Finally. Somebody who gets it.
  91. ‘Come, we are ready for the floor show’ is how I would like to exit every single room in my future just so you know.
  92. Riffraff and Magenta ARE siblings. Just laying it down there, guys.
  93. I think rose tint my world is actually my favorite song from this film.
  94. I forgot how this last 20 minutes is an absolute glitter shit show.
  95. Tfw your the one holding the shoe in the underwater orgy.
  96. Rocky’s cancan kick needs work. I currently give it 2/10.
  97. I will be shortly installing a lever in my house that throws black gauzy veils toward me that is also a wind machine. Because reasons.
  98. Oh Riffraff, honey. I like you. It’s ok. Maybe don’t laser people for attention though next time?
  99. EVERYONE IN THIS FILM IS MAGNIFICENTLY BETHIGHED.
  100. WELL THAT WAS MARVELOUS OFF TO WRITE AN EXTENDED ARGUMENT FOR MAGENTA AND COLUMBIA’S RELATIONSHIP WHILE THE CREDITS ROLL

Did I, in fact, go off and write an extended argument for Columbia and Magenta t-t-t-touching? WELL OBVIOUSLY I DID.

Look, Columbia has made some questionable choices. Frank-N-Furter (“I loved you, goddamnit I loved you”) and Eddie (“Everybody shoved him/ I very nearly loved him”), have both proved that they are massively unworthy of her affections. Frank-N-Furter threw her over for a character played by Meatloaf and then for a muscular lab creation in gold underpants. I’m not passing a single bit of judgement over that, I am just stating the facts. That’s what he did. So, safe to say, she doesn’t need another Frank-N-Furter.

That brings us to Eddie. Eddie is a massive tool. His saxophone doesn’t have a reed in it. He barely even attempts to ravish her on the floor in a film where everyone is being ravished nigh on constantly. No. No Eddie. Bad Eddie. In addition, his song includes these lines:

‘My head used to swim from the perfume I smelt/
My hands kinda fumbled with her white plastic belt’

Columbia does not need a lover whose hands ‘kinda fumble’ on her belt and then says nothing more about the sexual encounter. Nobody wants weird belt fumbling and then cut to brylcreem, the front seat and Buddy Holly. That’s no satisfactory. Last, but by no means least, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that Columbia was ‘taken by surprise’ by a ‘snake of a guy’ with an ‘evil wink’, ‘the devil’s eyes’ and a ‘pickup truck’. None of these things add up to Eddie. In any way. So, in short, Eddie and Columbia are not even remotely sexually compatible. Also Eddie dies halfway through. Leaving Columbia in desperate need of some good sex and some cheering up.

Now that that’s settled, let’s take a quick peek at Magenta. Actually let’s just go ahead and have a good long look. Magenta is fun. Magenta is glorious. Magenta is sensuality coiled up tight and dressed in a french maid outfit. Magenta is glorious. Magenta may or may not be having a weird thing with Riffraff but let’s pass over that for the moment because we must discuss THIS scene.

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LOOK AT THESE LASSES. Here is Columbia, one ex dead and the other just joined in weird matrimony to a creature he created himself. Who is she consoling herself with? Magenta. What are they doing? Laughing together while they pamper themselves. THAT, my friends, is glorious. Look at the way Colombia braces her hand on Magenta’s knee as she laughs. Magic.

I just feel that this one scene, where these two incredibly passionate and fabulous women relax together, is kind of telling. They’ve had a stressful day, by anyone’s standards. Instead of going to Riffraff or weeping over Eddie, they spend this time together. They don’t feel the need to go the whole nine yards with each other, they can let themselves go. Columbia has swapped the sequins for her pyjamas and a Mickey Mouse hat. Magenta has lost a stocking. They live in a world of high performance all the time, but here, with each other, they take it down a notch. They lounge, they laugh, they jokingly attack one another with neck kisses.

Look, I’m not saying it would last forever. I’m not saying that they would, or should, get to ride off into the sunset together, possibly in a pick-up truck. After all, Magenta is really from another planet. I have no idea how well Columbia would get on there. I’m just saying that, in this little moment they take together, they both seem genuinely happy. Colombia isn’t desperately trying to grip on to Magenta, the way she did for Eddie and Frank-N-Furter, she’s just lightly holding her. Just a hand on her knee while she laughs. Is it too much to hope that when she sings ‘the only thing that gives me hope, is my love of a certain dope’, she might have finally realised that the dope shouldn’t be Eddie?

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