“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is back this weekend at the Warnor’s Theatre (you can also see a stage production of the show at Severance Theatre through Nov. 24), and that got me thinking about my very first (and quite smelly) experience with the show.
I believe it was 1989 at a showing of the movie at the University of Northern Colorado gym. My friends were eager to attend. They had all grown up going to showings and couldn’t wait to introduce me, the ‘Rocky Horror’ virgin, to the spectacle.
Our group gathered and found a spot on the gym floor, about a quarter of the way back from the portable movie screen assembled at the front of the room. My friends had a prepped me – sort of – for the fan participation, so I wasn’t surprised by the enthusiasm when the movie started clipping along.
But then came the SpaghettiO’s.
I’m not even sure what scene it was, and I haven’t found many people who have heard of tossing SpaghettiO’s as part of the fan participation, but at this screening the SpaghettiO’s were flying. And I think an entire can was matted into in my waist-length hair.
As much fun as I had seeing the movie and playing along, to this day I’m grossed out by the thought of SpaghettiO’s. Chalk it up to the power of our sense of smell. That day was etched into my memmory. So for me, the words “Rocky Horror” conjure up images of sticky, smelly, slimy SpaghettiO’s.
I asked the Beehive crew to share their “Rocky Horror” memories. Let’s go on a Time Warp.
SWP: The first time I saw it was in 1979. It showed only at Midnight. I was on the ASB and several of us packed into my friend’s dad’s car and drove out to a party some 60 miles away to a dark and very rural area outside of San Dimas in SoCal. The party was not happening – so, we decided to cruise around town. Soon we were being followed by the local sheriff. My (brilliant) friend tried to lose them by driving through neighborhoods – he was pulled over at about the same time one of the tires blew out! I can remember thinking ‘is that a warning shot?’ After a brief encounter with the law and fixing the flat, we starting talking with some girls who invited us to the movie showing up the street. That was the best part of the night – the spectacle & audience participation – what a blast. The car ran out of gas about half-way home and my friend had to called his Dad to pick us up – at three in the morning!
Bethany: Rocky Horror was a favorite high school pastime in the early 1990s. We used to go to the midnight showing, driving from my small town into what we called “the city,” (Rochester, NY, half the size of Fresno).
Rocky Horror showings were the type of place where misfits and theater kids could let their freak flag fly and no one would judge them. Some wore lingerie like the characters in the film. I was never brave enough to do that, but I do remember a pair of particularly loud floral tights with cutoff shorts that I probably couldn’t get away with anywhere else.
We’d dance the “Time Warp” in the aisles, scream out jokes between dialogue, throw toilet paper and just generally have a blast.
Rick: My “Rocky” close encounter was walking through a hotel lobby in Los Angeles several years ago and spotting Richard O’Brien sitting by himself. O’Brien not only wrote the original musical play for “Rocky Horror” but plays Riff Raff. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know how easy it was to spot O’Brien.
I hesitated approaching him because the role is so creepy but wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed the production. He was happy to talk about “Rocky Horror” and invited me to sit and talk. While I sat there, he was approached by another fan who asked for an autograph. He not only signed a piece of paper but also added a drawing.
Mike: My most horrific “Rocky” experience was watching “Rocky IV” and seeing Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed IN THE RING in an exhibition fight. It was about the saddest thing Young Mike Oz had ever experi …. hold on a sec. We aren’t talking about the “Rocky” film series are we? Ya know, the boxer? Sly Stallone? No!! What ARE we talking about? Rocky Horror Picture Show? Sorry, never seen it.
Donald: True story: I never actually saw the entire movie until I was in my 20s. In my first month working at The Bee, I got a walloping case of flu, and I sheepishly called my editor and said I was coughing up various internal organs and couldn’t come to work. (Great first impression, huh.) I stumbled to the video store and rented a bunch of flicks, including “Rocky Horror,” and I watched with a fever and three boxes of Kleenex as Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon did their thing. So the whole experience remains sort of a fog for me, like an achy dream. However, I do have strong prior experience with “The Time Warp.” When I was a freshman, my friend Todd was class president, and he organized us all to perform the song and dance for our class skit at a football rally. There we were, about 40 of us, all thrusting our (mostly) inexperienced pelvises, and we were quite the hit. Again, a fog of memory: I think we beat the senior class in the skit competition. Or am I having a senior moment? Must check in with my high-school buddies and verify. Ah, the memories.