This year marks the 40th anniversary of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” This cult classic has become a tradition and even a rite of passage since its initial failure in 1975. Rocky Horror was considered one of the worst failures of cinematic history and was only revived by the dedication of avid fans. With 40 years under its belt, Rocky Horror is now the longest running movie in history. The Procrastinator Theatre has been running Rocky Horror every Halloween for years.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is an eccentric parody of both sci-fi and horror movies. It’s a musical featuring a 50s-style vibe about a young, recently engaged couple, who become stranded with Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist transvestite, and his rather dull, but hunky creation Rocky. When watching it, you won’t be screaming in terror, but will most likely scream with laughter.
David Thiede, who runs the Procrastinator, said that the best part of going to Rocky Horror is having a blast and dressing up. At least half of the audience was dressed up as characters from the film, and some were dressed in Halloween costumes. (Although he does admit that he believes the best audience is when there is a mix of casual watchers and passionate dressed-up fans.) One of the best parts of Rocky Horror is that it is actually a requirement that you make a mess — people are encouraged to throw toast, shoot water guns, throw rice and yell replies and insults at the screen.
This obviously creates quite the mess. Thiede says it takes the film crew nearly two hours after every show to clean up because of all the rice. Even with the cleanup required he says it is still worth it to put the show on year after year. Thiede said his favorite part of putting on Rocky Horror is watching everyone take to the floor to dance the Time Warp. He also enjoys looking out over the audience when things get thrown and of course the preshow is always fun.
The pre-show itself is something worth seeing. Thiede spends a fair bit of time working to make the preshow fun and interesting. He will often tell stories, however, he does say that those stories are entirely for comedic value — he does not yet need Viagra, as many patrons of this year’s shows might believe.
The pre-show also consists of two games that tend to make people blush. One game is used to “baptize” the Rocky Horror Virgins (those who have never seen or been to Rocky Horror before.) and the other is to play with the veterans who chose to dress up as characters from the show. Of course as an audience member, even a virgin, you always have the choice whether or not you wish to participate in these games, but still as a virgin be warned: If you do participate you will do a fair amount of blushing.
The Procrastinator’s showing of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has been a fundraiser for as long as Thiede can remember. He said it was his choice to continue making it a fundraiser and he did so gladly. The fundraiser, besides helping patrons of the show donate food to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, lets people see the show without paying cash — an important note because Rocky Horror is still a somewhat controversial and admittedly very strange. This way, Thiede says, the worst thing that will come of someone not liking the show or deciding it isn’t their thing is that they’ve donated some food to people in need. Last year Rocky Horror brought in about 500 pounds of food and this year is estimated to have brought in at least as much, if not more.