“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” hands down stands as the single most influential movie in my life without a doubt in my mind. I vividly and distinctly remember the first time I actually watched the show with my parents around 2003 or thereabouts which made me thirteen or fourteen at most. Needless to say, so much of the movie completely flew over my head and would take many more years, dedicated research, and dozens upon dozens upon bakers' dozens views. And that does not include how the count and influence of having the entire soundtrack on my last few phones for over eight years now. Even when I had substantially far less storage space, I made it a point to have enough room for the score. My dad had a face of both shock and awe when he looked over one evening to ask, “Are you playing 'Rocky Horror' on your phone!?” I answered and got a “Uh-huh. I thought so...” before he resumed taking another toke from his bong.
Though we watched the movie from title to credits, for some reason the movie came across as B-movie science fiction horror with emphasis on the horror. I mean, the show has sabotage, multiple homicides, sexual assault, cannibalism, and malevolent aliens with death rays. This carried over to the first couple of times I sat down with the intention of watching the show alone. It terrified me to the point of an inability to enjoy RHPS under the cover of night. I did try, though, more than once. Not until probably the third or fourth viewing did I actually overcome that hindrance. But it becomes apparent the show struck a cord with me that begged further viewing and study. I undoubtedly believe RHPS formed the basis or at least became the ideal of my love for B-movies.
Much like my later experience with “The Big Lebowski,” I did not have the slightest clue how influential it would become critically and academically by providing two exemplary samples of Post-Modern creativity and ingenuity. I built the latter half of my undergrad focusing in on the various periods of critical theory from colonialism through to the current period I termed Neo-Modernism. However, my idea of the Neo-modern largely overshoots the intended purpose of this essay and has its own essay written back in 2013.
Instead, I hope to use this space in order to convey a story about a period of my youth and how RHPS came to truly embody my transition from youth to manhood. I have not written of this subject much less spoken to anyone about it. As tonight I sit and watch the final scenes from the premiere of a new RHPS updated for 2016 I felt the need to expound upon the original and the lyric, “I've done a lot. God knows I tried. To find the truth, I've even lied. But, all I know, is down inside I'm bleeding.”
I can feel the pounding in my chest becoming more pronounced and the air in my lungs harder to draw with every breath exhaled another sigh of exhaustion. I want to state clearly though, that this essay will not actually reach the marking point that defines the end of my youth. Hell, I cannot even write this essay without explicitly including the exact history, memory, and trauma. I suppose this simply serves as a shivering tease of antici.............