Thursday, April 17, 2014

Columbia is the most family friendly

This is not strictly about movies, but it sort of is.

There have been posters up around town for the past couple months in anticipation of the arrival of The Rocky Horror Show, a stage version of the cult movie that has been shepherded through its long life by Richard O'Brien, who plays Riff Raff in the original film. (And co-wrote the screenplay for the film.)

However, I noticed that they picked a sort of interesting ambassador for the show: Columbia, played in the original film by Nell Campbell, who seems decidedly to be a secondary character.

Dr. Frank-N-Further, the transvestite played iconically by Tim Curry in the original film, would seem to be the obvious choice to adorn the posters. Except then a bunch of prospective Melbourne theatergoers would be confronted with some version of this:

It didn't occur to me until now that the most famous character from either The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Rocky Horror Show may not be the best way to sell it. I suspect that there is a certain squeamishness, even among a populace as generally liberal-minded as you find in Melbourne, about seeing a man with bushy hair dressed in lingerie. The bushy hair may or may not contribute to that squeamishness.

By putting Columbia front and center, though, aren't you trying to sell this as more of a straight burlesque show, and not the transgressive and totally out-there pseudo sci-fi monster movie costume epic that it really is? And mightn't that seem like false advertising?

More than anything, though, all this advertising has made me yearn for another screening of the movie, which I have not seen in more than 20 years, and in fact have never seen in a home screening environment. I probably last went to see the midnight show of the movie in 1992 or 1993, and that's a long time to go without seeing what was a favorite of mine back in the day.

Let's see if I can scrounge this movie up somewhere, and soon.

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