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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

THE ULTIMATE IN CAMP: Rocky Horror

This is an alert posting to warn you about tomorrow night, for Fox will (Thursday, October 20) present The Rocky Horror Picture Show:  Let's Do the Time Warp Again, which first was a stage musical in 1973, and is now a re-make of the campiest film of all time, released 41 years ago in 1975.

Then at midnight for Halloween (Monday, October 31) on your IFC (once stood for Independent Film Channel) station (675 on Oceanic Honolulu), the original Rocky Horror Picture Show.  How long ago was that?  Susan Sarandon (with Barry Bostwick) played the virginal girl.  Tim Curry (left) is, though, the only returnee, as the moderator.  He suffered a stroke a few years ago and is now in a wheelchair.

But what is camp?  From Wikipedia:

Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value.[1]

The term has been around for more than a century and became popular in the '60's.  Examples?
Here are the 12 campiest songs, at least according to Advocate.com.  Gay notions keep coming up in the term, for featured here are Bea Lillie, John Mathis, Johnny Ray, Vikki Carr, Julie Christie and Lesley Gore.  In college one of my roommates had an album by Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.  This was camp at its best.  Jonathan was Paul Weston, and Darlene was his wife, Jo Stafford.  Listen to their Tea for Two.

I have become an authority on cuisine, so would like to advance a campy dish mostly found only in Hawaii:  loco moco.  Created 67 years ago at the Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Nancy and Richard Inouye used the waste oil from frying pork chops, bacon and all those terrible processed meats to make a gravy, which was poured on white rice with a hamburger patty.  Later came fried egg on top.  Three students from Hilo High School then named it loco for crazy, and, to stick to this Spanish connection, plus for poetic reasons, added moco, Little did they know that loco moco means crazy boogers (also known as snot).    Actually, well-named, for this must be close to the the worst dish of all time.  I have it at least twice/year, maybe more.

So back to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 80%/85% ratings.  These are great scores, for The Accountant (Ben Affleck) received a reviewer's rating of 49%, The Girl On the Train  (Emily Blunt) earned only 44%, and Ron Howard's upcoming Inferno with Tom Hanks 22%.  However, The Arrival, arriving on November 11, is still rated at 100%.  You rarely see a 100% production, and the last one I remember watching occurred in 2008, Man on Wire, and you probably missed it because this was the British version.  The Arrival will not have aliens that look like humans, and will be all about linguistics.  As a long-time SETI researcher, I remain addicted to this subject.

With a budget of $1.2 million, the earnings are up to $140 million.  The movie keeps coming back at midnight, everywhere, especially around Halloween time.  Unless you've been to a showing, you can't truly imagine what happens.  Bring a raincoat and a piece of toast and a roll of toilet paper.  Audience participation is everything.  But if you still can't comprehend what I'm saying, here is the Virgin's Guide to watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show:  Let's Do the Time Warp Again.

The original had Tim Curry as the cross-dressing, cannibalistic mad scientist from outer space, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the Rocky Horror.  This time, we have Laverne Cox (in the middle, who already is a transgender actress).  Watch the production with a lot of friends, but not in your living room in case others take it seriously and play their expected roles.  The music is actually memorable, like Time Warp.

I close with my most favorite campy Halloween song:  Monster Mash, recorded by Bobby "Boris" Picket in 1962.  How this came to be is that he was singing in a band called the Cordials going into auditions, and imitated Boris Karloff while performing the Diamonds' Little Darling.  Producer Gary Paxton had some hits with Alley Oop and Mashed Potato Time, so a complete package was created borrowing from here and there.

And speaking of horror shows, tonight (3PM in Hawaii) is the final Clinton-Trump debate.  I don't recall ever regularly watching these presidential battles.  I even enjoyed the VP tussle.  Must be the Trump-effect.  This is like a NASCAR race...you await with almost sure expectation those collisions and fatal crashes.

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Haima is now only a regular typhoon, and headed over mostly uninhabited portions of Philippines.  Then, Typhoon Haima will make landfall sufficiently north of Hong Kong:


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