Film Review // Archetypes : The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

fig 1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Poster

The 1975 Rocky Horror Picture Show directed by Jim Sharman is a low budget musical comedy based on the original musical stage production. It was greatly received for being satirical and mixing music with science-fiction.. being able to combine enough drama to be compelling but continuing not to take itself too seriously. It opens with "Science Fiction Double Feature" as it's title song.

fig 2. Brad Majors, Janet Weiss & Dr. Frank. N Furter.
Following the Journey of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss as their car breaks down needing to use a payphone they arrive at a mansion of strange eccentrics. The film is fully narrated by a criminologist. Brad and Janet are introduced by Riff Raff to Dr. Frank.N.Furter, as the master of the house. Making his musical entrance we learn that he is a transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania with two more close acquaintances, Columbia and Magenta.

At this point in the story Brad, whilst slightly coy, is the natural hero. Janet Weiss, whilst could be the heroine she is much more of The Innocent. Brad and Janet are very quaint. As they are introduced to Dr. Frank. N. Furter (played by Tim Curry) they are pushed off their pedestals plunged into a world and lifestyle much different from their own. Dr. Frank N. Furter though attired in heels and more makeup than Janet herself quickly is established as The Ruler. Relishing in his ability to address the crowd of party-goers the momentous occasion of Rocky's birth begins. The interesting part about the eccentric transvestite is his ability to be a Ruler, Scientist and Creator all at the same time. But because of this his power-trip at wishing to achieve many things instead of one becomes his downfall.

Rocky is born, and though brandished with Dr. Frank.N Furter's ideals, muscles and all, his ego is much more na├»ve. His innocence mirrors that of Janet's and the two characters can relate in this way. Rocky explores his new world like a child may; playfully and oblivious to danger. Riff raff and Magenta seemingly entwined begin to mess around with Rocky. - Chasing him and scaring him with fire. In this respect, they are the Jesters. Columbia however is far more caring as we begin to find out she had been intimate with Eddie, just as Dr. Frank. N Furter had been. Eddie gets jealous of Rocky and becomes enraged, however Frank. N Furter stops his retaliation quickly by killing him with an ice axe. Whilst Eddie's life is short and only has one appearance, he is portrayed by the other characters as a Rebel.

fig 3. Magenta (left), Columbia (right) & Dr. Frank N. Furter. Rocky is born.
As Frank N. Furter departs with Rocky to a bridal suite, Brad and Janet are shown separate rooms for the night. Columbia and Magenta also go back to their rooms. Complications occur however when Frank N. Furter sneaks into the rooms of Brad and Janet separately dressed up as eachother and try to coax them into intimacy. Janet becomes spooked at this advance and runs out of the room back to the main room where Rocky was born. She sees Frank N. Furter being intimate with Brad and becomes emotional at the least but soon after she hears Rocky laying in his birth-tank shaken up by the tormenting from Riff Raff and Magenta. In a moment of innocence, Janet consciously abandons her innocence and becomes a Caregiver of sorts. Whilst singing "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me" Rocky and her share intimacy all whilst Magenta and Columbia watch from their rooms on the TV screen laughing and giggling away.
An announcement is made that there is an intruder in the house, a rival of Dr. Frank N. Furter, Dr Everett V. Scott appears looking for Eddie. Everett Scott doubles as both a Scientist and an Explorer. Whilst Frank N. Furter is disrupted by the appearance of the rival scientist they decide that hospitality is still vital. Over dinner it becomes obvious that the food they are eating is actually Eddie's remains. Columbia runs off upset and sings about him and Janet also runs with Rocky. At this point hell breaks loose.
Rocky captures everyone but Riff Raff and Magenta in a Medusa Transducer, forcing them to perform cabaret -including the paralyzed from the legs down- Dr Everett V. Scott with Dr. Frank N. Furter as the leader. He asserts his wishes for control and power in a most unreasonable way. The previously missing Magenta and Riff Raff return garnished in their full space- attire ready to return to Transsexual, Transylvania. They explain Frank N. Furter has gone too far with his control and they do not wish to be under his wing anymore. In anguish, Frank tries to run and save Rocky. Columbia also defends them. All three are killed by Magenta and Riff Raff but Brad, Janet and Dr. Everett V Scott are left to be free. The narrator ends the story as the camera pans away.

fig 4. Riff Raff & Magenta come back to kill Dr. Frank N. Furter
Whilst the narrator is not a main character he does play a vital role in explaining the characters' questionable motives throughout The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though not completely correct that he is a God ego, as he is reviewing events critically as if a report, he is the Magician. An understanding of everything around him, and the ability to envision the truth. The Rocky Horror Picture Show ends, "And crawling on the planet's face
Some insects called the human race
Lost in time, and lost in space
And meaning." (Narrator)

"Science Fiction Double Feature" plays.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Poster(1975) [Poster] At: (Accessed on 07.10.15)


  1. great choice, Eva - about time The Rocky Horror Picture Show made an appearance somewhere on this course! :)

    1. Of course, i'm surprised it took this long to make an appearance though!