Everything I know about ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ I learned from pop culture

And I'm pretty sure everything I know is wrong.

12:00 pm EST, April 26, 2015

It’s 2015, and you’d think that everyone would have seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show by now, but alas, I have not. Here’s what I’ve gathered from social media and the friends who won’t stop talking about it.

With the news of a Rocky Horror Picture Show remake, it seems the world is clamoring about how horrible or amazing it’s going to be, all while I sit in my room going, “What is even going on?” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of the phenomenon of Rocky Horror — I went to an arts high school in San Francisco for goodness sake — but I’ve never quite understood it.

Despite my theatrical upbringing and being surrounded by people who went to Rocky Horror Picture Show events all the time, I have yet to actually see the film myself, so I thought I’d take a stab at guessing what this fandom is about.

But let me preface this with the fact that I literally have no idea what this thing is about, so I only have a few guesses. I don’t know if it’s a comedy, or a drama, or a horror film or what, and I apologize to the enthusiasts who get offended by my completely inaccurate assumptions. I hope the fandom can forgive me and all of my questions. Speaking of which…

…is this one movie even a fandom? I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out!

Related: Everything I know about Orphan Black I learned from Tumblr

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It’s a musical about a hotel

From what I gather this movie is about some sort of hotel that this cute nerdy couple end up at because their car broke down. But instead of being murdered by it’s occupants (or do they?) they’re welcomed with open arms by a plethora of…different…people. I only know of the cross-dressing man (Or, I think he calls himself a “sweet transvestite” in that one song? But anyway, I’ve just remembered his name is Frank) and the guy in the speedo, but I know there’s more people than just those two, like a maid and some guy who looks like Igor from Frankenstein. Where is this hotel, and why aren’t there other guests? How is it in business? Did Frank charge them for rooms?

Scratch that. I think I can assume the hotel is in Transylvania. And apparently Frank is from over there, but he has an American accent. Is this one of those films where they “set” it in a different country but don’t bother with accents?

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Rocky is a boy toy

From what I can gather there’s actually a character in the show named Rocky, and he’s always portrayed as this bleach blonde hairless guy wearing nothing but a gold speedo. I’m like .006% positive that he’s a robot. Is this his horror movie? Why is it named after him if it isn’t? I’m under the impression that Frank is his master and that Rocky does anything he is told — so maybe Frank tells Rocky to bring a little sexy spice into the normal couple’s life.

But guys, if Frank is Rocky’s master, shouldn’t this be called the Frank Horror Picture Show? It doesn’t have the same ring to it, though… But clearly Frank is the star — everyone dresses up as him! Which brings me to my next point…

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‘Rocky Horror’ isn’t a normal movie-going experience

I know from social media and television that when you go to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a movie theater you’re actually going to be watching people perform it live…while it’s actually playing. Also, there’s a scene in the movie where people throw bread at each other and so people in the audience throw bread at the performers or something. And people like to dress up as the characters when they go to these events — so it is like a fandom!

It feels like when you go to a Rocky Horror event you should be prepared for a party, not a movie night. But how did that start? I’m going to go by the assumption that Tim Curry, who plays Frank and who I know as Nigel Thornberry, started the tradition at the premiere or something and now everyone does it everywhere.

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The cute couple dies

In all my years of being around fans of this movie I’ve only ever seen Rocky Horror be referenced with speedos, Tim Curry, cute couples, and yet I can’t seem to ever remember anyone mentioning how the couple that arrives at the hotel get out. Given that the title art is bloody and all I ever see when I google “Rocky Horror” are the pictures of Frank and other hotel employees, I’m going to assume that someone kills them. I’m thinking it was Rocky — after he had sex with them on Frank’s orders. Why does Frank want to murder the cute guy with the glasses?!

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There’s time travel

Okay, so I don’t know how this works but I’m thinking that somehow there’s time travel in the plot. I only think this because of the song “Time Warp,” and the ever-famous line, “Let’s do the time warp again.” I’m going out on a limb by saying I don’t think this is just a dance move but rather an actual time warp. Maybe the couple wants to go back in time and never go back to the hotel or get a flat tire, or maybe the couple dies and Rocky wants to have sex with them again. Either way, someone time travels somewhere.

How did I do?

Well, did I completely and absolutely ruin the concept of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? You’ll have to forgive me — the last time I did one of these it was before I saw Star Wars and so I have a tendency to be completely wrong about these things.

And if you’re in the mood to see how other writers have spectacularly failed at guessing what some shows and movies are about, be sure to check out the rest of this article series:

Everything I know about Game of Thrones I learned from Tumblr
Everything I know about Supernatural I learned from the Internet
Everything I know about Outlander I learned from restless housewives

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