The Rocky Horror Picture Show: John Jay/Fox/MPTV
Scott Brown
May 20, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Why ”The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is one of the top 10 cult movies

In the beginning, before ”Janet” became synonymous with ”slut” and toast became a projectile, popular culture was something most suburban Americans consumed passively. Then along came this funky gumbo of sci-fi matinee trash and flashy transgression, a low-budget film adaptation of Richard O’Brien’s glammy stage hit about two square lovebirds and a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. And lo, it was a bomb. Then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t: Midnight screenings established ”Rocky Horror” as an aberrant smash, made fringe freakishness (disguised as harmless farce) safe for the boulevard, and spawned the world’s most successful interactive entertainment in an analog era. If you don’t think that’s the very definition of ”cult,” then you’ve got your garters on too tight.
SIGNATURE LINE ”Hi, my name is Brad Majors…” (Asshole!) ”…this is my fiancée, Janet Weiss.” (Slut!)
BLAME IT FOR The mainstreaming of camp, Tim Curry, the ”Sing-A-Long Sound of Music,” ”Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and anything ever screened at midnight.

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