tek's rating: ¾

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, FOX
Amazon; facebook; FOX; IMDb; TV.com; TV Tango; Wikia; Wikipedia; YouTube

In 1973, there was a stage musical called "The Rocky Horror Show," which I've never seen. In 1975, it was made into a movie with nearly the same name (except "Picture" was added to the title). This is a 2016 TV event that's a remake of the movie, which some very minor differences. In this case, the opening song "Science Fiction/Double Feature" is performed by an actress playing a theater usherette, which I guess is how it was done in the original stage production, but not in the movie. So I enjoyed that change. And in fact, the whole TV movie seems to me like sort of a cross between a movie format and a stage format. So I kind of semi-feel like I've finally gotten to see the story as a stage production... but not quite. I should also say that throughout the TV movie, we occasionally see a theater audience watching and reacting to the movie. Which was fun, but in a way, that's sort of one of the things that made it feel more movie-like to me. Because the "audience" was obviously a part of the overall production of the show, even if it was distinctly separate from the rest of the movie. Anyway, aside from all that, the plot of the TV movie is pretty much identical to that of the 1975 movie (and presumably, the 1973 play).

So... I dunno, I thought it was fun, even if there wasn't much point to seeing both versions, aside from getting to see a new cast. So that's mainly what I want to focus on, in this review, rather than reiterating the plot. (For that, check my review of the movie, or Wikipedia, or some other site.) First and foremost, of course, it was nice to see Laverne Cox playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter. I mean, it's a welcome touch to have the character be played by a transgender woman, and I thought she inhabited the role very well. I also liked Victoria Justice as Janet. I thought Reeve Carney and Christina Milian were decent as Riff Raff and Magenta. (I don't really know either of them from anything else, but Milian at least was vaguely familiar to me.) Of course it was cool to see Tim Curry as the Criminologist (since he had previously played Frank-N-Furter, in the 1975 film). And the fact that Dr. Scott was played by Ben Vereen was kind of neat, I guess. And I feel I should say that before the TV movie aired, one of the few names I'd heard and recognized from the cast was Adam Lambert, though really I just know him from a few episodes of season 5 of Glee. I wasn't sure who he was going to play in this, but I guessed it would be Brad. Well, I was wrong. (Brad was played by Ryan McCartan, whom I don't know from anything but this.) Rather, Lambert played Eddie, and it seemed to me like that character had a somewhat smaller role in the TV movie than I remember him having in the original movie. (Not that he was ever a really major character, I guess.) But I must say, I think my favorite character in this production was Columbia (played by Annaleigh Ashford, whom I don't think I know from anything but this). In fact, Columbia might also have been my favorite character in the 1975 film, though I don't remember for sure. In this movie, Columbia kind of reminded me of a cross between Cyndi Lauper, Harley Quinn (the Batman: The Animated Series version), and maybe a bit of Janine from Ghostbusters, and... maybe other people. I think she had some very different emotional beats in different scenes, from blasť to silly to anguished, etc., and I really liked how she pulled off each of them. So I wish she would have had a bigger role in the movie.

Anyway, I thought all the actors (including those I haven't mentioned) did a decent job in this production. I liked all the songs (even if not quite as much as in the 1975 film). And I liked the madness of it all... even if it was sometimes a bit harder for me to follow the plot here than in the '75 film (which is really saying something). Still, the fact that the plot isn't particularly cohesive or coherent is part of what makes this a fun story, regardless of which version you're watching. I suppose I might have enjoyed it more than I did if it weren't a remake of a superior movie; but on the other hand, I might have enjoyed it less if it weren't a story that I'd already learned to love for its over-the-top, spaced-out campiness. Either way, I did enjoy it. And I guess that's all I can think to say. (Except, I do still like the message of the song "Don't Dream It, Be It," which comes near the end of the show.)

Halloween TV movies index
specials index