Sunday evening Candy, Lee, and I settled down in Club Lee to watch the DVD on his 65 inch screen. It was the first time had seen the movie outside of a theater.
I have seen RHPS at least fifty… maybe as many as a hundred times. The first time was in 1976 – not long after it came out. I saw it at the student union at the University of Kansas. It was getting some buzz, but it wasn’t the midnight sensation it became only a few years lately. Somebody mentioned it was an up-and-coming avant-guarde item, so a few of us trooped on down. I was unimpressed and barely remember anything about the film. It was definitely the “British” version though, because I do remember the final song “Superheroes” – which was cut out of the American midnight releases because it was considered too much of a downer ending. At any rate, I guess I can feel a tiny bit of pride at being one of the first folks to actually see the silly thing.
Then, over the next few years, I saw the movie, like everybody else, in the movies at the midnight shows. Over and over again. Sprayed with squirt bottles, huddling under a newspaper, pelted with toast, yelling at the screen, screaming at the dancers in their costumes.
Then, later, in Dallas, I was able to see the stage version a couple of times. Back then I was expert at finding plays in small theaters and scoring front-row seats. The actor playing Frankenfurter sat in my lap at one show. His leather jacket reeked terribly – the show had been running for weeks and I’m sure it hadn’t been washed. These plays were influenced by the success of the movie and used plants in the audience to yell out the proper lines at the proper times.
My favorite has always been, “Oh no, not Meatloaf again!” at the horrific climax of the dinner scene.
Lee seems to have liked the movie – though it is pretty stupid out of its native habitat (though I had forgotten how actually good the music was).
Let’s do the time warp again.