The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Surprising Stories

Remember the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Whether you loved it or hated it, it’s sure to have made an impression! And this article promises to do the same. It is full of fantastic stories and trivia, with great pictures and even a video at the end!

Rocky Horror Picture Show Strange Stories From Behind the Scenes - Riff Raff Frank Magenta

Did you know that when The Rocky Horror Picture Show was first released, Meatloaf (Eddie) and the director went to see it in the theater and they were the only ones there!

The Movie Was Banned!

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Banned in South Africa: Rocky Horror was released in South Africa and played there for several weeks before it was banned by the Board of Censors. By that time it was too late, it had already developed a strong cult following.

A Movie for Royalty

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Princess Diana Loved it! The Princess requested a meeting with Tim Curry (who played Frank in Rocky Horror) when she was attending another production he was in, called “Love for Love.” She loved Curry’s performance as Frank and told him “with a wicked smile” that The Rocky Horror Picture Show had “quite completed my education.”

Rabid Fans

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He Didn’t Want to Talk about the Show: Tim Curry (Frank) had some bad experiences with his more intense fanbase. As a result, he did what he could to distance himself from the role for a few years. He claims that he even became “chubby and plain” just so that he would seem less like Frank!

No Royalties Here

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They’re Not Getting Paid: Susan Sarandon (Janet) doesn’t like to even talk about Rocky Horror because she is upset that her and the other cast members aren’t given any royalties from the DVD sales.

The original VHS of Rocky Horror was retailed for $89.95!

A Fiery Wet Castle

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They Were Always Wet: Barry Bostwick (Brad) talks about how the castle, where they shot the film, was always leaking. He was wet most of the time and there was only one room in the castle that was heated. Between takes, the entire cast would crowd into the warm room–until it caught fire that is!

There were also no working bathrooms during filming! When Susan Sarandon (Janet) told the Studio Heads about the conditions, she was told to stop complaining.

Janet Caught Pneumonia

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She Was Shaking and Feverish: When they shot the pool scene, it was the middle of winter and they were (as usual) in an unheated room. The actors had to go in the cold water and then come out straight into dancing.

 The Easter Eggs of Rocky Horror

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An Easter Egg Hunt! There are literal easter eggs hidden throughout the movie. You can see them in many places such as under Frank’s throne. They weren’t put there on purpose but instead were left by the crew, who had had an easter egg hunt and just hadn’t found them all!

The Longest Running Theatrical Release

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The Film  has been playing in the theater for 40 years! In the beginning, Rocky Horror found its niche as a midnight movie. To this day it still plays randomly in late night theaters, and there is even a theater in Germany where it has been playing every week since 1975!

Despite its initial uninspiring reception, Rocky Horror is now considered as one of the “50 Greatest Independent Films” by Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Dressing Up For the Midnight Showing

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Costumes and Props: It has become a tradition at the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the fans to actively engage in the experience. Some theaters even supply the needed items or people can bring their own.

The audience does things like throw rice at the wedding scene, squirt water guns during the rain scene, throw toilet paper rolls when Brad yells “Great Scott!” and so on.

Frank the Rock Star

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Mick Jagger Wanted the Role: Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones actually requested to play the part of Frank on The Rocky Horror film. In the end, however, the studio decided to stick with Tim Curry, the original star in the stage production.

The character of Frank Was Originally Based on Alice Copper! He was to be “an Alice Cooper type Frankenstein.”

He Walked off the Set!

Rocky Horror Picture Show Strange Stories From Behind the Scenes - Eddie Frank

They Didn’t Know What the Show Was About: Meatloaf (who plays Eddie) and the other cast had already began rehearsals before they had any idea just what kind of gig they had signed up for. When Tim Curry (Frank) showed up in his Fran-N-Furter costume and singing “Sweet Transvestite,” Meatloaf was so upset that he walked out and refused to do the show!

He was eventually talked into doing one performance and once he saw that the audience loved it, decided to stay on.

The Lips of Rocky Horror

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They Belong to Magenta! Patricia Quinn’s (Magenta’s) lips are the ones that sing “Science Fiction Double Feature” at the beginning of the film. The voice, however, is not hers. It belongs to Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff). When Quinn found out that she wouldn’t be singing as well, she nearly quit the film.

The mouth on the poster belongs to Lorelei Shark. Like Patricia Quinn, she was a former playboy model.

Nude for Touch-A-Touch-A Touch Me

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She Refused to Do a Nude Scene: Susan Sarandon (Janet) was asked by the creators to do a nude scene for the song “Touch-A-Touch-A Touch Me”. But she put her foot down and wouldn’t do it.

Elvis as Eddie

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He Was Actually Interested! Elvis was the studios first choice when it came to the part of Eddie. And apparently Elvis actually had expressed some interest in the part!

Meatloaf Wanted to Be Scott: Apparently in the stage production of Rocky Horror, the actor that plays Eddie also plays Dr. Scott. When Meatloaf found out that the film would be different and he would only be playing Eddie, he was very disappointed.

The Wheelchair and the Motorcycle

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A Stunt Double Rode the Motorbike: Not because Meatloaf was hurt but because he couldn’t ride a  motorcycle–at least not well enough. For the close ups, Meatloaf was really in a wheelchair that had motorcycle handlebars and a windscreen attached to it!

Casting Brad and Janet

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Steve Martin Could Have Been Brad! That’s right, he actually auditioned for the part too.

Originally the studio wanted to cast popular musicians for the main parts, but the director (Sharmin) refused. He wanted the original actors from the stage production. The studio eventually relented a little, on the condition that Janet and Brad would be played by Americans.

Eddie Under the Table

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Surprised by a Corpse! In the scene where Eddie’s corpse is revealed under the table, only Tim Curry (Frank) and Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff) knew what would happen. The rest of the cast was shocked. Their reaction is real!

 Tim Curry the Imposter

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He Was Kicked Out! Once when Tim Curry (Frank) attended the midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in New York, he was asked to leave in the middle of the showing. The usher believed that he was an imposter. Until Curry showed the man his passport.

The Singing Underwear Model

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His Lines Were Cut: Peter Hinwood was an underwear model before he was Rocky. He had no acting experience and couldn’t sing. His lines ended up being cut and his singing voice in the film actually belongs to Trevor White.

Rocky the Antique Dealer

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Rumours of Embarrassment: After The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Peter Hinwwod (Rocky) avoided publicity and soon left show business altogether. He went on to become an antique dealer and it is rumoured that he would throw people out of his shop for even talking about the film.

He claims however that this is untrue and that he doesn’t talk about the film simply because it is a “part of the past.”

Skeleton in the Closet (Actually the Clock)

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It Was Real! The skeleton in the coffin clock was not fake. It was actually the real skeleton of the lady that commissioned the clock!

Later the coffin clock was auctioned off for more than $70,000!

Columbia on the Street

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She Was a Busker: Nell Campbell (Columbia) was actually working as a street busker when she was discovered by the Rocky Horror director, Jim Sharmin.

And even though she came to consider acting as her desired career, she continued to be drawn her earlier work. “Instead of capitalizing on acting roles after the success of Rocky Horror” she says regretfully that she impulsively went “off busking in the south of France.”

Frank as the Terrifying Joker

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A Scary Joker: When Tim Curry (Frank) played the voice of the Joker in the Batman animated series, he only made it four episodes in before he was fired for being too scary. The same thing happened when he auditioned to be Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He was told he was too terrifying! It certainly worked well for him as Frank however!

At a Rocky Horror Picture Show Convention, he said to the crowd: “it’s so comforting to know that there are so many people in this world sicker than I am”!

The Rocky Horror Hotel

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Frank’s Castle is Now a Hotel: That’s right! Anyone can stay at Oakley Court (Frank-N-Furter’s castle) in Windsor England. It costs about 150 British pounds per night!

The castle was also used as a set in other movies such as The Brides of Dracula, The House in Nightmare Park, Man in Black, And Now the Screaming Starts, etc.

Columbia and Magenta

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They Were Split in Two! Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff/writer) originally had Magenta and Columbia as the same person. He split them into two when the director came to him, asking him to write a new character for his singer friend, Marrianne Faithful (who ended not taking the part anyway).

Janet’s Revenge

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He Hit Her Hand: In the dinner scene when Barry Bostwick (Brad) hits the table, he accidentally comes down on Susan Sarandon’s (Janet’s) hand, hurting her. Her reaction in the film is real.

She Got Him Back (“Accidentally”): Susan Sarandon jabs Bostwick’s foot with her heal at the end of “The Floor Show” scene. You can even see him stumble and grimace in the movie!

Set Designer Error

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He Had to Crash Through the Wall! Dr. Scott had to crash through the wall in the scene where he is pulled into the laboratory by the electromagnet. This is because the set designers forgot that they were supposed to build a door!

Don’t Stop Now. We’re Almost at the Video!

Second Sequel

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After Shock Treatment: In the early 80’s a sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show was made, called Shock Treatment, that did not do well. But there is also the possibility of another sequel. O’Brien (Riff Raff/writer) has written the script although there are no production plans as of yet.

Check out this fun and fantastic rendition of the song “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show! Performed by the cast of Glee.

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