An Insult to Camp: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Remake

The news that the Fox was recreating the iconic camp film The Rocky Horror Picture Show that once starred iconic stars such as Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Little Nell and Meatloaf has been out for quite some time, creating a reasonable amount of skepticism and concern for Fox’s ‘re-imagining’. Now, this is more or less commonplace in Hollywood when something that is considered iconic and memorable is remade for the modern audience. But the turning point that can often set the public’s opinion for the final project can be the first image releases of the cast in costume.

But when the photos of the actors in costume came out on May 12th 2016 with  Ryan McCartan (Brad Majors), Victoria Justice (Janet Weiss), Lavern Cox (Dr. Frank N. Furter), Ben Vereen (Dr. Everett Von Scott), Staz Nair (Rocky), Christina Milian (Magenta), Reeve Carney (Riff Raff) and  Annaleigh Ashford (Columbia), it goes to show that Fox clearly shows that they don’t know what in the hell they are doing. Below are the pictures of the original cast from the 1975 film.

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Now, here are the pictures from the ‘remake’ of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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Do you see what the problem is? It’s easily apparent. From the pictures, above, take a guess on who is supposed to be Dr. Frank N. Furter. Yeah, Lavern Cox with the whip is supposed to be taking on Tim Curry’s iconic role.

Let me just ask Fox a question, what in the fuck were you thinking? The costume choices for these characters are atrocious and don’t even compare to the original designs of the material it is based off of. It is surprising to say that Tim Curry in women’s lingerie is more subtle than the dominatrix styled bullshit that you are trying to pull off here. Do I even need to make a statement about Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia? No, it is clear that Fox does not understand what made The Rocky Horror Picture Show stand out and become the cult classic that it is.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is often known as one of the staple films of Camp. Now, for people who don’t know what a ‘Camp’ or ‘Campy’ film is, here is the definition provided to us by StackExchange:

“Camp” n. or “Campy” adj. refers to intentionally exaggerated thematic or genre elements, especially in television and motion picture mediums. “Camp” style willfully over-emphasizes certain elements of the genre or theme, creating an almost self-satirical milieu.

This means that everything is exaggerated from mannerisms to style of costumes and even the genre that the movie is based off of. Now, some people would think that this would be easy to make, especially with film. But that’s the thing about Camp, it’s not something that can be duplicated or remade. There is no equation of what you need to make a camp movie. Camp is also something that actually requires some restraint, it is not about having the characters act hammy or excessively over the top. In a way, it is like a Stradivarius violin, it is a thing of beauty and with the right people using it, the final product can be memorable.

Another thing that is common with Camp films  is the budget. Camp films in the past such as Troma’s ‘Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead‘, Moviehead Production’s ‘Birdemic‘ and The Rocky Horror Picture Show had budgets that were low, thus things such as costumes, sets and effects were low quality but still gave their films something that made it stood out. From the pictures we see of the cast and set, we see that there is a larger budget that has been allocated towards the production. By trying to change the movie by giving it a larger budget can change the overall feel of the film, removing the viewer from the final product and making it loud and clear that it is clearly not the same as the original.

One of the largest problems that they would have with making this TV remake is that it’s going to be on television! I mean, let’s think back to the original, what did we see? We saw naked statues of the cast (nipples included), an aquatic orgy scene at the end, songs that were about the act of sex, crossdressing from the entire cast and more. There is no way that they are going to be able to do a lot of what the original did on a televised event. Let’s think back to one of Fox’s more popular shows Glee. They did an episode where their characters did a butchered rendition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that was diluted and altered to be more ‘safe’ for television, including not just the costumes, but censoring the word ‘transsexual’ which is used several times in the movie. While Fox has been trying to push foward with more adult themed subject matter with shows such as Arrow, they still hold back and are afraid to break free from the PC cultured mess that television is becoming.

The strongest reason why this is insulting to the original film would be that it doesn’t understand what makes this film special. People across the world enjoy this film because it is an experience; theaters have midnight showings, people dress in the costumes, memorized the songs and do the Time Warp every Halloween. It is something that brings people together, joining them together to enjoy something that many of them have seen as young adults or children. By showing it on television, you are separating the fans from the experience by a LCD screen. It is a detachment from what people grew up with and loved for years.

Though what I think is the most insulting of all of this, this entire production, would be the ‘plans’ to alter the iconic Time Warp dance claiming to make it even more ‘colorful’.

No, just fucking no.

You can’t change something that people have done so many times that it has become an art from in itself. It’s a jump to the left, a step to your right, put your hands on your hips, put your knees in tight and then it is a pelvic thrust. Rinse, wash, repeat. I am surprised that more fans of the original film are not up in arms about this. It is the equivalent of trying to change the tango, you just don’t do it.

Simply put, this is all I have to say. Fox, you have made a poor decision with this choice of remake and it is going to end poorly for you. To put it even more simply for you, go fuck yourselves.

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