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"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is a 1,975 British musical comedy film that parodies science fiction and horror films. Still in limited release nearly 34 years after its premiere, it has the longest running theatrical release in film history. It gained notoriety as a midnight movie in 1,977 when audiences began participating with the film in theaters across the country. "Rocky Horror" is the first movie from a major film studio, such as 20th Century Fox, to be in the midnight movie market. Widely known by mainstream audiences, it has a large international following and is one of the best known and most financially successful midnight movies of all time. In 2,005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
The film, considered a cult classic, is an adaption of the British musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show. Richard O'Brien, author of the stage show, was assisted by Jim Sharman in writing the screenplay. The movie introduces Tim Curry and features Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick along with cast members from the original Kings Road production of the play performed at the Royal Court Theatre.
The story, narrated by a criminologist, is that of a newly engaged young couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy night. Seeking a phone with which to call for help, the two knock on the door of a nearby castle, which they find is inhabited by strange and outlandish people who are holding an Annual Transylvanian Convention. They watch, still wet from the rain, as the Transylvanians dance the Time Warp, the film's signature song.
They are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a bizarre and self-proclaimed "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" and his servants, brother and sister Riff-Raff and Magenta, as well as a groupie Columbia and an ensemble of convention attendees.
Frank claims to have discovered the "secret to life itself" and in a scene inspired by the classic Frankenstein movies, his creation Rocky Horror is brought to life. The ensuing celebration is interrupted by Eddie, an ex-delivery boy, who rides out of a deep freeze on a motorcycle and performs a rock-and-roll number. In a jealous rage, Frank corners and slaughters him with an ice axe.
Brad and Janet are shown to separate bedrooms, where each is visited and seduced in turn by Frank, posing as the opposite. Janet, upset and emotional, wanders off to look for Brad. She discovers Rocky, cowering in his birth tank, hiding from Riff-Raff who has been tormenting him. While aiding Rocky Horror, Janet decides to seduce him whilst Magenta and Columbia view from their monitor. After discovering his creature is missing, Frank, Brad and Riff-Raff return to the lab, where Frank learns that an intruder has entered the building. Dr. Everett Scott, Brad and Janet's old high school science teacher, has come looking for his nephew, Eddie. Frank suspects Dr. Scott of working for the government investigating UFOs.
Rocky and the guests are served dinner, which they soon realize has been prepared from Eddie's remains. Janet runs screaming into Rocky's arms, and is chased through the halls of the castle by Frank and the rest following behind. Janet, Brad, Dr. Scott, Rocky, and Columbia all meet in Frank's lab, where Frank captures them with the Medusa Transducer, a machine which transforms them into living statues, and then forces them to perform in a cabaret-style floor show. The performance is interrupted by the appearance of Riff-Raff and Magenta, who stage a coup and announce their plan to return to the planet Transsexual. After explaining to Frank that he is not going back with them, they use a laser to kill him, and in the process also kill Columbia and Rocky. They release the remaining earthlings — Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott — warning them to get off the property; after they do so, the entire castle takes off into space to return to the planet of Transsexual, in the galaxy of Transylvania.