In a recent turn of events, I can finally say that I am no longer a Rocky Virgin. At the Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg, I experienced what was probably the weirdest event. "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is a cult classic movie released in 1975. It follows the characters, Brad and Janet, as they meet peculiar characters. I grew up watching this movie and street performers who reenact the "Time Warp" every Halloween. My family even has memories surrounding an incident where my sister managed to blow out the t.v. speakers during a watching of the movie. During the 80s or 90s, many angtsy teens who considered themselves to be "outcasts" would put on live performances of the show in front of a projector screen that showcased the film itself. This event gained much attention to the point where it still occurs today and has been mentioned in books such as "The Perks of Being a Wallflower".
On the Friday before Halloween, I got to live like a wallflower. My friend and I were both fans of the movie and decided to go impulsively the week before. I had heard about the audience participation but it wasn't until my friend showed me the lists upon lists of quotes and actions did I realize just how much would happen. Grant it, the Hattiesburg production only gave me a snippet of all that can happen during a watching. We got to the theater early for good spots. I had dressed up at the heroine, Janet Weiss, who begins the show a simple and modest pink and white outfit. It wasn't uncommon to dress up, in fact, it was weird not to.
The Hattiesburlesqe started the event off with performances as well as a costume closet. I went on stage, along with a few other girls who had dressed as various versions of Janet to see who was the best dressed. Naturally, the girl who was dressed as Janet during "Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me" won, however, I was still able to stay on stage to do the Time Warp with the Hattiesburlesqe. Once the introduction was done, we all watched the movie in a way that most people wouldn't expect. I barely knew enough to keep up, but I quickly learned simple things to shout at the screen. Even now, when I hear the name "Janet Weiss", I instinctively shout "SL*T", I'm cursed with the thought what happens when elbows touch, the picture of a man and wondering where his neck even is, and much more.
Included with the ten dollar admission feed, every audience member was given a small brown paper bag filled with props to be used during certain parts of the movie. We had a piece of newspaper to cover our heads from the rain, rain which came from tiny water guns shot by the audience. A single rubber glove to put on loudly with a "pop!". A plastic Champagne glass for yet a wonderful toast given by Dr. Frank-n-Furter, a transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.
In the original production of Rocky, the mad but vibrant character of Dr. Frank-n-Furter was played by none other than Tim Curry. Throughout the movie, Curry is dressed (somewhat) in drag and is obsessed with creating himself the perfect man, Rocky. The movie begins to get confusing once we see the characters Brad and Janet enter into the Frankenstein Place where they meet an assortment of strange characters who generally make no logical sense. The confusion is only enhanced at the end, from a series of events that I couldn't possibly explain without not only spoiling it but also because it is explainable in itself. While I had the time of my life during the event, I can guarantee that I still am unsure of what the movie itself is about. All I know is that I will be there again next year.