*Just for brevity and for consistency I’ll be referring to Rocky Horror Picture Show as Rocky.
I did something unusual last night, well unusual for me anyway. Thursday is the day I tend to reserve for watching Supernatural and (in more recent years) Legends of Tomorrow. I was rather torn because I love Supernatural and it takes quite a lot to get me to do (or watch) anything else between 8 and 9. But I was curious and the previews for Rocky looked decent, I like Laverne Cox and I thought she would be good.
For those that don’t know Rocky is a campy counter cultural musical starring a newly engaged couple named Brad and Janet they have some car trouble and go looking for a phone, little do they know they’re in for a wild ride (with some colorful characters) when they step inside Frank N. Furter’s castle.
I was surprised to see the chorus for the first song was a bunch of funeral goers, I couldn’t remember if that’s in the original or not. It wasn’t a bad thing but it seemed like something Fox put in to foreshadow what was going to happen (and it wasn’t needed.) If my memory is faulty on this please let me know (I’m by no means a Rocky expert nor do I claim to be.)
The singing was decent throughout. No one seemed too out of range or sounded like they were trying to hard to reach a particular note.The first song, “Dammit Janet” was done well and it was memorable. The rest was good but nothing really stood out to me other than “Time Warp” and the numbers that Frank N. Furter, Rocky and Eddie did.
Once Brad and Janet reach the castle the costume and set design really came to life. Frank N. Furter’s costume was great, I loved the red dress and high heels. Eddie’s costume was good too, it was typical punk but with a little goth thrown in. Brad and Janet’s costumes were decent but considering they spend more time in robes I wasn’t too worried about how good they were. The rest of the cast looked like something out of Tim Burton movie, it wasn’t bad but they were fairly standard as far as goth horror goes, the colors were fun but no one really stood out, not even Magenta, which is saying something.
The set design was fairly standard. I did like the bed Rocky and Janet run around on during her “Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me” number. It had to be pretty sturdy to stand up to all that frolicking. The castle itself was pretty good, you really got the feeling you were in Frankenstein’s castle; though some of that was due to the dim lighting. Frank N. Furter’s lab was okay, nothing stood out but it didn’t detract from anything either.The church and cemetery were okay but the scenes where Janet and Brad were driving and talking in the car are noticeably bad.I could tell the car was a prop and if the motorcycle hadn’t been mentioned by Janet I would have no idea what it was.
The thing that really disappointed me was the narrator. It’s not a big role but I’ve seen people ham it up and make it a more essential part of the show. You would think picking Tim Curry to be the narrator would be perfect casting. He did his part fine but I feel like he didn’t add anything. He would have been great had he been able to go all out. Instead we get a character so forgettable if it wasn’t Tim Curry I wouldn’t have cared if they were there or not.
Laverne Cox was amazing as Frank N. Furter, Ryan McCartan as Brad and Victoria Justice as Janet were also good and Adam Lambert as Eddie was fun. Part of the problem was that most of the cast was relatively unknown. I’m not saying it has to be a star-studded cast for something like this to work. I like it better when they don’t (cast unknown actors) as it shines a spotlight on them and through that they get more well known. In this case it just makes the whole thing easier to forget.
Overall it wasn’t bad but it was forgettable, which is worse in my opinion. The set was good but nothing stood out. The costumes for Frank N. Furter and Eddie were pretty cool, but most of the outfits were fairly bland. The best thing about Fox’s remake was the singing and the acting. Unlike other shows Rocky doesn’t need spectacular set designs or fancy costumes (but they should be utterly outrageous) but tamping down the narrator and barely including the audience participation element didn’t help this lackluster remake.
If you’ve never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show and want to see what the fuss was about, or you’re hoping for a good remake look elsewhere. Heck go find a copy of the soundtrack you’ll have more fun (or be really confused because you have no context for some of the songs) I give Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again a 3.5 out of 10
.I realized as I was finishing this review that I hadn’t thought of a rating system yet. It was somewhat challenging to come up with one as my most recognized phrase is no, not really. That being the case I’m going to go with numbers for now. It’s going to be a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being did you like this? No, not really and 10 being OMG I’m so hyped it’s not even funny.