Dark and stormy nights are such a cheap way to start a story … but, as proven last Thursday, that’s exactly how fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show like it.
On the evening of Oct. 2, Oakland students bore through the cold and rain to parking lot P35 for the drive-in showing of cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, hosted by the Student Program Board (SPB). Dedicated fans were so enthralled with the film that they didn’t even seem to notice the wet weather.
“We’ve always wanted to do a drive-in,” SPB Special Events Director Tifrah Aktar said.
The film has such a large cult following that it even has a set of rituals that audiences perform in line with the timing of the movie. For example, there are certain lines — almost every line, in fact — where the audience will shout a response back to the character. These are commonly known as talkbacks.
Students brought up their “lines” on their phones to stay in sync with the movie, and occasionally someone would improvise a talkback of their own, causing uproarious laughter from the crowd.
As part of another tradition, the SPB also provided bags of different items for the audience members to use during different cues in the film. For example, in one of the first scenes, there is a wedding, so the bags had rice for the audience to throw as if they were actually at a wedding.
In addition to the dialogue, musical numbers are also a large part of the audience’s participation. Groups in the crowd would stand up to sing and dance along to some of their favorite songs like “Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul,” sung by rock and roll singer Meat Loaf.
Another crowd-pleaser was “Sweet Transvestite,” which centers around one of the film’s main characters, Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The flamboyant and eccentric doctor is played by Tim Curry, who was part of the original cast in the stage show that the movie is based on.
No tune was more appreciated by the audience than “The Time Warp,” arguably the most popular song to come out of the 1975 film. With an infectious 1950s-style rock and roll groove, most people couldn’t help but gather together to dance and sing along to it.
“My favorite song is definitely ‘The Time Warp,’” student Justin Shurer said. “It’s just so great, and plus I can play it on guitar.”
Justin was one of many students who participated in the talkbacks, dressed up in a costume, and partook in different interactive traditions that go along with the movie. A sense of togetherness was in the air as OU students from all walks of life were united without judgment in their mutual enjoyment of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In the next few weeks, the SPB is also hosting a Hump Day Fiesta in honor of Hispanic Celebration Month, multiple trips, and the annual OU’s Got Talent event.
For more information about those events, visit www.oakland.edu/spb or email [email protected]