FOX’s Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again


William DeMuria, Pop Culture Editor, Writer

As I was flipping through the channels a few days ago, trying to find a program that would spark my interest, I came across the made-for-TV adaptation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fox. This new version of the cult classic is aptly titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, and featured a star-studded cast and all of the hit songs from the original film, which was released in 1975.

The film follows Janet and Brad, a newly engaged couple, who come across Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist, and many of his strange acquaintances after their car breaks down and they seek help. After being welcomed into Frank N. Furter’s mansion, they encounter the scientist’s new creation, “Rocky,” and both Janet and Brad are lured in by the wild servants of the house and its master.

When the film was first released in 1975, it starred Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter, Susan Sarandon as Janet, and Barry Bostwick as Brad. Though, FOX’s adaptation features many famous stars of today, such as Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, Victoria Justice from Nickelodeon’s Victorious, and Ryan McCarten from Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie, respectively. The new TV movie, which arrived just in time for Halloween, also featured Christina Milian and Adam Lambert, playing some of the mansion’s peculiar guests/servants.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again was directed and choreographed by movie-making icon Kenny Ortega. Ortega is a veteran of a number of movies and musicals, such as the High School Musical series, Newsies, Descendants, and Hocus Pocus. Ortega, who is known for his over-the-top and brilliant musical numbers, did not disappoint with the performances in Rocky Horror. The musical performances in FOX’s version of the film featured a major upgrade from the original movie. But then again, it is Kenny Ortega after all, so what did you really expect?

Rocky Horror, which originally did not perform well in the box office when it was first released, has become a cult classic in recent years and is now known for its midnight showings at movie theaters. Therefore, this revamped version of the film, using a different camera perspective, incorporated an audience to the film as if they were watching the film in a movie theater. Also, as many people do during the midnight showings of Rocky Horror, the audience in this new program shouted back to the characters in the film, screaming phrases such as “Say it!” to the screen. This new element of Rocky Horror was very interesting because it showed the impact that the film has had on its audience and their involvement when watching it.

Anyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show knows that this movie/musical is less about the plot, and more about the catchy musical numbers that take place throughout the film. For example, FOX’s adaptation included all of the hit songs from the original, such as “Time Warp,” “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and “Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul.” The song’s in this new version of the film stayed true to the iconic songs from the original film that we all know and love. All of the songs from the FOX special are available on iTunes and other music platforms.

One thing many fans did notice, though, while watching this made-for-TV movie was that it was missing the “live” aspect that many networks have featured in recent years. NBC’s The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz were all live special events and had more viewers than FOX’s Rocky Horror. This special event received only 4.9 million viewers, which is few in contrast to FOX’s Grease: Live!, which aired earlier this year with 12.2 million viewers tuning in. Many people have grown to enjoy watching these live telecasts since they have become very popular in recent years, and the fact that Rocky Horror was not live, but instead filmed, may have swayed viewers from watching it.

If we are being honest, the plot and quality of Rocky Horror and this remake are nothing spectacular, but regardless of that, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again is fun to watch and it is quite easy to look past the cheesiness of it. So it would only be in your best interest to take some time out of your day and travel to Transylvania with Brad, Janet, and Frank N. Furter, and get in the spooky Halloween spirit!