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Fan Phenomena: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

When The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in 1975, it initially received an indifferent reception in movie theaters, but it began to gain notoriety after it was embraced by audiences at midnight screenings in New York City and elsewhere. The movie tells of the misadventures of Brad and Janet, newly engaged, whose car breaks down in a rainstorm, forcing them to seek refuge in the castle of the bizarre and flamboyant Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

An homage to campy B-movies, sci-fi, and horror films, the movie was—and still is—more than the sum of its parts. Participatory and party-like, midnight showings attract moviegoers who dress as film characters, sing along with the catchy show tunes, and interact with the action on screen. In the four decades since its release, it has become a cultural phenomenon, not to mention one of the most commercially successful films of all time.

In Fan Phenomena: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Marisa C. Hayes brings together a diverse group of writers who explore the film’s influence on the development of the pastiche tribute film, emerging queer activism of the 1970s, glam rock style, and the creative use of audience dialogue in recreating and interacting with the spoken and sung language of the film.

Spotlighting a cult phenomenon and its fans, many of who count the number of times they’ve seen the movie in the hundreds, this contribution to the Fan Phenomena series covers never-before-explored topics related to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For anyone who has ever done the “Time Warp,” this will be essential reading.

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