Day 5 was cancelled due to a need to have a social life .After a night off tonight I’m relaxing with a couple of musicals. I’m not a big fan of most musicals but there have been a couple a films that did manage to get me enjoying them and even singing along. Both films are affectionate tributes to B-movie horror films and are adapted from the stage.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This is the ultimate in cult films with a following that go along to join in the fun and become part of the film, joining in with costumes, props and heckles. It was adapted from a stage show created by Richard O’Brien who also plays Riff Raff the hunchbacked servant of Frank’n’ Furter in the film.
It’s the story of (the asshole) Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and (his slut) Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) who seem to be a pair of nice wholesome young people. Brad proposes to Janet after their friends’ wedding and they decide to go tell their old teacher Dr Everett Scott (Sieg Heil) (Jonathan Adams) but their car breaks down. They decide to go look for a telephone at an old castle they passed.
They find themselves at a bizarre party hosted by the mad genius transvestite Dr Frank’n’Furter (Tim Curry) for the birth of his new creature, a perfect physical specimen of manhood called Rocky (Peter Hinwood) that he has created for his own sexual pleasure.
That night Fran’n’Furter has sex with Janet and Brad separately making both of them question their sexuality, with Brad becoming more uncertain while Janet feels liberated.
When Dr Scott arrives at the castle this leads to suspicion and recriminations and Frank’n’Furter’s schemes come to an all-singing all-dancing musical climax with the cast all dressed in Basques, stockings and high heels performing a floor show.
This is like a pantomime for adults and this is especially true when at a live show or one of the midnight screenings. It’s so full of life and energy and always makes me feel good when I watch it. Tim Curry is just fantastic and I think it’s his performance that has made this a classic.
Little Shop of Horrors
This film from director Frank Oz is adapted from a stage show that is itself adaptation of a Roger Corman B-movie.
Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) is a general dogsbody at a failing flower shop in skid row. His boss Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) is about to give up and close the shop for good when Audrey (Ellen Greene) the other shop assistant suggests putting one of Seymour’s unusual plants in the window to attract customers. The plant in question is called Audrey II because Seymour is madly in love with Audrey. As soon as Seymour puts the plant in the window the customers flock in
Seymour learns that plant needs blood to thrive so he feeds it his own blood. The plant grows big and Seymour becomes famous with many promises of money coming his way, but as the plant grows it needs more and more blood and it talks Seymour into killing someone to feed it. The victim they choose is Audrey’s sadistic abusive boyfriend Orin Scrivello (Steve Martin) who is a nitrous oxide addicted dentist. Seymour goes to kill him but thanks to an unfortunate accident with his nitrous oxide mask Scrivello kills himself and all Seymour has to do is let him die.
When Audrey hears that Scrivello has gone missing she is upset and blames herself for secretly wishing it but Seymour confesses how much he loves her and Audrey admits she feels the same about Seymour. Seymour is finally happy and making plans for his future with Audrey but unfortunately Mushnik witnessed him chopping up the body and he too becomes plant food.
In the original theatrical release the climax led to a showdown with Audrey II where Seymour rescues Audrey then confronts the plant and destroys it. The director’s cut has a very different ending where things don’t turn out the same.
This is another really fun film and it had great music and over the top performances from a large cast. I especially love the scene between Steve Martin as the sadist frustrated by the perverted pleasures of an enthusiastically masochistic Bill Murray. The creature effects on the plants are still pretty good and it really looks like it is singing with voice of Levi Stubbs.