25 Gay Films Everyone Should See: The Sequel

Another round of films that helped to define the culture -- and cultural impact - of LGBT cinema'

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975)

Right out of the gate, The Rocky Horror Picture Show bends gender: The lush, red screen-sized lips mouthing the words to Science Fiction Double Feature are clearly those of a woman, but the voice is almost certainly… male? (It is, though one could argue Richard O’Brien’s singing voice is devoid of gender entrapments.) From there things just get more gendery-bendery in the screen adaptation of O’Brien’s insane — and insanely great — stage musical. It’s shocking schlock on a stick, and none of it makes much sense — you just kind of have to go with the narrative’s goofy flow. By the time we get to the climactic “floor show,” sanity has pretty much run screaming from the building. Tim Curry commands his every moment onscreen as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, serving up a magnificent, high-octane camp performance. He’s (almost) matched by starchy Barry Bostwick and saucer-eyed Susan Sarandon as the crisp-and-clean couple Brad and Janet who unearth their buried-libidos under Frank-N-Furter’s erotic tutelage. And then there’s blond bombshell Peter Hinwood, scorching the screen in little more than a gold lamé speedo and Mercury boots. Hinwood — who left acting after Rocky to become an antique dealer — is the kind of studpuppy who would make even the most deeply closeted gay man stand up and shriek, “Toucha, toucha, toucha me! I wanna be dirty!”

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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