Bryan F. Irrera (bfirrera) wrote,
Bryan F. Irrera

"the Next Rocky Horror"...

Crossposted to rockypod

Sean, Laura...everyone else...

Here's what I think is the problem with finding the "next Rocky Horror"...

..."Rocky" happened on it's own. It died at the box office and some little arthouse theatres were showing it (heck, don't have to cover the all know how Rocky the phenomenon started by reading/listening to Uncle Sal, I'm sure). But, the point just happened. It wasn't forced. It wasn't MADE to be a cult movie.

When people started going and yelling AP lines it built up and snowballed (basically with a whole..."hey, wouldn't it be cool if...____?" and the blank may have started with getting up and doing the Time Warp, then maybe coming to the theatre in costume and eventually with full casts performing the show (and SO many more AP lines...which do evolve and change over time as pop culture changes).


I think that the closest thing to this phenomenon in recent years may be a bit off of OUR radars, because we're not 'tweens, but I'd bet that it would be "High School Musical". They played it on Disney Channel. Smartly, they played the crap out of it for a couple of weeks to allow kids to see it and tell their friends about it (and the friends would have the opportunity to catch it). After the word of mouth spread (which is really the way that Rocky grew), they started showing it with sing-along lyrics on the screen (which is also the tactic that is making those interactive Sound of Music productions so successful). The kids started learning the songs...

...then, they released the first of the CDs, and it took many a retail store by surprise (I know, 'cause I worked at FYE at the time at the beginning of the swell of popularity...). Parents were coming in droves to get this thing for their kids. THEN the DVD came out and the disc included featurettes on how to do the dances. THEN they came out with a special edition of the CD with a karaoke sing-along portion (which actually worked in karaoke CD+G machines)...the kids could watch the movie, do the dances and sing the songs just like their favorite characters (sound familiar?). THEN they came out with ANOTHER DVD...this time with more featurettes.

I've heard that it's being prepared as a stage musical for actual teens to be able to perform in their high school/community theatre shows. They also do a "High School Musical" themed show at the Disney parks (now at MGM), again teaching the songs and dance numbers to the kids in the parks.

I'd say that if any PREMANUFACTURED cult movie was a success as a cult movie (without invoking the name of Rocky Horror) purely based on the hype from the studios, which the audience fell for wholeheartedly, this is it (even though, and maybe because, the target audience is much younger than what is usually thought of as the target audience for cult films). The trick is to see if it continues to steamroll or whether they kill their momentum AND the cult with the inevitable sequels (I've heard of at least of which will be released theatrically).

I think that when you look at other movies that might be modern day cult movies (be that Priscilla, Clue, Hedwig, Showgirls, etc.), they all certainly have their followings, many just as loyal as that of Rocky's...just maybe not as vocal (or as large). I know that one of my other favorites is Phantom of the Paradise and BOY, does THAT have a cult following...
(but again, much smaller and I don't know of any live performances of that movie (and there really isn't much room for AP lines)!

Also, take this into account: Rocky has been around now for 32 years (or nearly). My mother went to Rocky years ago. Laura, isn't your daughter in your cast? It's MULTI-GENERATIONAL!!! It's kind of like a rite of passage these days. We expect kids in high school/college to have experienced it in a theatre at least once. Many of our kids (the outcasts/nerds/goths, etc.) may even become regulars and cast members because it's a place for them to feel normal (it's the true gay/straight student alliance).

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