The Rocky Horror Insult

While spending the past holiday week in Carolina del Nortè with the family, I managed to catch the last half of the film Shadow of the Vampire on one of the premium cable channels. It was unforgivably silly without being at all fun, and its unsuccessful blend of horror and humor had me muttering by the end, “When are they going to start doing the Time Warp?”

That’s right, another Rocky Horror Show reference, just a few short weeks after I lobbed the charge at another movie. It made me realize how potent “the Rocky Horror insult” can be. Sure, people may like the movie, play, and soundtrack, but it’s the last thing people would take seriously. By extension, any work that does want to accomplish something can have it all ruined by being associated with transvestite transexuals from Transylvania. Observe:

  • Moulin Rouge‘s acting was OK, but I really think they could have taken more from the subtle styles of Tim Curry and Meatloaf.”
  • “Maybe Hollywood Arms is closing because it was the wrong type of audience. I didn’t see anybody there throwing rice at the screen while dressed in drag as Carol Burnett and the other characters.”
  • “Mr. T? Adrian! Burgess Meredith? Rocky! Dolph Lungren? Adrian! Rocky!”

See? These are callous remarks you could throw at almost any title whether they deserve it or not. Personally, I feel justified in dropping the Rocky Horror Bomb on Shadow of the Vampire and Titus, but it should not have been a decision I made lightly. In the new year, I will make sure I will only use this slight for works truly worthy of being a late-night double-feature picture show. I suggest you do the same.

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