Rocky Horror in the Union

By Preston Davis, [email protected]

“ASSHOLE! SLUT!” the audience yelled at the illuminated theater screen inside the Student Union Theatre on Saturday night as The Rocky Horror Picture Show played.

In it’s strange, extra-terrestrially familiarity, Rocky Horror once again graced The University of Akron’s campus this semester as part of the Zips Programming Network’s (ZPN) special showing.

The impact of the transsexual, defiant film can hardly be exaggerated nor its plot accurately summarized with a straight face. For those unfamiliar with the fishnet debauchery that reveals itself, it’s best to rent the film, slip out of something comfortable, and enjoy the movie around the midnight hour.

The film, a cult classic, follows a newly married couple who discover the spooky mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist. The couple meets a huge cast of strange and wild characters. Through a series of rock-n-roll songs and dances, the doctor shows them his newest creation: “Rocky.”

Audiences often dress as characters and participate in the film by responding to and shouting at characters on the screen.

At Saturday showing, ZPN members passed out sheets of shouts and phrases so that the uninitiated could follow along too. Many students flocked to the Student Union to watch the film for the first time — and others for the 100th time.

As the absurdity of Rocky Horror unfolded on screen, the line between laughing with the movie and laughing at the movie blurred further. Adding to the garish charm of Rocky Horror was the audience’s interpretation and reaction, some eliciting roaring laughter, others falling short of a quiet snicker.

“Buy an umbrella, you cheap bitch!” screamed Jillian Olson at the film’s female protagonist as she desperately tried to shield herself from rain with a flimsy newspaper. The outburst netted a large amount of laughter, as many fans were used to the lines. In 1975, when audiences first began participating with the film in New York, this was one of the first organized vocal retorts to the film on-screen that launched the standard practice.