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September 5, 2015

MTV plans remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 15th 2008 12:01PM
Tim Curry Rocky HorrorGenerally speaking, I'm not an anti-remake person. There are times when a remake is perfectly acceptable and oftentimes can improve upon the best of the original, like Battlestar Galactica, for instance. However -- you knew that was coming, didn't you? -- this remake just sounds like a disaster in the making. MTV is going to turn The Rocky Horror Picture Show into a TV movie. They will take the 1975 cult classic sci-fi, horror musical spoof and give it a 2008 spin.

Oh, please! You cannot strike lightning twice. Rocky Horror was a phenomenon. It was a cult classic because the people who found and supported the movie in all those midnight movie showings felt like they were part of a "with it" crowd. It was like we had all found a diamond in the rough, a film that Hollywood just didn't get. How can MTV possibly think they'll recapture that zeitgeist in a TV movie?

It's not just the experience of Rocky Horror that's inimitable. What was shocking and subversive and outre in 1975 is not shocking and subversive and outre in 2008. Therefore, the fact that Frank is a transvestite transsexual will be a big ho hum. We've seen that on Jerry Springer and Maury.

Also, tell me how they're going find a cast can match Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray, Richard O'Brien, et. al? Those performers were not stars when the film was made, and that movie helped launch them. Now, it's hard to imagine Dr. Frank-N-Furter as anyone other than Tim Curry. Barry and Susan are the ultimate Brad and Janet.

As Riff-Raff, Richard O'Brien epitomized the evil henchman. He also co-wrote the script and O'Brien has dissed the MTV project. When asked by the BBC, he said, "I have no view on whether it should be remade but it doesn't have my blessing."

Ouch! On the other hand, the director of the original, Jim Sharman, was kinder. He suggested that a new version could have its own style. Also, at least one member of the original production is on board. Executive Producer Lou Adler is taking on the same role for the MTV production.

They're anticipating a Halloween 2009 debut. The plan is to use the same screenplay, but in a really odd move, they're only going to use some of the music. They want to add new songs. Look, I know it's not Rodgers and Hammerstein, but would you take "Edelweiss" out of The Sound of Music to add a pop song of your own creation? It makes no sense.

So, the question then is this: will MTV do the time warp again and capture the Rocky Horror Picture Show success? Excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

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This idea kinda reminds me of the Holocaust. Except instead of Hitler we have MTV, instead of "The Final Solution" we have a RHPS remake, and instead of people getting killed we have reputations, memories, and music getting ruined... Not to mention a great movie.

August 26 2008 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's the thing: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" started as "The Rocky Horror Show" -- a stage musical. Theater pieces are made to be remade and re-staged. In fact, a revival of Rocky Horror was on Broadway in 2000. Rocky Horror isn't a holy text. It is made to be done over and over by different groups of people in different places and times.

Personally, I am interested in variations on a theme, cover versions, and remakes because a new perspective almost always brings out something new and interesting in almost any material. A remake won't change the first film, or any previous version of Rocky Horror, so if you don't like it, just listen to or watch the versions you do like.

MTV doesn't need to add new songs, but I'd watch a new Rocky Horror even with MTV's record of making pretty bad TV movies. They can be inventive without making fundamental changes to the musical. I am all for reinvention, but I'd like it to be recognizable. I'm even up for a new song, if Richard O'Brien writes it.

My dream cast includes Amber Benson as Janet and Alan Cumming as our favorite Sweet Transvestite (or Riff-Raff, I'm not too picky).

August 18 2008 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No, forget that! New songs? Only using some of the old music? NO! MTV shouldn't even bother. They will never capture the real shock that The "Original" Rocky Horror Picture Show had. Movies like Rocky Horror can't be remade. Never.

August 17 2008 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NOOOO WAY shud they remake tha film...the rocky horror picture show is a legend and no 1 could replace the old cast. i think it is rediculus they are even going to try!!!

August 17 2008 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well if the rest of the population is anything like my younger coworkers then they haven't seen any movie that was produced before 1984 and have no idea RHPS already exists. That's why remakes find an audience.

August 15 2008 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mike's comment
eric f

you mean 1994...

August 16 2008 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can understand a remake of Rocky Horror since it is a cult classic, and everything gets remade these days. However, the problem is that a musical like this needs the right cast. It will not work if they use all worthless teen actors. It will definitely not work if they include new music. The music of the original is what makes this music so classic.

August 15 2008 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked this movie 'cause it was frickin' weird. But remade? eh... Why not Priscilla Queen of the Desert?

August 15 2008 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Byrn

Considering it's MTV and a TV movie, it's a low risk venture and will certainly draw more eyeballs than anything original they might dream up. As it will almost certainly be a disgrace to the original, it will nonetheless be interesting to watch the cinematic train wreck.

August 15 2008 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There was one song on the original UK version of the soundtrack that didn't make it onto the US soundtrack. It was an extended version of "Don't Dream it, Be It" that happens at the end, when Brad is crawling around in the dirt, and the fog is swirling -- the voiceover is Dr Scott, who intones, "And groaning, on the planet's face: some insects called the Human Race -- lost in time, and lost in space. And meaning."
There follows an upswell of music, as of a heavenly chorus at the gates of hell, singing first quietly and then with gathering strength: "Don't dream it, be it -- don't dream it, be it. . . . "

It's the best song of the whole thing, I think, and I hope it gets resurrected in the new movie.

No surprise someone like O'Brien would not be thrilled about this. Remember, none of those folks made ANY money off of the success of Rocky Horror. They were kind of raped and it makes sense that there would still be bitterness.

True, there will be nothing like Frank N Furter, nothing like Brad and Janet and Magenta (I mean, my God, now even every SMALL town has 50 girls who dress just like her, and it's normal!). There will be nothing like me, a thirteen-year-old girl in 1976, visiting her British cousins for the first time, being whisked away to the movies and seeing things the likes of which I thought only existed in my own warped mind. . . .

But something new and different will take its place for a new and different audience.

August 15 2008 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why do these Hollywood "executives" think that this will be appealing to anyone other than the people who watched this stuff, I dont even think they would enjoy it. they need to stop rehashing old movies and come up with new concepts, I know that mtv is going to try and put a goth/emo spin on this and it is going to suck.

August 15 2008 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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