Filmsite Movie Review
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Pages: (1) (2) (3)
Plot Synopsis (continued)

The Serving of a Cannibalistic Dinner:

Magenta sounded a dinner call with a massive gong to get everyone to assemble together.

The narrator spoke about the special occasion of sharing a meal - with little cheerfulness - as he sat before a book with an illustration of Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" (a communion passover meal between Jesus and his disciples):

Food has always played a vital role in life's rituals. The breaking of bread - the last meal of the condemned man - and now this meal. However informal it might appear, you can be sure there was to be very little 'bonhomie.'

Frank sat at the head of the table where he began slicing up the meat on a silver tray with an electric carving knife (brought to him by Riff Raff and Magenta). He toasted "to absent friends," and then a second tribute to "Rocky." Frank donned a party hat before everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Rocky as slices of meat were served by Magenta and Riff Raff. Dr. Scott mentioned that his intention was to discuss Eddie, prompting Frank to interject: "It's a rather tender subject. Another slice, anyone?" After Columbia excused herself and rushed from the room - and delivered a ghastly cry, the Doctor turned away toward the camera and expressed concern:

I knew he was in with a bad crowd. But it was worse than I imagined. Aliens!

In unison, Brad and Janet were shocked: "Dr. Scott!!"

The doctor began to sing a song titled "Eddie" about his missing nephew's troubled life following the death of his mother. Eddie exhibited what Freud called the Oedipus Complex, by rebelling against the loss of his beloved mother by seeking predominantly male and carnal interests including rock-and-roll, porn, and motorcycles:

From the day he was born, he was trouble. He was the thorn in his mother's side. She tried in vain...(Narrator: "But he never caused her nothing but shame" - while looking at the painting of Whistler's Mother from 1871, portraying a mother in mourning after the death of her husband) He left home the day she died. From the day she was gone, all he wanted was rock-and-roll porn. And a motorbike. Shooting up the junk. He was a low-down, cheap little punk! Taking everyone for a ride. When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy, you knew he was a no-good kid. But when he threatened your life with a switch blade knife...

The narrator flipped through his scrapbook, with pictures representing Eddie's life: 45 rpm records, porn, choppers, a record of his police fingerprints, and some mug shots. His life of irresponsibility, pain, drug use, violence ("a switch blade knife") and series of "low-down" social deviations and transgressions made him a "no-good" kid who was destined to suffer a fateful death.

Columbia added her own verse about her deceased boyfriend: "Everybody shoved him, I very nearly loved him. I said, 'Hey listen to me. Stay sane inside insanity. But he locked the door and threw away the key."

Dr. Scott ended the song by showing off a warning note he had received from Eddie, written in bright red, blood-colored ink:

"I'm out of my hed (sic). O hurry, or I may be dead! They mustn't carry out their evil deeds. Love Eddie."

He also held up a stuffed teddy bear, and then held a switchblade knife that he removed from behind it.

After the song ended, Frank removed the tablecloth and unveiled Eddie's decomposing and mutilated corpse under the table, encased in a glass coffin. He had served them a cannibalistic meal (literally Meatloaf). Janet screamed and ran into Rocky's arms - to seek comfort. In a jealous rage, Frank cried out: "Oh, Rocky! How could you?!", pushed him aside, slapped Janet across the face, and chased her as she fled from the dining room. Brad wheeled Dr. Scott from the room to safety.

As Janet was chased up the stairs and back to the laboratory, Frank sang: "Planet Schmanet Janet (Wise Up Janet Weiss)." He condemned her bland 'apple pie' personality:

I'll tell you once, I won't tell you twice, you better wise up, Janet Weiss. Your apple pie don't taste too nice. You better wise up, Janet Weiss.

When he grabbed her, she kneed him in the crotch, and kept running, as he continued to pursue her and sing: "I've laid the seed, it should be all you need. You're as sensual as a pencil, wound up like an "E" or first string when we made it. Did ya hear a bell ring? Y'got a block, Well, take my advice. You'd better wise up, Janet Weiss."

Meanwhile, Brad and Dr. Scott took the elevator up to the laboratory - where everyone was again brought together.

The Sonic Transducer and Medusa Transducer Transformations:

Using his alien technology, the mad Frank-N-Furter threatened to now punish those who he had already seduced: "The transducer, will seduce ya." He flipped a switch on his Sonic Transducer that froze Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott on the spots where they were positioned in the laboratory. Brad cried out: "It's as if we're glued to the spot." Frank sang out: "You are! So quake with fear you tiny fools!" When Janet dismayed: "Oh, we're trapped!", Frank responded: "It's something you'll get used to. A mental mind-f--k can be nice!" At the same time, Riff Raff, Columbia, Rocky and Magenta emerged on the observation platform or balcony above.

Dr. Scott speculated that Frank would use his perfected Sonic Transducer to teleport them to another planet: ("This sonic transducer, it is, I suppose some kind of audio-vibratory, physio-molecular transport device...A device which is capable of breaking down solid matter and then projecting it through space, and, who knows, perhaps even time itself!"). Janet screamed out: "You mean he's gonna send us to another planet!", but Frank calmed her down: "Planet Schmanet, Janet." And then as Frank pulled menacingly on her bra straps, touched her thighs and advised: "Build your thighs up," Janet cried out at the top of her lungs: "Sto-o-o-o-op!"

Frank was propelled backward, but still responded: "Don't get hot and flustered! Use a bit of mustard!" Shaking in anger and taking his cue from the word mustard, Brad called Frank a "hot dog" -- "You're a hot dog, but you'd better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter." Dr. Scott and Janet also concurred and called Frank a "hot dog."

[Note: It was entirely appropriate to call Dr. Frank N. Furter the phallic-related slang word for his name - a "hot dog." The name was a reference to the most common meat-related use of the term as male genitalia, such as 'weiner' or 'weenie,' 'kielbalsa,' and 'sausage'. In complementary fashion, female genitals have often been referred to as a "hot dog bun". "Hot Dog" is also slang for a male prostitute.]

To punish the group, Frank ordered Magenta (with a nod of his head) to flip switches to activate his Medusa machine - with each flip of the switch, it transformed Brad, Dr. Scott, and Janet into nude living stone or marble statues.

[Note: The Medusa machine's switch was able to turn people into stone, like the Greek figure of Medusa whose malevolent stare could turn a man into stone.]

From the upper deck, Columbia, both Frank's and Eddie's former lover, came down the ramp as she called out Frank for his outrageous behavior. She criticized him for his lack of faithfulness and love, and his innate selfishness - and delivered an ultimatum for him to choose between her or Rocky:

My God! I can't stand any more of this! First you spurn me for Eddie, and then you throw him off like an old overcoat for Rocky! You chew people up and then you spit them out again. I loved you. Do ya hear me? I loved you! And what did it get me? Yeah, I'll tell you: a big nothing. You're like a sponge. You take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion. Yeah, well, I've had enough You're gonna choose between me and Rocky, so named after the rocks in his head!

Frank nodded to Magenta to add Columbia and Rocky to his collection of transformed marble statues. Then, he sighed, pouted, and turned to the audience:

Frank: It's not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache. And my children turn on me. Rocky's behaving just the way that Eddie did. Do you think I made a mistake splitting his brain between the two of them?
Magenta: (vehemently) I grow weary of this world. When shall we return to Transylvania, huh?

Frank had one final plan that he had prepared - he entered the elevator cage, slammed the door, and announced: "Come. We are ready for the floor show." His loyal servants Magenta and Riff Raff approached the stone statues, and then exited by the ramp.

The Preparations for the Floor Show:

The serious-faced narrator summarized what had happened, and what might ensue next:

And so, by some extraordinary coincidence, fate, it seemed, had decided that Brad and Janet should keep that appointment with their friend, Dr. Everett Scott. But it was to be in a situation which none of them could have possibly foreseen. And just a few hours after announcing their engagement, Brad and Janet had both tasted - forbidden fruit. This, in itself, was proof that their host was a man of little morals, and some persuasion. What further indignities were they to be subjected to? And what of the floor show that had been spoken of? In an empty house? In the middle of the night? What diabolical plan had seized Frank's crazed imagination? What indeed? From what had gone before, it was clear that this was to be no picnic.

The transition (a curtain opening) was to the next scene set in a large empty auditorium with a curtained stage. Backstage, puppet-master Frank had placed four of the marble statues (Brad, Janet, Columbia, and Rocky, but not Dr. Scott) facing the back of the closed curtain. He was bedecking and attiring them in his own image - a complete metamorphosis for each one.

[Note: As a transsexual Transylvanian, Frank's meted out punishment for disobedience by stripping the four of their own identities and dressing each of them as himself. This recalled the Greek myth of Pygmalion that told of a sculptor who created a female ivory statue representing his ideal and then fell in love with his own creation (named Galatea) when she came to life. Of course, the first creation that Dr. Frank N. Furter made was Rocky Horror (in seven days), and he had already transformed Janet and Brad, through sexual seduction, into corrupted versions of himself. Other cinematic treatments of the Pygmalion myth include Pygmalion (1938, UK), and My Fair Lady (1964) (based upon George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion).]

Each of them was clothed in his own decadent cabaret costuming, to identically mirror his own drag garb: stiletto high-heels, fishnet stockings, sequined elbow-length gloves, boas and tight laced-up black corsets and garters, plus face makeup. He was preparing for them to perform on stage in an extravagant cabaret show. When the lights came on and the curtain parted, Frank pulled a "De-Medusa" switch control, and each one of them was unfrozen and resurrected to perform, as they opened Frank-N-Furter's swan song burlesque show.

When each one switched back to human form, parts of the song "Rose Tint My World" were performed - the lyrics told of taking drugs to bring oneself into a rose-tinted world of orgasmic lust and uncontrolled libidos, where there was no "trouble or pain". [Note: The scene paid homage to a similar scene in Cabaret (1972).]:

  • Columbia: "It was great when it all began, I was a regular Frankie fan. But it was over when he had the plan, to start working on a muscle man. Now the only thing that gives me hope, is my love of a certain dope. Rose tints my world, keeps me safe from my trouble and pain"
  • Rocky: "I'm just seven hours old, truly beautiful to behold. And somebody should be told, my libido hasn't been controlled. Now the only thing I've come to trust, is an orgasmic rush of lust. Rose tints my world and keeps me safe from my trouble and pain"
  • Brad: "It’s beyond me! Help me Mommy! I'll be good, you will see, take this dream away. What's this, let's see, I feel sexy. What's come over me. Whoa. Here it comes again!"
  • Janet: "Oh I-I feel released, bad times deceased. My confidence has increased. Reality is here. The game has been disbanded, my mind has been expanded. It's a gas that Frankie's landed. His lust is so sincere!" (she blew Frank an air kiss)

The Floor Show Medley:

The camera pulled back to show the entire stage. Everything was about to climax with a naughty and unrestrained "floor show" medley in the empty theater. As a white curtain rose on stage and there was a flourish of trumpets, the camera zoomed in toward Frank (with a red-sequined body corset and a black chiffon cloak, as well as a pearl necklace, black garters, one black elbow-length glove, one gold glove, and black high-heeled stilettos). He was standing in a spotlight in front of an RKO Radio Picture logo in the back part of the stage - with its signal tower emitting sparks. The group of four (Rocky, Columbia, Janet, and Brad) now functioned as backup singers (singing and dancing versions of Frank himself) - two on each side of the stage, as Frank (the lead singer) crooned: "Fanfare / Don't Dream It, Be It" in front of the tower - it was a tune about dressing up like classic Hollywood characters:

Whatever happened to Fay Wray, that delicate satin-draped frame, as it clung to her thigh. How I started to cry, 'cause I wanted to be dressed just the same.

He kicked a lever in front of him, activating part of the stage to rise up and then extend into a full-sized diving board, although it was obscured by stage smoke. He descended a short series of steps toward the diving board as he sang about surrendering to "absolute pleasure":

Give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh. Erotic nightmares beyond any measure, and sensual daydreams to treasure forever. Can't you just see it. Oh, oh, ohhhh!

Then, he tossed away his boa - and dove feet first into the smoke and disappeared for a few moments. He had splashed into a swimming pool that had magically appeared before him, where he floated on a red and white SS. Titanic life preserver (with outstretched arms in a Christ-like crucifixion pose) as he sang the chorus: "Don't dream it. Be it. Don't dream it. Be it...." A design of Michelangelo’s "Creation of Adam" (on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel) was visible on the pool's bottom.

[Note: From a top view, it appeared that the very sinful and indulgent Frank (who had committed defilement, murder, lust, and blasphemy) was in a position to obstruct or block the connection between God's outstretched hand and his human creation Adam.]

The four backup singers dove into the two ends of the swimming pool, a la Busby Berkeley style (or Esther Williams) while repeating Frank's refrain: "Don't dream it. Be it," and then engaged in a pool orgy of kisses and embraces. Brad cried out: "It's beyond me, Help me Mommy!" as Columbia grabbed him, and Janet praised a notorious burlesque stripper ("God bless Lili St. Cyr!") as she was kissed by Frank.

At the same time, Dr. Scott was also magically returned back to human form and freed from bondage (when the De-Medusa switch control was activated). He declared, out loud to himself and the others, that they had to resist Frank's evil and escape the castle - to end the decadence promoted by Frank before it was too late:

We've got to get out of this trap before this decadence saps our wills! I've gotta be strong and try to hang on, or else my mind may well - snap! And my life will be lived for the ----

But then he looked down and realized he had been overtaken and corrupted like the others - and was wearing black stiletto heels and fishnet stockings - he raised and caressed his own costumed leg and exclaimed: "THRI-I-I-IL!!!!!"

Frank sang the first verse of "Wild and Untamed Thing" in the pool, then climbed out and was joined by the four singers on stage as they performed more refrains during an energetic song-and-dance routine - including chorus line kicks:

We're a wild and an untamed thing. We're a bee with a deadly sting. You gotta hit and your mind goes ping! Your heart'll pump and your blood will sing. So let the party and the sound rock on. We're gonna shake it 'till the life has gone, gone, gone. Rose tint my world, keep me safe from my trouble and pain.

Dr. Scott (crippled in his wheelchair) joined the cast on stage and began to dance uncontrollably. His fishnet-stockinged legs kicked out and crossed each other.

Magenta's and Riff Raff's Revelation That They Were Aliens from the Planet Transsexual in the Galaxy of Transylvania:

Suddenly in the finale as they finished the final chorus, Magenta (with a Bride of Frankenstein beehive hairdo with a streak of gray) and Riff Raff (both wearing futuristic, matching black and silver Jetsons-styled costumes, with Riff Raff holding an 'American Gothic' pitchfork-shaped, three-pronged laser ray-gun), Frank's once faithful servants, interrupted the performance. The two rebels had entered through doors at the rear of the theatre. Impatient, they announced that Frank needed to prepare to return to the galaxy of Transylvania - because his mission failed and society needed their protection from extremists such as him - a murderer who had also taken upon himself hubris to create a same-sex creature for his own narcissistic sexual desires.

Frank-N-Furter, it's all over. Your mission is a failure. Your lifestyle's too extreme. I'm your new commander. You now are my prisoner. We return to Transylvania. Prepare the transit beam.

When Frank begged: "Wait! I can explain," they allowed him to sing the sad song "I'm Going Home" in a circular spotlight on stage - cued up by Rocky and Columbia. Frank was joined by Columbia and the others:

On the day I went away. Goodbye was all I had to say. Now I-I want to come again and stay. Smile and that will mean I may, 'cause I've seen blue skies (blue sky and clouds projected onto the curtain behind Frank) through the tears in my eyes, and I realize I’m going home.

Suddenly, a group of audience members materialized in the canvas deck-chair seats (with red and white striped fabric) in the empty auditorium. Frank continued:

Everywhere it’s been the same, feeling like I'm outside in the rain. Wheeling free to try and find a game. Dealing cards for sorrow, cards for pain. 'Cause I've seen, oh blue skies through the tears in my eyes, and I realize I'm going home. I'm going home.

As he finished the song, Frank revealed his real motivation for his decadent and outrageous behavior - to be loved and worshipped. As he strolled up the aisle, he fantasized that he was being adored by the audience members, some of whom held out paper and pens for autographs. He even received a standing ovation. Magenta sneered: "How sentimental!" - and suddenly, the auditorium's guests vanished. Riff Raff added: "And also presumptuous of you." Frank was no longer to be loved, worshipped or idolized in reality.

Obviously, Riff Raff and Magenta had turned against the mad scientist with plans to destroy him using Riff Raff's three-pronged laser gun. Their plan was to return everyone (members of the alien race) back to Transylvania (the galaxy that hosted their home planet), but to leave Frank behind. Riff Raff clarified:

You see, when I said 'we' were to return to Transylvania, I referred only to Magenta and myself. I'm sorry, however, if you found my words misleading, but you see, you are to remain here, in spirit, anyway.

Frank would be eliminated with Riff Raff's pitchfork-shaped weapon ("a laser capable of emitting a beam of pure anti-matter") for the crime of killing Eddie, as Dr. Scott chimed in and explained to Brad and the others that he must pay the price for subverting the morals of the Earthlings in society:

You saw what became of Eddie. Society must be protected.

The Death of Renegade Alien Frank:

Frank was to be eradicated or eliminated for his failed "mission" - for his deviant, transgressional crime - the murder of Eddie, and for his presumption of God's powers to create. Frank's extremist mission had to come to an end. Riff Raff announced a warning:

And now, Frank N. Furter, your time has come. Say good-bye to all of this, and hello to oblivion.

When Columbia screamed, she became the first to be blasted with the laser.

Frank attempted to escape by backing up and climbing the stage curtain - Riff Raff proceeded to shoot at him with the laser-beam gun. Frank fell and slid down the curtain - and hit the stage. His lifeless body was covered with the curtain. Janet fearfully shrinked for protection back into Brad's arms, while Rocky (in extreme distress) uncovered Frank's body and cradled him in his arms. During the mass killings, Rocky was Riff Raff's next target - as the rays hit him, he appeared immune as the laser blasts bounced off his pectoral muscles.

As he continued to be struck by blasts, Rocky (in a King Kong role) carried the limp Frank along the edge of the swimming pool. He climbed onto the diving board (with Frank slung over his back) and transported Frank's body to the top of the RKO radio tower - similar to the climactic ending of RKO's King Kong (1933), when Fay Wray was taken to the top of the Empire State Building by the giant ape. Laser rays continued to bounce off Rocky's body, similar to the biplane's bullets striking King Kong. When the tower toppled, Rocky plunged into the pool and died - the same fate as King Kong himself.

Magenta was confused and surprised by Riff Raff's swift delivery of punishment and asked: "But I thought you liked them? They liked you," but Riff Raff answered that Frank never loved or respected him:


Dr. Scott affirmed that Riff Raff had done the right thing: ("You're OK by me") - even though his nephew had been murdered. He rationalized and chuckled: "Well, perhaps it was for the best."

Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott were finally given permission to leave the mansion after Frank and Rocky were killed. Riff Raff and Magenta announced they woud return to their home galaxy via transit beam and the castle-mansion (that doubled as an alien spaceship): "We are about to beam the entire house back to the planet of Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania."

[Note: A view of Frank shot from below in the pool was reminiscent of the opening scene in Sunset Boulevard (1950) when William Holden was found floating dead in a Hollywood swimming pool.]

The two revealed themselves as aliens - incestuous siblings from outer space (from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania). Riff Raff described how their preferred planet was always bathed in night-time's "moon-drenched" darkness - (a time when sexual conformity could be thrown off):

Riff Raff (to Magenta): Our noble mission is almost completed, my most beautiful sister, and soon we shall return to the moon-drenched shores of our beloved planet.
Magenta: Ah! Sweet Transsexual - land of night. To sing and dance once more to your dark refrains. To take that step to the right...

After Magenta and Riff Raff briefly dreamed about reprising the "Time Warp" song (with its "dark refrain"), the entire castle (with a rainbow above) was beamed and blasted off into space.

The Conclusion:

In the end, Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott were freed from the launched castle, and were seen crawling in the dirt in the crater left by the blast-off. The camera began to wildly spin around - like a circular globe. The image transitioned or morphed into a spinning world globe on the desk of the criminologist-narrator, who then summarized the film's final depressing message about the lost and confused human race - exemplified by the deflowered, cast off and defiled couple of Brad and Janet:

And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called the human race. Lost in time and lost in space - and meaning.

The conclusion of the film was a reprise of the opening song - as the cast of characters was shown with their names:

Science fiction, double feature
Frank has built and lost his creature
Darkness has conquered Brad and Janet
The servants gone to a distant planet
At the late-night double feature picture show
I wanna go Ah-ohh
To the late-night double feature picture show.

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