What person in their right mind would attend a Jimmy Buffet concert without an Acapulco shirt loud enough to make air sick, and a stuffed parrot on their shoulder?
Every pop-culture event has a list of mandatory equipment for attendees.
Subculture events often cause the list to take interesting, if not bizarre tone…
11:00PM Saturday Night June, 1981
“Water gun?” …”Check.”
“Cigarette Lighter?” …”Check”
“Burnt Toast?” …”Check”
“Toilet Paper?” …”Check. 2 rolls.”
“OK, the movie starts in an hour, we’d better get going.”
One of my cardinal rules of parenting is: When a youngster asks an out of the blue question about a topic that has never been discussed before, ALWAYS ask where they encountered this subject.
One evening my daughter walked into the room and said, “I’m watching my new DVD. Why are a bunch of guys in the movie wearing women’s underwear?”
I knew this was one time my rule was going to be important. Understanding the context surrounding a question has saved me a lot of fumbling with awkward answers over the years, so I went to see things for myself. When she hit Play on the DVD a scene from my high school memories unfolded as Tim Curry in a red corset and black stockings paraded across the screen.
The scene was from the movie “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, and the characters were at a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. When cable TV, VHS, and Blockbuster were the standard sources of home entertainment, many young people who had heard raves about Rocky Horror went out and rented the video. Then they were very confused, and felt like everyone had played a bad joke on them because it wasn’t as great and fantastic as they had been led to believe.
Nobody bothered to tell them the greatness of Rocky Horror only comes from seeing it in a theater.
With a bunch of your best friends.
Who will NEVER tell anyone how you made a complete fool of yourself dancing in the aisles, throwing burnt toast, and spraying water guns all over complete strangers who are sitting quietly under umbrellas eating popcorn next to some poor terrified “virgin” who is desperately looking for the nearest exit.
My friends and I have always been a pack of cult film enthusiasts. If it was sci-fi and obscure, we were at the midnight movie to see it. “Dark Star”, “Heavy Metal”, “Wizards”, “Eraserhead”, and of course “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
We bought the posters for our favorites, and I started looking at some of them recently wondering how much “that one” would bring? Turns out it is a lot more than I expected.
My personal favorite movie to date is “Heavy Metal”. Fantastic drawn-animation vignettes set to a hard rock score. The 1981 “Taarna” one-sheet was over $150 two years ago. I think I gave $2 for mine out of the bargain bin at the comic store.
The 1977 film “Wizards” poster featuring the character Peace came in just under $100 in 2013.
In 1974 John Carpenter was just starting out with his film “Dark Star”. $85 is a big improvement of the $5 I paid for mine.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” tops out the list at over $150.
I hate to think how much money my dear mother tossed in the trash when I moved away from home.
Passing the torch:
To make sure my daughter had a proper appreciation of “Perks of Being a Wallflower” I took her to a live performance of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Dallas Theater Center’s Wylie Theater.
We threw toilet paper, confetti, and burnt toast.
We yelled the obligatory obscenities at the actors.
It was awesome!
LET THERE BE LIPS!!!