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Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Rocky Horror Picture Show attracts movie-goers

Dressed in a black corset, heels and fishnet stockings, the winner of the Rocky Horror Picture Show costume contest introduced himself as Athena – like the Greek goddess.

A crowd of around 200 students gathered on the East Quad last Friday night to watch and participate in the Entertainment Council’s (EC) free screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS).

Assisted by UC Davis alumnae Katie Walton and Julie Asperger, Gabriel Rosa, Athena’s name when not in drag, posed while Walton and Asperger explained the significance of the movie that inspired Rosa’s winning outfit.

“It’s campy and cheesy! And it brings people together! It’s a cult classic,” Walton said.

The costume contest started the night off with the audience encouraged to scream, shout and throw stuff at their friends dressed in costumes that consisted of endless fishnets, garter belts, waitress outfits and one pair of golden briefs.

Laura Kroeger, junior international relations major, is the cinema co-coordinator and organizer for the night’s Rocky Horror costume contest.

Kroeger, who said she could not comment on who she thought had the best costume, organized the pre-movie event so that the audience would choose the winner.

Audience participation in fact was an essential element to the night.

For Rocky Horror Picture “virgins” – those who have never experienced watching the movie in a theatre or among devoted cult followers – the night was a lesson in future viewing experiences.

The movie follows the strange night of a young couple, Janet Weiss (the audience shouted “slut!”) and Brad Majors (they shouted “asshole!”) who without a spare tire get caught in the rain (cue the squirt guns), find themselves in the hands of a transvestite Frank and his half-sane cronies.

The night’s movie-goers were particularly experienced RHPS veterans shouting commentary, dancing the Time Warp, and throwing rice, toast, confetti and toilet paper at the screen with pitch-perfect timing.

Technical difficulty did nothing to dampen the mood as some audience members stood up, singing and dancing an impromptu Time Warp number, until the character Meat Loaf rolled back onto the big screen.

As the final credits came on, the screen the audience applauded and stayed behind to continue to cheer and boo characters making their final appearance on the screen.

Senior community and regional development major Annie Jenson said the night as a whole was great.

“It [was] really interactive and gives you a chance to dress up. It’s very collegiate, silly, fun and naughty,” Jenson said.

Junior cultural anthropology major Tiffany Shieh, who has watched RHPS “30, 40 or 50 times,” said the night was successful and that screenings of the RHPS have always worked as a crowd pleaser.

EC director Thongxy Phansopha agreed that this year’s RHPS screening was successful and less messy than last year’s, which was indoors. Phansopha attributed the popularity of the RHPS to its cult-inspired fan base.

Senior psychology major Tala Dandan came dressed up in gold, glittery, Minnie mouse ears and commented on the movie-audience experience of the RHPS.

“It’s a movie made 30 years ago and it’s probably going to be done in 30 more years,” Dandan said.

JESSY WEI can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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