Which film would fulfill all these criteria? I think that the one film that qualifies as a well-known cult classic that is loved and reviled or at least misunderstood in equal parts is The Rocky Horror Pictures Show (1975). I know I was completely baffled and appalled by this film when I first saw it and didn’t know quite what to make of it. It was certainly bold but who would make such a crazy film? I saw it as part of a University Cult Night film festival that also included a Monty Python film And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), and A Clock Work Orange (1971) that I was invited to back when I was around 17 or 18 years old.
I’m glad that I was older when I first saw these films because I was a little shocked upon the initial viewing, never having seen anything like it before and it certainly made a big impression on me. I later learned to appreciate these films for the powerful allegorical artistic expressions that they were.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show celebrates the uniqueness and passions of misunderstood misfits that are ostracized by society. Using the Frankenstein story structure and Rock n Roll musical genre to illustrate the grotesque outcast as lonely and tortured individuals with deep feelings, a conservative straight laced couple, stranded and seeking refuge in a haunted house full of sexual deviant outcasts, overcome their initial fear of the unknown when they find they are not so different from them in their desire for acceptance and respect. This is a fun and outrageous film with great sing-a-long music.
If you look at the Occupy movement that is happening in many major cities in the world, these marginalized people are being characterized as a bunch of hippies, commies, junkies, freeloaders, you name it but in fact these are people from all walks of life and from all age groups who are victims of our society’s greed for profit.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is about the persecution of those who are different; the marginalization of people who chose not to follow the mainstream and the fear we have of anything that is strange or unknown. We must respect and know that everyone has a unique ability and can make an important contribution to our society.