Author's note: Although I am a Rocky Horror virgin and never saw the whole film either live or on video (I've watched snippets of it and videos of shadowcasts online), I do know how the whole movie goes, so that's how I was able to write this. The ending scene of the movie irked me in reality since my favorite character, Columbia, got killed for no reason. (I know in the stage play, she tries to save Frank from the laser.) Also, I am writing from the perspective of someone who is older than my actual age.
Some of you may have heard of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, whether you've experienced a live show with a shadowcast at a theater, grew up as a teen when it was popular, seen a movie or TV show with that show or movie's characters going to a screening of Rocky Horror, like The Drew Carey Show and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or you may have watched the Glee episode based on it. I was a big fan of Rocky Horror ever since I was 16 and watched it on television. I got as much merchandise from the movie as I can, mostly of my favorite character, Columbia (I like her because she's always happy), and I saw Rocky Horror in theaters, a hundred times. However, the last time I saw the movie changed my view of it forever, and that's why I want to tell you about it...
It was a Saturday morning near the end of my spring break (I was in my first year of college at the time). I wanted to see Rocky Horror like I usually did every Saturday night, but I didn't know if any local theaters near my hometown, where I was staying for break, were playing the film. I looked up showtimes for Rocky Horror on the internet. Luckily, one showtime did show up for the movie at an old movie theater I used to go to when I was a child. However, something was strange about the showtime: it was at 12:06PM. "Rocky Horror showings are usually at midnight, not the afternoon! I think they must be wrong! Oh well, maybe they couldn't schedule a midnight showtime for the film." I thought to myself. I then brought my ticket on the theater's website. It cost $6.66, which was a great price, considering the usual movie tickets at that theater are $8.00. I then took a shower, got dressed, and drove my car to the theater.
At 11:36PM, I arrived at the theater and showed the online ticket I printed. They let me into the theater, and I got popcorn and candy. The first strange thing I noticed about this Rocky Horror screening was that they didn't give away or sell any prop bags, which are bags that contain objects you use at certain points during the show. For example, during the song Over at the Frankenstein Place, you put a newspaper over your head like Janet, the main heroine of the film, does. When I asked the theater manager, he claimed there were no prop bags for this screening of Rocky Horror.
I accepted it, thinking that it would be interesting to see how the film would be if you didn't use the prop bags. I went inside the theater and noticed another thing: there was no shadowcast. A shadowcast is usually present at Rocky Horror screenings, and this is a group of actors and actresses who act out the film as it plays on screen. Each shadowcast has a name, usually taken from a line from the film.
For example, the shadowcast near my college was called The No Good Kids, named after a line in the chorus of the song Eddie's Teddy, a song that talks about a boy named Eddie, who is a minor but important character in the film, because he was Doctor Scott's nephew. Ten other people showed up to this Rocky Horror screening, and some of them had the same questions as me about how strange this screening was. Three people wound up leaving before the film due to the missing prop bags and the absent shadowcast.
The film started out normally, and it was this way for the rest of the movie. The people in the audience, including me, shouted out the audience participation lines, which are funny things people say during the film at different parts, danced the Time Warp and sang along to the songs. It wasn't until the Floor Show, the climax of the film where the main antagonist, Dr. Frank N. Furter puts on a big musical show, that things started to go wrong. When Columbia started to sing, the screen went black and the audio of the movie stopped playing.
"What the hell is going on?", a man sitting behind me said. "I paid some good money for this film, and now it's broken? Come on!" a woman said, sitting with her 16 year-old daughter. We waited a while for the film to start up again. After 15 minutes, three more people, including the woman and her daughter, left disgusted because it was taking to long for the movie to come back on. 2 minutes later, the film resumed not from the part where the film stopped, but from the part of the film after the song "I'm Going Home".
"Oh no!" I cried, "Not this scene!" You see, I've always hated the ending of The Rocky Horror Picture Show because my favorite character Columbia, died even though she did nothing wrong. Due to this, Riff-Raff is my least favorite Rocky Horror character and this scene is my least favorite scene in the film. However, on the print of the movie, I saw that fateful day, this scene was different. First off, I noticed that the actors looked slightly different, but they were wearing the same costumes. However, their voices sounded like pretty good imitations of the real Rocky Horror actors.
After Riff-Raff said his usual line to Frank N Furter about how he was going to kill him, there was a brief silence. Then, Riff-Raff looked angry and began to yell. "You know what, Frank? I haven't told you this, but I don't like you! I don't even like Earth! I hated all the humans we've ever met except for Eddie! His music was really cool, and we had never heard any kind of music like it, but you had to protect that annoying little human named Columbia! You know, that teenager you found on the streets who was crying nonstop because her parents died? Well, that wasn't the only thing that annoyed me about her!" While Riff-Raff spoke, Columbia was crying.
"Riff-Raff, you said you would always protect me..."
"I NEVER MEANT TO SAY THAT! That statement was a LIE! I also hate your annoying voice and how you were trying to take away the only human we liked...so you must die!" Riff-Raff then pointed the anti-matter laser at Columbia's chest.
"But you don't understand! Eddie was saving me from this horrible castle where you abused and hurt me. Then, Frank killed him and due to this, I don't even like Frank anymore because of what he did to Eddie...so go ahead, kill him. Please, don't kill me...I didn't do anything wrong!"
"Well, too bad, Columbia! You're too annoying to come with us to Transylvania!"
"Could I stay in the human world?"
"No! No one will love you, and your life was already over in the human world when your parents died, so I think going back to the human world is a complete waste of time for you!" Then, Riff-Raff said his infamous line, but it was changed a bit: "And now, everybody here, your time has come. Say good-bye to all of this... and hello to oblivion."
"Everyone?" I thought, "So does that mean... he's going to kill..."
My thoughts were interrupted by Columbia's screaming. However, the screaming didn't sound like it came from the speakers in the theater, but as if Columbia was really in the audience! Then, Riff-Raff started shooting the laser gun at Columbia, Frank and Rocky, like he did in the real film, and an actual laser beam killed a man in the audience when Frank got killed. I was shocked. "Is this copy of the film possessed or enchanted by magic?"
"You killed them!" Janet yelled on-screen.
"Yes I did, but do you think you're safe? Well, you're not!" Riff-Raff said as he shot the gun at Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott. When Brad and Janet got shot, the remaning two audience members beside me got shot.
"Well, it seems like I survived this weird copy of Rocky Horror!" I said.
"Wait, did I just hear another human in the audience?" Riff-Raff said, staring at me.
"Riff-Raff, you're stupid! You shouldn't have hurt poor Columbia and everyone else, who was watching this movie!"
"Is that so? Then, would you like to see Columbia again?"
I knew that if I said "yes", I would likely die. I was about to say no, but I felt like I was being mind controlled to say "yes", so I said "Yes. I would like to see her again."
"Very well. Say goodbye to the human world, and hello to oblivion!" Then, Riff-Raff started shooting me with his laser and I blacked out.
I woke up in the hospital, and the doctors said that I had a seizure at the movie theater after being exposed to a mysterious laser beam that could've killed me. I told the doctors that I went to see a Rocky Horror screening and things started going wrong at the end. I told them how Riff-Raff killed the audience with the laser and how he talked to me. Everyone thought I was making this up, and they claimed that something strange might have happened with the projector when I saw the movie. They also told me that I should stay at my parents' house for the next few days and rest.
When I was feeling better, I said goodbye to my parents and went back to college. I packed all my Rocky Horror related stuff in a box, so I wouldn't be reminded of that terrible incident. I tried contacting Richard O' Brien and 20th Century Fox about this strange print of Rocky Horror. Richard O' Brien just called me crazy and couldn't believe what happened. He claimed I must've dreamed this experience or I just made the story up for attention. I did get a response from 20th Century Fox:
"Dear [real name censored], the print of The Rocky Horror Picture Show you saw was a hacked digital print made by a mentally ill person who was a big fan of the movie. For some reason, his only favorite character was Riff-Raff and he really hated Columbia and Eddie. He wanted an alternate ending that would satisfy him by showing Riff-Raff yelling at Columbia for being annoying and liking Eddie, so he did so. He also put a secret code in the digital movie print that would release harmful laser beams when Riff-Raff shot the lasers in the alternate ending. When they found the person who created the hacked copy of the film, he hanged himself. Most people who have watched this print died, but you were lucky enough to survive. Your theater, which was the last one to get the hacked print, was instructed to destroy the copy after they claimed some people were murdered by lasers and one person, which was you, had to be taken to the hospital. Thank you for asking us about this copy of the movie."
I think that I have gotten over my fear of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that I had, after I watched that hacked copy of the movie, and I want to attend the next showing at the theater near my college. After all, nothing will go wrong and I won't have to deal with deadly lasers, missing prop bags, and absent shadowcasts. I am also confident that I will be able to do the Time Warp once again without being reminded of that fateful day because I overcame my fears of the movie.