The Rocky Horror Picture Show – USA, 2016 – reviews

‘Let’s do the time warp again!’

The Rocky Horror Picture Show  – also known as The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event – is a 2016 television film reimagining of the 1975 science fiction horror musical comedy cult film of the same name.

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The new film was directed by Kenny Ortega using the original script written by Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman. It was produced by Lou Adler (who executive produced the original), Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Ortega.

The film/event was broadcast on the Fox network on October 20, 2016.

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Main cast:

Laverne Cox, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan, Staz Nair, Adam Lambert, Reeve Carney, Annaleigh Ashford, Christina Milian, Ivy Levan, and Ben Vereen star. The original Frank-N-Furter himself, Tim Curry, serves as the narrator.

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Plot:

Sweethearts Janet (Victoria Justice) and Brad (Ryan McCartan) stumble upon Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s (Laverne Cox) bizarre abode. Frank-N-Furter, a sexually ambiguous, flirtatious mad-scientist, is holding an annual Transylvanian science convention to showcase the birth of Rocky Horror (Staz Nair) – a muscle-bound specimen created solely to fulfill Frank’s desires…

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Reviews:

“Of all the network TV musical productions, Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show has felt like the biggest dud yet. The uninspired production’s high points were little kernels we held onto throughout the show (we all became Brad stans tonight). But in general, it just made us want to watch the original…” Jackson McHenry, Vulture.com

“The songs are still toe-tappingly catchy; the story is still delightfully subversive. (Like pizza, even a mediocre Rocky Horror is still pretty good.) But the Cox casting was an epic miscalculation that the production can’t fully recover from. Which is a shame, because this really could’ve been a home run — a new Halloween classic, even. As is, it’s simply a missed opportunity.” Dave Nemetz, TV Line

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“Faithful, fast-paced, and largely entertaining, this new Rocky Horror Picture Show is neither the calamity fans like myself were fearing nor the triumph that we were all hoping for. While some of its interpretations don’t quite hit the mark, it is still good enough to get first-time viewers pumped to see the original movie.” Brian Moylan, The Guardian

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again enjoys the luxury of its predecessor’s lessons. It also suffers from the limited cult appeal of its source material, not to mention the lunacy of its plot. The result is a musical that’s pleasant, but hardly naughty—which, admittedly, may not be what you crave from a musical reputed to be so craven.” Keith Fallon, The Daily Beast

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“The one thing that could have saved this? Spending the money and time necessary to have the actors sing live during filming. The lip-syncing is a massive issue — not many of the cast have a real knack for it — but beyond that it would go a long way toward differentiating the Fox version from the original, which features its own occasionally awkward sync issues (though to a far less degree).” Liz Shannon Miller, IndieWire

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Cast and characters:

  • Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter
  • Victoria Justice as Janet Weiss
  • Ryan McCartan as Brad Majors
  • Reeve Carney as Riff-Raff
  • Christina Milian as Magenta
  • Annaleigh Ashford as Columbia
  • Staz Nair as Rocky
  • Adam Lambert as Eddie
  • Ben Vereen as Dr. Everett von Scott
  • Tim Curry as the Criminologist
  • Ivy Levan as Usherette

Related:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – UK, 1975

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