Soon there will be two versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: the original film that plays at midnight in more than 178 theaters every weekend, and its new competition, the videocassette tape that will be released Nov. 8 by CBS-Fox video. If your first experience with Rocky Horror Picture Show is watching the video at home, you will have missed most of the fun. The film is only half of the Rocky Horror show; the costume antics of the audience and the props they have brought along account for the rest. But you're still in time to be part of what is sure to be a new phenomenon: the Rocky Horror Video Party. All you need to know is how to dress and what props to bring.
Dori Hartley of New York is credited with the first look-alike effort. She chose to imitate Dr. Frank-N-Furter as a cross-dressing alien. Since her pioneer outing there have been countless audience interpretations of the film's super-characters _ Dr. Frank, Magenta, Riff Raff and Columbia _ who have the best and most costume changes. In supporting costume roles are Brad, Janet, Rocky, Dr. Scott, Eddie and assorted Transylvanian dancers.
Every Saturday night at the Nuart theater in Santa Monica, Calif., where Rocky Horror plays at midnight, a fully costumed live cast gathers to cheerlead the audience through their paces. This is the preshow entertainment, and the film does not begin without them.
Sue Blane designed the Rocky Horror costumes. She did both the original stage version in London and two years later designed the costumes for the film.
"At the time they were quite anarchic from a costume point of view," Blane said from London, where she recently mounted yet another stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "To see the body so close and so rough was a terrific shock unless you were used to seeing strip shows. Now they don't seem so shocking. You see people in the tube (subway) station that look far more bizarre and with less clothing."
"It was the beginning of glitter rock," she said. "The look was showing up in Chelsea and Kings Road. The reason the costumes were a hit is we had picked up on something that had just begun."
All the stars with major billing wear fishnet hose and high, high heels at some point in the film. Another across-the-cast effect is heavy eye makeup. Go heavy on the eyeliner.