Posted by Cassondra Murray Nov 5 2014, 12:46 am in Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, Cult Films, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Quotable films, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Up until Halloween, I was a virgin.
Noooooooo! Not THAT kind of virgin.
I’ve been married for a while, after all.
But a couple of weeks ago I got a text from a close friend.
“Hey, we’re going to see Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Capital on Halloween. Tix are $10. Wanna go?”
Truth? I hesitated.
Many years ago, when I first started dating Steve (the guy I’m married to now) he told me about The Rocky Horror Picture Show (TRHPS)and how a big bunch of his friends went to the show every time it played when they were in college. Since then, I’ve heard about it constantly from half the people I know.
Any time a person lifts a glass, they all say, “TOAST,” and start laughing.
Has this bothered me?
Yes. Yes, it has.
I’d heard about the audience dancing along with the film (the exact dance steps to
The Time Warp), throwing food and other props at the correct times, and talking back to the screen at certain points in the movie. I’d avoided going.
So…To anybody who has seen TRHPS in a theater, complete with audience participation….Yeah. Technically, I was a virgin.
This started to really bother me.
After all, I like a number of cult films.
I LOVE the original Star Wars, and that’s easily a cult film now. When Steve is working on something and struggling, I’ve been known to suddenly channel Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Use the force, Steve!”
*End with Darth Vader heavy breathing*
And the Original Star Trek? Heck yeah, I quote from that too.
*I’m behind the wheel, driving down the interstate*
Steve: Can you get around this guy?
Me:*horrid Scottish accent* I’m givin’ her all she’s got cap’n! *end horrid accent*
I love love LOVE Monty Python and the Holy Grail because it makes me laugh like a loon, and I quote lines from it constantly.
Steve: Have you seen my sunglasses?
Me: *Cheesy French accent* “I fart in your general direction! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!” *end accent*
(For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, that means no, I have not seen Steve’s sunglasses.)
It’s ridiculous, really. I can quote almost the entire script of The Holy Grail.
But The Rocky Horror Picture Show is something else entirely.
This showing started at 10 pm. The perfect way to spend a Halloween evening. How could I refuse?
We arrived almost an hour early, and the theater was already half full. People wandered the aisles in strange costumes. Yes, it was Halloween, but an awful lot of these folks were dressed up as characters from the film.
When we went in, we were given a bag of props.
Can you believe that? We paid ten dollars, and we got a bag of props to throw during the film. Normally I pay almost ten bucks for a movie ticket, and STILL have to shell out another seven for popcorn.
That’s my bag of goodies over there on the left—the red bag.
I looked through my props but did not throw a single one.
I saved them for you, and this blog. Because right away I saw that you should be in on this. Okay reality check. I needed the support.
Some of the prettiest girls I’d ever seen were there in the theater, all tricked out in corsets and leather thongs.
Except…they weren’t girls.
See that picture over there on the right–the one with the the guy in the white t-shirt? While I suspect that white-shirt guy is not, in fact, a vampire, I will be honest about the costumes of the other two. I have no idea whether they are just very, very dedicated to Halloween fun, or…
Maybe they’re actually transvestites. Cross dressers.
I thought the one on the right was a woman until just a bit ago. Getting ready for this blog, I looked at the photo in the light of day and saw the Adam’s apple. He was seriously pretty, and he moved like a girl.
The guy in the middle—the one with the green tutu?—He was gorgeous. Gorgeous like a supermodel. He had a line of people wanting to have a photo made with him, and he was eating it up. He OWNED that tutu. Yes, he did.
The theater was full of people like these three. Doing their thing. Being COMPLETELY who they were. It was like a big, warm-hearted circus, but the audience members were the performers.
I knew enough to avoid getting my face painted with the required “V” for “virgin.”
That was a good thing, because before the movie started, a bunch of folks from the Western Kentucky University theater department called all the virgins up onto stage.
That’s some of them in that photo down there on the right. Sorry for the blurry picture. It was a long way to the stage, and I took it with my phone.
But….See the guy in the green sundress? Yeah, he was really hunky. I think maybe he doesn’t usually wear a dress….Just sayin.
There was a contest. Each virgin got on his/her knees in front of a non-virgin from the theater department, and….wait for it…
They had to suck the jelly out of plastic jelly packets. Whoever accomplished this the fastest got a tiara.
The audience went wild.
I laughed until I couldn’t breathe.
So back to my little red bag of props…
There ‘s a wedding scene in the opening of the film. And yep, there was rice in a little baggie for us to throw, along with the movie characters. That’s the rice from my bag–over there on the left.
So I might as well say up front that this film is a fantastic spoof of horror flicks from the 1930s to the 1960s.
When Dr. Frank-N-Furter (yes, that’s a spoof of Dr. Frankenstein) awakened his creation, “Rocky” and took the monster away, everyone blew their party horns and threw confetti. It was Rocky’s birthday, after all.
That’s my confetti and party horn on the right.
That’s the entire contents of my prop bag, over there on the left. Newspaper to cover my head during a rainstorm, a card to throw for some reason I’m still not sure about (my card was the Joker), and toast. Because when Dr. Frank-N-Furter hosts dinner, he lifts his drink and proposes a toast.
And the entire theater full of people threw toast at the screen.
And at that point, I started smiling, and I haven’t stopped since.
Everybody was supportive of everybody else, no matter what. This was just plain old fun.
The odd thing? There is no explanation for why this crazy film took off.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show started as a theater production in (best I can tell) 1973-74 in a theater with 60 seats. Two years later it was a film, and between 1975 and 1976, it took off, moved to bigger venues, and quickly became a phenomenon.
Within the first year, the audience started participating—talking back to the screen, doing the dance, and throwing rice, etc.
Nobody knows why. At least nobody I found in my (admittedly scanty) research.
So as we were leaving the theater, my friends said..”Okay, do you want to watch it on video now, so you get to actually see the movie?”
He meant…did I want to watch the movie without all the yelling from the audience, and the theater cast running down the aisles acting out the parts.
Yeah. I do.
I’m a convert to this cult film, and the crazy-awesome performance by Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
I love the music, the acting, and the fact that it steps WAY past the crazy and plants its foot firmly into the bizarre.
In the same way, I also fell in love with Star Wars, the original Star Trek on TV, and Monty Python humor.
A few years back, when vampire romance took over the world, I admit that I did not catch the craze. I read a few vampire romances, and I could get addicted to that, but I didn’t. I resisted. At this point, I may yet become a fan, but I’m late to that party.
And I’ll tell ya straight..I don’t get the whole zombie culture thing.
But the rest of the world seems to get both!
Fads come and go, but some things seem to transcend the “fad” and move into the larger culture.
I think, probably, vampire romance has done that. I’m guessing that it may not be as wildly popular ten years from now as it is today, but I figure it will never go away.
Zombies? I don’t know about that.
Monty Python, Luke Skywalker and Doctor Frank-N-Furter of The Rocky Horror Picture Show–they’re here to stay all these years later.
Why do some things catch on and become timeless, and others fade into obscurity to be called “fads” (Bell bottoms, anyone?) while just a few become part of our lives forever?
What do you think, Bandits and Buddies?
Is there a “cult” romance out there?
Maybe “Pride and Prejudice?” How many film versions are there of that book?
If you had to pick one romance that was a “cult” romance novel–a pinnacle of the genre, OTHER than Pride and Prejudice–what would it be?
Do you remember the first vampire or shifter romance you read?
Did you become a fan?
Or would you rather stick with “human” romance?
Have you fallen for any “fads” in movies or reading?
Have you seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
Or are you a Virgin, like I was?
Any other cult films that you like or hate?
Oh and word to the wise…if you go to see TRHPS, don’t let them know you’re a virgin. Shhhhh.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Nov 23 2012, 12:15 am in Advent calendars, bubble wrap, Jacquiei Lawson, Martha Stewart, Master of the Malt, St. Marys, Star Wars
Welcome to Black Friday – the official start of the Christmas buying season!
Now that you have plenty of turkey leftovers for dinner tonight, you can spend more hours at the mall shopping – or not. I hate the Black Friday crowds, so I’ll do my shopping later -and probably a good portion on the internet at that.
No matter how you shop, you might want to consider adding an advent calendar to your purchases to make the season a little more festive.
I remember as a kid my mother used to bring home an advent calendar. Each day as you counted down to Christmas, you’d get to open a little cardboard window to see a Christmas related picture inside. The really cool advent calendars had chocolates or little prizes behind those cardboard windows, but not ours – just a little picture. Still, it was fun and helped us to visually see the days left until Christmas.
Now that I’m older, I’ve discovered advent calendars can be for adults as well as kids. I thought I’d share a few here as you prepare for your big countdown.
I love this. If you look closely, you’ll see red numbers from 1 to 25 scattered about the box. Each number represents a cardboard window. Punch the window open and you’ll find a “wee dram” of whisky – a different one for every day leading up to Christmas. One of those days will reveal a one ounce bottle of 50 year old scotch. My husband sent me the link to this gem as he knows I’ve been researching Scotch and distilleries for my next book. Have a question about any of those terms? I’m your girl.
Now the calendar is a little pricey as calendars go, but if you’re interested – here’s the link: http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/drinks-by-the-dram/the-whisky-advent-calendar/
Last year Christine Brooke sent out an advent calendar from Jacquie Lawson. I absolutely loved it with the joy of a child on Christmas morning. The calendar itself was a wintry London scene. Each new day when you to digitally decorate a tree, or decorate cookies, or watch cuddly musical bears play Christmas carols, or design snowflakes – all on the computer, of course. The scene was even lit according to the time of day. If we opened the card at night, the London sky was dark and the windows in the houses had a soft glow. Open the card in the daytime and people would be strolling in front of busy London shops. Very cool – and very reasonably priced! I’m not certain the demo will run on the blog (sorry – I’m techno deficient) but to learn more about Jacquie Lawson advent calendars, and see the actual demo – click on the link. http://www.jacquielawson.com/advent/london
Martha Stewart has some ideas for homemade advent calendars. This is only one of several. I like that it can go on the fridge – the classic repository for all holiday decorations. If you’re crafty or just need an activity to keep the kids occupied, check out this link. http://www.marthastewart.com/857740/handmade-advent-calendars/@center/307034/christmas-workshop#266538
For the overly stressed, I thought you might like the bubble-wrap advent calendar. You get to pop a bubble every day till Christmas (though I’d probably toss the thing on the floor and pop all the bubbles at once. Can’t stop at just one). Not for pet owners. http://creativeboom.co.uk/inspiration/the-bubble-wrap-advent-calendar/
In my search for unique advent calendars, I found this – a lego Star Wars advent calendar with one scary looking Santa Claus figure. Sorry, couldn’t actually upload an image. If you’re interested, check the link: http://shop.lego.com/en-US/LEGO-Star-Wars-Advent-Calendar-9509
And finally – here’s a free online advent calendar for you. The website won’t allow peeking so you’ll have to save the site till December 2nd (I wonder why it doesn’t start on the first? hmmm). Still – there’s always the fun of anticipation. http://www.smmp.com/Advent/Advent.php
No matter how you count it down, wishing you all the best this holiday season! As a bit of a thank you, I’m planning to choose a name off the “likes” on my facebook fan page on November 25 to win a rare copy of THE EDUCATION OF MRS. BRIMLEY. But that’s only a couple of days away so, if you haven’t done so already, hop over and like the page. Here’s a link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donna-MacMeans/152106361521316
How about you? Did you used to have an advent calendar when you were little? What kind? Do you have a special way to count down the holidays? I’ll give someone who leaves a comment the gift of a Jacquie Lawson advent calendar. Let the countdown begin!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jan 28 2009, 6:00 am in Beatrix Potter, Clive Owen, Harrison Ford, Julie Garwood, Peter Rabbit, Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, Suzanne Welsh, Tom Berringer
by Suzanne Welsh
I have fallen in love, again.
This is really not a novel thing for me, as I tend to fall in love quite frequently.
When I was 12 I saw Romeo & Juliet for the first time. You know, the one that actually showed Leonard Whiting’s naked butt? Seems my English teacher was unaware of that feature in the movie. Oh, I was in complete, adolescent , heart throbbing love.
My Senior year I discovered The Flame & The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Brandon….be-still-my-heart…Birmingham. And I adored this book and character so much that I went through 3 copies that year. I was in love.
During nursing school a new sci-fi movie came out about an orphan, a princess, a rogue space pirate and an evil empire called Star Wars. Oh and that rogue space pirate….yeah, Harrison Ford….I was soooooooo in love!
Not long after, I met my dear husband, and I was in love in real life. Still am. Then quickly three little bright-eyed happy cherubs filled my heart with their pug irish noses, laughter, and their lives. Still love them, too.
But then I discovered another author, Julie Garwood and her books. My all time favorite is Saving Grace. Gabriel McBain was the hero of my heart. A Scot, loyal to those without a clan, loyal to a clan who didn’t want him until they had no leader. He hates the English, but marries an Englishwoman to protect her from the English King. Oh yeah, and he has a son who may or may not be his………………..I was SOO in LURVE! (And while I’m on the subject, don’t you think Gerard Butler…another love of mine….could play Gabriel?)
The next time I fell in love it was with Nathan Cantrell. Who you ask is Nathan Cantrell? Well, he’s the hero in my first novel REFUGE. Here’s his description through the heroine, Laura Melborne’s eyes:
Laura stared into the shadows. At first all she could see was the red glow from a cigar. As he took shape stepping into the light reflected off the snow, her heart picked up its pace. Something in the depth of his deep blue eyes, the steeliness of his jaw and the stern set to his lips beneath his dark moustache held her mesmerized. Black hair curled just beneath his hat. His sheepskin coat, turned up at the collar, stretched across his broad shoulders. His long legs were covered in the blue dungarees she’d seen so many men in Denver wearing. He wore heavy boots and in his left hand he held the glowing cigar.
In her need to escape Nigel and the whirlwind of activity in Maryland, she hadn’t given much thought to what her husband might look like. But after meeting his brother, she’d imagined him to be a younger version of the polite, kind-hearted lawyer and family man. Nothing had prepared her for this very handsome, very large man whose entire being hummed with intensity and anger.
Dear Lord, what had she gotten herself into?
Sigh…maybe someday REFUGE will get published. That’s Tom Berringer in the movie “Last of the Dog Men” (another great movie!) and he’s my image of Nathan. Mmmm yummo! Nathan and Laura started my love affair with writing my own stories. With each new book I fall in love with the hero and want to be the heroine. It’s an on going affair.
So, who is my new love? That’s him over there——————–>
Actually, Beatrix Potter, her life, her art and her stories. I loved The Tale Of Peter Rabbit as a child, but I never knew anything about the author until I was an adult. When my kids were small I loved to read them Beatrix Potter’s stories, but still knew little of her life.
Now here’s a little known fact about me…I have a fascination with biographies. So when the movie “Miss Potter” appeared on my TV, I of course had to watch it. Turns out, Beatrix had a love interest. The movie fascinated me so much I had to google her and find out more.
[That’s Renee Zellweger portraying Beatrix in the movie]
Before Beatrix became a published children’s author she had a fascinating life as one of the foremost mycologist and illustrator of fungi in England. She also wrote papers presented by her uncle to the Linnean Society and the Royal Society (Big scientific group of men back in her day.) THEN she became a published author, after 6 publishers rejected her children’s books about a naughty rabbit.
Yep, you guessed it, all those years ago Peter Rabbit was my first “bad boy”!
So, do you have any secret loves you want to share? Do you fall in love with characters, authors, actors as often as me? If so, who is your latest love?
Don’t forget to check out four more Banditas invading Romance Novel TV today. It’s been one zany day after another so far! www.romancenovel.tv