This Halloween, FOX decided that they wanted to remake the cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with Kenny Ortega as director. Ortega is known for his work on the incredibly well known Dirty Dancing, the High School Musical movies, Hocus Pocus, and many, many more. Taking on this iconic production though comes with its challenges, as the devoted fans got nervous as it was announced that Ortega planned to stay tribute to the original, but add a modern twist to it.
It is obvious right off the bat that the cast is extremely talented. With those such as Adam Lambert, Victoria Justice, and Christina Milian, no one was too worried about the vocals. And they shouldn’t have been, as each cast member delivered amazing performances. Adam Lambert’s version of “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul” was probably my personal favorite, capturing the recklessness of Eddie’s personality perfectly. Laverne Cox, despite being an actress and not a singer, also did great during Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s performances. There is not a single complaint that comes to mind regarding the vocals of the cast.
However, the singing was probably the only good thing about this tribute. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is known for being edgy and raunchy, but this version lacked that completely. Justice’s performance as Janet during “Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me” is very stiff and awkward, especially compared to the original which focuses on Janet’s ‘sexual awakening.’ This was just Janet and Rocky keeping as much distance as possible while Janet tries her best to appear seductive. Overall, the entire production was censored for TV, which takes away from a huge part of what made the original so well known.
This tribute also lacked in quite a few pivotal points of the story as well. It is not explained that Eddie’s brain was used to create Rocky, Eddie’s murder is rushed and lacks any gore, and Riff Raff and Magenta’s relationship is completely ignored. When it finally comes down the scene of Frank’s murder, it leaves you feeling unsympathetic and almost bored. You are supposed to feel an attachment to these characters, but you really don’t by the time the final scene approaches.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again is not something I would recommend watching. It’s a rushed, watered down version of the original that probably should have aired on a more content appropriate network than FOX. Although the performances were entertaining, it was boring and difficult to get through. I’d give it an overall rating of 3/5, but even that’s being a little generous.