Rocky Horror Picture Show Sociology

Good Essays
Cult films are defined by the existence of a small continued “cult” fanbase around a film with lesser commercial success. These fanbases often have traditions for audience participation during the film1, extending from call-out responses to lines in the film to throwing things towards the screen at specific moments. These viewing traditions can have some variations in different areas, but many exist across the fanbase. Viewing traditions are also very much so a social thing- one would not engage with the film in this way outside of a group setting.
Perhaps the most well-known cult film is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, whose cult-like fanbase has graduated into popular culture. The theater viewing traditions have become well known, even among outsiders to the group. You could even say the film reached popular success after- and partially because of- the film’s cult success. A remake of the film was also recently produced for TV, titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, which features cut-away scenes of a packed theatre, exhibiting many of the more common viewing traditions. This
…show more content…
While they may not be able to find commercial success for one or many of a myriad of reasons, many well-adored cult films highlight either a counter-culture group, or an upturning of social norms. “Toward a sociology of cult films: reading rocky horror2” shows this well. For example, Night of the Living Dead places a black man in charge of a rural white community, and the community is successful up until a white man tries to overturn his leadership. Overturning social hierarchies is not only common in cult films, it is a significant characteristic of them as a whole. While many successful commercial films are based on the standard social hierarchies of the time, cult films, more often than not, reject typical cultural hierarchies, traditions, or norms, and highlight “deviant”
Get Access