The Rocky Horror Show remains one of the most famous musicals ever produced. The musical’s film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, might be even more famous. Richard O’Brien is the actor/musician at the center of the Rocky Horror franchise.
He created the stage show and later appeared in the classic film. Both versions of the story are loaded with references to monster movies. Oddly enough, O’Brien actually thinks the show might work because of its biblical parallels.
Why is ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ so popular?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a juggernaut. It’s inspired a sequel, a Glee episode, and a TV remake. It’s been referenced in everything from House of 1000 Corpses to That ’70s Show. In addition, it remains essential Halloween viewing for many fans. Why is it so huge?
According to AllMusic, O’Brien created the show. AllMovie reports he played Riff Raff, one of the secondary characters in the film version of the musical. If anybody could understand the reason Rocky Horror is so beloved, he would.
O’Brien revealed although he’s repeatedly tried to understand why Rocky Horror is so successful, he’s never come up with a satisfactory answer. He told Newsweek “Rocky shouldn’t be successful. It’s childish. It’s puerile beyond belief. The songs are so basic.”
Which Bible story is the musical like?
Interestingly, he said the musical could resonate because of its similarity to the biblical tale of Adam and Eve. “Perhaps it’s [successful] because it’s a retelling of the fall of man. Brad and Janet are Adam and Eve. Frank N. Furter is the serpent. I’d like somebody else to tell me what it’s all about. Somebody with a bigger brain than mine.”
Similar to the tale of Adam and Eve, The Rocky Horror Picture Show does feature a couple who lose their innocence. Other than that, there’s not much similarity between the movie and the Book of Genesis. I don’t think the Bible includes any mention of the time warp.
Is ‘Rocky Horror’ more like ‘Hansel and Gretel?’
O’Brien also found parallels between Rocky Horror and fairy tales. “Maybe it’s the hidden themes that make it last, like a fairy tale. It celebrates difference. People who feel marginalized, alone and confused; somehow, it gathers them together and allows them to coexist.”
In a separate interview with Star-News, he said the show bore some resemblance to one of the Brothers Grimms’ most famous stories, “Hansel and Gretel.” He said the musical is “a modern-day kind of fable. It’s babes in the woods, really. Hansel and Gretel.”
The parallels between “Hansel and Gretel” and Rocky Horror are fairly strong. They both feature two innocent characters who find a house in the woods. Inside, there’s a cannibal who promises to give them food. It’s interesting to think that The Rocky Horror Picture Show could have been influenced by the Bible and one of the Brothers Grimms’ fairy tales.