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5 Unknown Facts About The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It goes without saying that The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) is regarded as a legend of cult cinema. Its popularity seems never to wane, and even those who have not seen it know at least something about the movie: the actors who starred in it, the over-the-top makeup, the exuberant energy, the campy dancing and singing that was simply wonderful.

But as with all legends, there are stories, insights, and intriguing facts about what happened in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. Here are some fun facts that even some diehard fans of the movie may not know.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Movie Received Terrible Reviews

Sure, it’s known today as a true classic of midnight cult cinema. But when it first hit theaters, RHPS was an undeniable flop. People hated it. Reviewers trashed it. And some people were just plain offended by it. The movie boldly represented counterculture shock along with a lack of the conventional plot structure that moviegoers were accustomed to seeing. Today, RHPS is regarded as an engaging audience experience, although not a cinematic masterpiece, and its popularity has increased since its debut on the big screen.

Princess Diana Loved RHPS

Legend has it that when Diana was attending actor Tim Curry’s production of ‘Love for Love,’ she requested to meet with him. In subsequent interviews, Curry mentioned that Prince Charles barely recognized him, but that Princess Diana displayed a “wicked smile” and revealed to him that, “Rocky Horror had quite completed my education.” Some attribute Diana’s positive acknowledgment of the movie as one of the reasons the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2005.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Meat Loaf Left The Building

When Meat Loaf first saw Tim Curry in his stage costume, he walked out of the production. Why? During an interview with VH1, the singer/songwriter acknowledged that he didn’t know what he was getting into until he stepped on the stage and saw Curry rehearsing ‘Sweet Transvestite’ in full, no holds barred costume. He went on to explain that he was so utterly shocked by what he saw that he simply walked out. The Narrator for the stage version of the film, Graham Jarvis, talked Meat Loaf into getting over his shock and staying.

How Is David Bowie Connected To RHPS?

Let’s start with this: Pierre LaRoche created David Bowie’s iconic Ziggy Stardust look. And he was the person film producers counted on when they wanted to rethink and redesign the makeup for any of the RHPS characters. LaRoche came to be known as a genius who could create what were then mind-blowing makeup designs for Bowie and RHPS. (Admittedly, it’s a thin thread of a connection, but a connection nonetheless.)


RHPS was filmed in Oakley Court castle in England. At the time of production in 1975, the castle wasn’t the most welcoming set, as there were no bathrooms on site and no heat. But times have changed, and just as RHPS seems to get better with age, so, too, has Oakley Court: Today, the castle doubles as a fine hotel where guests can stay overnight and revel in the vibe of their favorite horror film location. And, yes, bathrooms and heat are now available on the premises.