Fearsome Facts: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW [Participation Guide, Part 2]

Great Scott! So many film fanatics relish The Rocky Horror Pictures Show (1975) every year, particularly at Halloween, and there is nothing like seeing this iconic, cult classic with a theater full of people. Participation is the name of the game and it is an exhilarating experience whether you’ve seen Rocky Horror 20 or 200 times.

A new generation of movie fans are discovering TRHPS. And to those newbies, we bid you welcome. Rocky Horror is not only a movie musical, it is a family. It’s not unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas when you happily ruminate about gathering together with loved ones to celebrate that special time of the year – typically, All Hallows’ Eve.

This is the second in a series of Fearsome Fact entries dedicated to helping fans successfully participate at Rocky Horror motion picture events around the world. Bless the 1973 source material, but we are going to focus on the film and not the play for the time being.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or TRHPS virgin, the purpose of this article is to maximize your enjoyment at Rocky Horror midnight shows by familiarizing yourself with which props you will need when attending Richard O’Brien’s musical masterpiece. And remember, be considerate of your fellow theatergoers when using all of the following props. Also, check out TRHPS Participation Guide, Part I, so you can reference all the lyrics.



Here comes the bride, baby! You will need a handful of rice to throw at newlyweds Ralph Hapschatt (Jeremy Newson) and Betty Monroe (Hilary Labow) during the first scene of TRHPSAs the happy couple exits the church, join both the on-screen guests and theatergoers surrounding you by hurling rice at the bride and groom.


Rocky Horror Water Guns

Bathing suits are optional. The cold rain starts to pour as Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) drive in the darkness after Ralph and Betty’s wedding. Things go from bad to worse when our hero and heroine’s car suffers a blowout. They will have to brave the elements on foot to find help. When the couple exits their car, draw your watery weapons and let it rain! Note: this is only the first of three props you will need during the musical number “Over at the Frankenstein Place”.



Hopefully, you don’t have the same disposition as a cat – meow – because it’s time to get wet. Prepare to use the second of the three props you’ll need during the “Over at the Frankenstein Place” number. Brad and Janet leave the comfort of their car to journey toward the old castle down the road. When Weiss puts The Plain Dealer periodical over her head, or when the other theatergoers start firing their water guns, put your newspaper over your head.


Rocky Horror Smartphone

It’s time for the third and final prop during the “Over at the Frankenstein Place” scene. Pay attention to the song’s lyrics. When you hear the verse “There’s a light, over at the Frankenstein Place“, light up your smartphone and slowly sway it back and forth over your head. It is perfectly acceptable to only light up the screen or use the flashlight function. Depending on the theater, the old mainstays of Rocky Horror past may still be employed: flashlights, candles, glow sticks and lighters. Check with management! The safest and most convenient prop here is your phone.



Let’s do the Time Warp Again!

One of the most thrilling participation experiences occurs during the “Time Warp” scene. If you choose not to wear a costume, you can still look the part as you sing and dance to arguably the film’s No. 1 musical number. Pull out some brightly colored sunglasses and snap on your party hat. “Put your hands on your hips!” And you’re going to need a party hat later, too, when celebrating Rocky’s (Peter Hinwood) birthday.


Rocky Horror
Time to get comfortable and dry off. When our hero and heroine are stripped down to their underwear, feel free to dry off from the water blitz that occurred earlier. Preferably, your towels will be large and loud – bright, outlandish colors that reflect the film’s tone and color schemes. And bonus points if your towel is Rocky Horror-related. Be creative. This is one of the props that is often MIA at screenings.


Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) has great style, but he won’t be clicking his heels three times like Dorothy (Judy Garland) in The Wizard of Oz (1939). However, he will be sporting bright pink latex gloves and snapping them three times. When Frank does his thing, you have your gloves on and snap them, too. Magenta (Patricia Quinn) will help get Frank’s gloves off him at the end. Snap your gloves again once more!


Rocky Horror Picture Show

“I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!”

Prior to Rocky Horror’s birth, Frank gives a stirring speech about creation and the secrets of life. Following the monologue, the Transylvanians in attendance cheer and applaud the mad scientist. Join them by clapping, screaming and using whichever noisemaker you choose to employ – the louder the better.


Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s time for Rocky Horror to become a man. At the conclusion of the reprise of the song “I Can Make You a Man”, Frank and his beautiful creature head to the marital chambers. The Transylvanians celebrate by throwing confetti at the doctor and Rocky. Do the same! You can substitute bubbles here, too, or stand out and employ both.


Rocky Horror Picture Show

Watch out for huge, fluffy rolls of toilet paper falling from the sky. This is the one prop moment that almost everyone participates in. Watch out as Dr. Everett Scott (Jonathan Adams) is drawn into the lab and crashes through the wall via the magnet. When Brad screams, “Great Scott,” hurl toilet paper toward the movie screen. Of course, the toilet paper of choice should be the Scott brand.


Meatloaf! It’s what’s for dinner. Dr. Frank-N-Furter makes a toast at the table. This is the moment when you throw toast at the movie screen. Now, bringing a loaf of bread and tossing multiple un-toasted slices is perfectly acceptable. If you want to take the time to toast your prop, go for it. But, please, no butter or jelly.


Michael Rennie was ill the day the Earth stood still and you might be too when you find out what Frank’s serving his guests. It is time to break the party hats back out. During the dinner scene, Dr. Frank-N-Furter will put on his party hat. You do the same. It’s time to celebrate Rocky Horror’s creation with the only dish possible: Meatloaf. Ah, the Delivery Boy goes down smooth.

13. BELL

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Jingle all the way during the song “Planet Schmanet Janet”. Following dinner, Dr. Frank-N-Furter is fed up with his beautiful creature’s amorous affection for the heroine Janet Weiss. During the song, listen for the lyric: “Did You Hear a Bell Ring?” At this moment, started ringing your bell. See, if you choose cowbell as your noisemaker, you kill two birds with one stone.


Rocky Horror Picture Show

Sadly, for the theater staff, this is the largest game of 52-card pick up ever. Once Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien) and Magenta interrupt the floor show, everything falls apart for poor Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Saddened to leave Earth, Frank sings the song “I’m Going Home” thinking he too will return to Transylvania. Listen for the lyrics “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain“. At that moment, have your playing cards ready and shower the theater with the whole deck.


Hopefully, Part 2 of Dread Central’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show participation guide was helpful on your journey to being an active participant at future midnight shows. And check out Participation Guide, Part 1 (The Lyrics). Coming soon: Part 3 – The Zingers.



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