Remakes of popular films have it rough; the production staff needs to balance the expectations of existing fans while still working to get new viewers in. With cult films, the balancing act needs to account for what made the original enduring. Remaking The Rocky Horror Picture Show is daunting enough; the movie was one of the 70s top grossing movies and still plays to packed theatres, especially around Hallowe’en, and has audience participation. To say there are built-in expectations is to scratch the surface. Fox, however, added another level of difficulty – The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again was made for TV. Broadcast* television is heavily regulated as a public resource. In the US, the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission – has issued community standards of broadcast setting down what is and what is not allowed. Since the “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004, the FCC’s enforcement has become more strict, at least before the watershed hour of 10pm. The Rocky Horror Picture Show covers themes that dance over the line of what is allowed. However, since Rocky Horror‘s release in 1975, attitudes have changed. What could only be hinted at forty years ago, such as homosexuality, can be stated outright today, though having gay characters kiss, even chastely, will still generate complaints. Shot-for-shot remakes just lead to viewers wondering why they just didn’t watch the original. Deviating too far from the original, especially one where there’s audience participation, will leave viewers also wanting the original. There’s a fine line to tread and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again makes the effort to find it. Let’s Do the Time Warp Again frames the movie as a movie, with audiences, both television viewer and in-film, being brought into the Castle Theatre during the opening number, “Science Fiction/Double Feature” sung by Ivy Levan. The in-film audience brings in the audience participation that movie-goers would get and is one of the draws of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The plot of the movie follows the original script created by Richard O’Brien for the stage play, The Rocky Horror Show. Between the movie and the various performances of the stage musical, there’s no getting away from it; audiences are expecting that story. However, it’s not the plot that is key; it’s the performances. Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter is iconic; Frank-N-Furter is a sexual omnivore casually seducing everyone around, including the theatre audience. Curry is a tough act to follow, and his presence in Let’s Do the Time Warp Again as the Criminologist** serves as a reminder of his previous role. Laverne Cox is up to the challenge as the new Frank-N-Furter. While Cox doesn’t quite channel Curry, she does exude raw sexuality, predatory and assertive, in the role. Meanwhile, Victoria Justice as Janet Weiss and Ryan McCartan as Brad Majors portray the young high school sweethearts going through sexual liberation, Janet willingly and Brad reluctantly. Rounding out the cast, Reeve Carney does channel Richard O’Brien as Riff-Raff, sounding much like the original. Frank-N-Furter’s castle is played by Toronto’s Casa Loma, and looms menacingly in the stormy night. The remake includes a few shout outs to the original movie, including Columbia saying, “I hope it’s not Meatloaf again,” during the dinner scene. Considering all the challenges faced, the remake stepped up and delivered. Even the cheesy CGI near the end can be forgiven; no one in Toronto would appreciate the destruction of Casa Loma after all the time and money put into renovating the building. The biggest drawback Let’s Do the Time Warp Again had was the commercial breaks, disrupting the flow at times. The drawback will be corrected with the DVD release, allowing viewers to watch the movie through without interruption. Let’s Do the Time Warp Again won’t replace The Rocky Horror Picture Show, nor does it try to. The framing of the remake goes a long way to set up how to view the movie and brings in the audience participation, the biggest draw of the original movie. The forty years between the original release and the remake’s airing gives Let’s Do the Time Warp Again the room needed to address the theme of sexual liberation, with the Unconventional Conventionists and the Transsexual Transylvanians being a goal, not an oddity. Given enough time, Let’s Do the Time Warp Again should reach cult status, much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and join the original movie on the repertory circuit. * Over-the-air, though even that description is getting less and less accurate as online streaming becomes more and more popular. ** Portrayed in the original movie by Charles Gray, who also played Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever. This article was originally published at Seventh Sanctum. Thanks to our friends at Seventh Sanctum for letting us share this content. Seventh Sanctum is a partner in Crossroads Alpha along with Psycho Drive-In. See larger image Rocky Horror Picture Show, The 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Fasten your garter belt for the time-warping, genderbending cult classic starring Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf! This picture-perfect Blu-rayTM specimen includes an abundance of extras to help you recreate The Midnight Movie Experience at home. It was great when it all began… and four decades later, Rocky Horror is still guaranteed to thrill you, chill you and fulfill you! Bonus Features:**Includes Both the U.S. and U.K. Versions of the Film **The Midnight Experience: The Late-Night, Double-Feature, Picture-in-Picture Show; Vintage Callback Track (Unrated); Prop Box; Trivia Track **Rocky-oke*: Sing It! **Mick Rock (A Photographer)**Mick Rock s Picture Show (A Gallery) **Pressbook and Poster Gallery**Audio Commentary by Richard O Brien and Patricia Quinn**Deleted Musical Scenes and Outtakes **Alternate B&W Opening**Alternate Credit Ending and Misprint Ending **Rocky Horror Double-Feature Video Show**Beacon Theater, New York City ** Time Warp Music Video…and More! **Digital HD New From: $5.98 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response Lost in Translation 220: Remaking The Black Hole - Psycho Drive-In August 11, 2017 […] serials of old, the hero wasn’t the square-jawed scientist as parodied by the character Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Instead, Star Wars featured a farm boy, a character type more likely to be found in a […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.