"Erotic Nightmares Beyond Any Measure":

Sexual  Dynamics and Complexities in Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since its release, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) has achieved cult status throughout the world. Its irreverent

humor, catchy soundtrack, rock ’n’ roll attitude, and its interactive live shows have made the film a beloved fan favorite for decades. While Rocky Horror has firmly established its status as a cult film, it has also simultaneously created a new genre; the queer horror genre. For years, Rocky Horror has been an iconic symbol in some LGBTQ communities, and many scholars have emphasized the role of sexuality, cross-dressing, and gender in the film. However, scholars often overlook the Freudian aspects of the film. Rocky Horror’s plot is permeated with Freudian concepts, in particular the Oedipus complex. A psychoanalytic reading complicates an understanding of gender, sexuality, and social norms throughout the film.

Set in the mid-70s, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is narrated by a criminologist who recounts the strange and surreal journey of a young couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss. On a rainy night, after leaving a wedding, they get a flat tire on a lonely, country road and are forced to look for help at a mysterious castle nearby. Inside, the couple encounters a strange cast of characters: Rif Raf,

the  eerie   butler;   Magenta,  the  maid  and Rif  Raf’s  sister; and  Colombia,  the groupie. Frank N. Furter, the hypersexual owner of the castle, invites the couple to stay the night and to witness the birth of his creation, whom Frank describes as “a man, with blonde hair and a tan.” The creation, Rocky, is a superb male specimen, built to fulfill the lusts of his master. During their stay at the castle, Brad and Janet are each seduced by Frank. Trouble ensues when Doctor Scott, a former teacher of Brad and Janet and a rival of Frank’s, trespasses into the castle and through his actions, tries to restore conservative values. The tragic finale of the film reveals that Frank, Magenta, and Rif Raf are aliens from the Planet Transsexual. By the end of the movie, Rif Raf has killed Frank, Rocky, and Colombia and departed with Magenta in the castle, which doubles as a spacecraft. Meanwhile, Brad, Janet, and Doctor Scott are left reeling from their mind-bending experiences.

The unique components of Rocky Horror have made it a frequently analyzed movie, and academic discussions of it are diverse. Some scholars, such as Caroline Joan Picart, have looked at the film’s ties to traditional gothic literature, particularly to Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. Others, like Bartlomiej Paszylk, have assessed its classification as a cult film. However, most scholarship on The Rocky Horror Picture Show focuses on its portrayals of .gender and sexuality. These essays suggest that The Rocky Horror Picture Show provides a sort of catharsis for the audience, allowing the viewer to experience a range of sexual behaviors and gender norms without “endangering” their own identities. For example, Gaylyn Studlar concludes, “In spite of his feminine attire and ‘swish’ ways, Frank remains a transvestite figure with whom males can safely identify without endangering the power base of their prescripted masculinity” (9). Mark Siegel is more interested in the effects of audience interaction. At the live shows, audience members dress up like the characters, yell lines, and throw things at the screen, and sometimes “virgins” get pulled up on stage to participate in humiliating activities. He argues that these types of interactions give participants an opportunity to “express some of their pent-up anxieties and frustrations occasioned by this evolving and unresolved conflict over sexuality” (311). The relationship between the elements of the film and the audience’s experience is a widely evaluated subject that provides valuable insight to the film.

This paper, however, focuses on different elements of the film. I argue that the castle in Rocky Horror Picture Show acts as a realm free from the strict gender and sexuality norms that exist in the outside world. This suspension of norms allows a subverted Oedipus complex to arise between Frank N. Furter, Rocky, and Janet. The characters that come from outside the castle represent the norms promoted by their society, but these rules do not apply within Frank’s world. In the castle, men can dress as women, one can have multiple sexual partners of different genders, and, possibly most surprisingly, a man can create life all on his own. Frank’s behavior encourages Brad and Janet to experience a transformation and allows for an Oedipus complex to blossom, with Frank and Janet fulfilling the role of the mother and Rocky in the role of the son.

 

“Some Kind of Hunting Lodge for Rich Weirdos”: Frank’s Castle as a Sexually Free Space

The world in which Brad and Janet live is maintained by very stringent social norms and expectations; “Denton, the home of happiness” subscribes to the strict gender expectations of 1950s, Christian America despite the fact that the film is set after 1974, which is evident in the recording of President Nixon’s resignation which plays in Brad’s car later in the film. The wedding scene that opens the film provides a view of Denton and the gender norms to which it adheres. The wedding guests’ clothing, fashioned in a very 1950s style, characterizes them as traditional and conservative. The male guests are dressed in suits and thick-rimmed glasses and the female guests in hats and long-sleeved, high-collared skirt suits. The 1950s fashions of the wedding goers symbolize the conservative attitudes of this society.

Furthermore, the only setting we see in Denton is a church, which implies that the society subscribes to the religious “traditional”  beliefs  and  the  strict  views  on  sexuality.  However,  the  element  that  most   implicates  Denton  as  a

traditional society is the allusion to the painting American Gothic. This painting is undeniably conservative in nature, with its muted colors, stoic faces, and domestic undertones, and the Art Institute of Chicago claims that it can “be read as a glorification of the moral virtue of rural America” (“American Gothic”). During the wedding scene in Rocky Horror, while members pose for a group portrait, three figures (Magenta, Rif Raf, and Frank dressed in old-fashioned, Midwestern clothes) line up against the door  and  recreate  a  

version  of  the  classic painting. The recreation of American Gothic suggests that Denton subscribes to the “virtues of rural America” that the painting promotes.

 

Brad and Janet’s proposal scene also highlights their society’s limitations on gender and sexuality. The film portrays a young man and a young woman participating in one of the most socially acceptable traditions: marriage. Janet is only too thrilled to become a wife so that she can begin to fill the socially encouraged “housewife” role, which, as a PBS article titled The Pill explains, was the most acceptable role for women in 1950s society: “In the 1950s, women felt tremendous societal pressure to focus their aspirations on a wedding ring. . . . This was also the era of  the  ‘happy  homemaker’”  (“The

Pill”). Janet wants to takeon that traditional role and therefore is delighted by Brad’s proposal. As Brad gets down on one knee, she becomes giddy and excited, and once the ring is on her finger, she shrieks with joy and admires it lovingly, stating that her ring “is nicer than Betty Munroe had.” This scene symbolizes her entrance into “happy homemaker” status, and her excitement shows her readiness to conform to the gender roles dictated to her by Denton’s 1950s-esque society.

 

Brad also acts in a socially prescribed manner as a protector and breadwinner of his future family. Several of his behaviors in the early stages of the film demonstrate his desire to fit these prescribed norms. After their engagement, when their car gets a flat tire, Brad insists that Janet wait in the car while he gets help. He desires to keep Janet safe by keeping her out of the rain and clearly believes it is the man’s job to face the dangers of the world. Betty Robbins and Roger Myrick explain in their article “The Function of the Fetish in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” that because the pressure from their society is so high, Brad and Janet’s “gendered positions are fixed and they mindlessly act out roles” (277). This notion is apparent during these scenes. The characters play out their prescribed roles without thinking; their every action is a sign of compliance to their society’s strict code.

In the society in which Brad and Janet exist, marriage is the only safe outlet for any sexual expression. Brad and Janet’s engagement signifies their entrance into the “gendered positions” that the society instructs them to follow. Before their entrance into Frank N. Furter’s castle, the couple appears chaste. Later in the film, when Frank seduces them, both Brad and Janet claim, “I’ve never, ever,” suggesting they have both maintained their virginity until this point. Their desire to cling to chastity can be seen clearly during the proposal scene, during which Brad and Janet kiss only once. While singing the scene’s musical number “Dammit Janet,” the couple even acts out a wedding scene; Janet and Brad waltz down the aisle, stand before the pulpit, proclaim “I love you” to each other, and it is only then that the couple kiss. Even in their make-believe fantasy, it is only after they feign a wedding that they are permitted to indulge in physical desire. As Robbins and Myrick explain, “Brad and Janet can only express desire in the confines of conventional marriage” (277). Marriage is seen as moral and sacred and therefore allows them to express their physical desires in a safe and socially appropriate way.

While Denton’s society enforces very strict gender expectations and sexual norms, the castle in which the majority of the story takes place is a sexually free space. Within the walls of Frank N. Furter’s castle dwells a micro-society devoid of the sexual taboos that rule Denton. This space allows for the realization of almost any taboo or “deviant” action. The castle permits both criminal behavior, such as murder, cannibalism, and incest, as well as socially “immoral” behavior, like cross-dressing, homosexuality, and extramarital sex. Within the walls of the castle, the characters are able to express their riotous instincts and unbridle their sexual desires.

Frank N. Furter's Castle

 

In order to understand the castle as a sexually free space, it is vital to recognize the sexually liberated attitudes that Frank promotes in his residents. One way that Frank subverts the dictates of society and builds his own liberated space is by defying gender norms. Robbins and Myrick write that “Frank N. Furter is at once masculine and feminine, the spectacle of Dracula and Mae West” (274). Frank does not limit his gender identity to either masculine or feminine

Denton

Frank meets Brad and Janet

roles but rather blends the two. While Brad and Janet (at least while in Denton) have a clear understanding of the norms assigned  to their genders and the behaviors associated with those norms, Frank has no such understanding. Gaylyn Studlar, in his article “Midnight S/excess,” argues that throughout Rocky Horror, “Frank-N-Furter escapes the real danger of gender transformation—that the plurality of perversion might render the male passive, non-phallic, and truly feminized” (9). This quote would suggest that Frank fears the role of the passive male and is trying to escape it. It additionally implies that Frank subscribes to a binary system of gender, but Studlar fails to understand the nuances of Frank’s gender identity. Frank N. Furter is not simply a

man subscribing to a feminine identity; Frank embodies traits typically prescribed to both men and women and can float freely between roles. Since Frank is not tied to the expectations of society, he is not obligated to identify as either masculine or feminine. For example, he is biologically a man who wears women’s clothes. He seduces both men and women. He creates an offspring, which is a feminine attribute, but he does so using a traditionally masculine method of science in a laboratory. Understanding Frank’s relationship to gender provides insight into the atmosphere of the castle and its unhinging effects on those who dwell within it.

Frank’s extraterrestrial origins contribute to his disavowal of societal norms as well. He is not human, so he will not adhere to human rules. Frank therefore can exist in both gender spheres, floating freely around, not tied to the expectations that human society would mandate to him. Within Frank’s castle—which is, after all, his alien spaceship—the mandates of society are rejected in similar fashion. Inside the castle, the characters are not forced into particular roles nor is their behavior limited or censored, as it is in Denton. Instead, the castle relieves the characters of their societal expectations and encourages them to explore their sexuality. Brad and Janet, who were once bound so tightly to their traditional, conservative gender norms, are liberated and, as Tony Magistrale states in “Abject Terrors: Surveying the Modern and Postmodern Horror Film,” “in turn, come to revel in a personal sexual liberation” (179).

As Brad and Janet travel farther into the castle, the more and more unrestrained the space becomes. When Brad and Janet first enter the castle, Rif Raf shows them into the foyer, which is decorated in a relatively traditional, antiquated way. Its decorations include taxidermy, a grandfather clock, a fireplace, large colonial-looking furniture, classical busts, and a print of American Gothic. The reoccurrence of the painting solidifies this space’s obedience to tradition. The foyer reflects Denton’s harsh codes and norms in its décor; however, all the traditional  elements in the foyer are dilapidated and dusty. This decrepitude is symbolic of the castle’s neglect of Denton’s norms. The castle and its residents have little need or desire to live up to the outside society’s expectations; thus, there is no need to keep up appearances. The foyer is the closest room to the outside world, and though its décor reflects the society of Denton and its traditional ways, its dilapidation shows a disavowal of those traditions. The foyer foreshadows the castle’s breakdown of the norms and expectations set up by society.

 

As Brad and Janet travel farther into the house, they find themselves more distanced from Denton’s norms. The next room in which Brad and Janet find themselves is the ballroom, in which a lively party is taking place. The room is filled

with partygoers who are “Transylvanians,” people who would have most likely been marginalized by the 1950s society of Denton. Some of the characters at the party are members of minority groups; others are obese men and women and people affected by dwarfism. The Transylvanians wear androgynous, nearly matching outfits—black satin tuxedos, colorful shirts, and absurd party hats. The near uniformity in their apparel shows that the world inside the castle does not force these people into differentiated roles as the society outside would do. People who might be considered    “outsiders”   in    Denton’s    society   are

Brad and Janet meet the Transylvanians

allowed to mingle freely here with no distinctions between race, creed, appearance, or gender.

 

In the deeper rooms of the castle, such as the bedrooms, dining room, and laboratory, a complete suspension of societal norms occurs. These rooms are characterized by their complete detachment from the outside society. None of the gender dictates and sexual norms that ruled the lives of those in Denton are present any more, and that absence of norms allows the characters to act freely and fervently. Sex, murder, and cannibalism all take place within these more interior rooms. Interestingly, the décor in these rooms reflect these changes in morality. Frank N. Furter’s laboratory, for example, is decorated to reflect his liberated ideals: the walls are painted pink, in contrast with the foyer’s dark browns; scientific instruments, featuring distinctly phallic levers, line the walls; and several fully nude statues of classical forms are strewn around the room, rather than the stoic faces staring out of American Gothic. As the characters climb deeper into the castle, the castle itself creates a more and more welcoming environment for their lowered inhibitions.

Frank N. Furter’s sexually liberated castle is not unusual on the gothic literary tradition. Conventionally, gothic literature has had an affinity for what Kate Ferguson Ellis in The Contested Castle calls the “failed home” (ix). The castles in the gothic tales of Horace Walpole, Matthew Gregory Lewis, and Bram Stoker are spaces defined by corruption and immorality; as Ellis states, in these stories, “the home has lost its prelapsarian purity” (ix). The gothic castle is corrupt and therefore allows for a perversion of family structure and Frank’s castle is no different. Within Frank N. Furter’s gothic castle, flagrant sexuality, incest, and other perceived “perversions” run rampant, creating a fertile atmosphere for the development of an Oedipal complex.

 

“I didn't make him for you!”: Oedipal Struggles in the Castle

Because there are no restrictions on gender and sexual behavior in the castle, unorthodox relationships are allowed to develop. The relationships between Frank, Rocky, and Janet provide all the elements of Freud’s Oedipal complex, but the typical roles are subverted. The Oedipal complex is based on the tale from Greek mythology in which Oedipus fulfills a prophecy given at his birth by accidentally killing his father and marrying his mother. Freud developed the idea into a psychoanalytical concept. Although a female version of the Oedipal complex exists, the Oedipal complex is most typically seen as a son’s experience and is commonly, as Jerome Neu states in The Cambridge Companion to Freud, “defined as a constellation of desire for the mother as a sexual object and the hate of the father as a rival” (163). A mother, father, and son are all needed to build the complex, and those characters conventionally only exist within the confines of a heteronormative family. Freud’s Oedipus complex depends on a nuclear family model, in which roles are solid and clearly defined, but these roles are complicated within Frank’s castle.

In its adapted Oedipal model, Rocky acts as the son, Frank as the mother, and, as yet another sign of the film’s departure from tradition, Janet is a second mother rather than a father figure. Rocky’s role as the son seems fairly obvious; though adult in appearance, he is born before the audience’s eyes as Frank frantically turns rainbow-colored knobs and dials, allowing colorful fluid to flow into a tank containing a suspended body. Brought to life by the manic scientific process, Rocky emerges. As he begins to experience his surroundings, Rocky’s behavior suggests a childlike naivety. For example, Rocky lacks the ability to speak, much like an infant does, and demonstrates a childlike inability to fully understand other’s behaviors Rather than speak, Rocky emits a series of grunts and groans. He appears confused and frightened by much of his surroundings. For example, in a scene reminiscent of productions of Frankenstein, Rif Raf attempts to scare Rocky by waving a lit candelabra at him, and the flames send him into a panic. Throughout the film, Rocky appears so new to the world and seems to find it all rather overwhelming. These behaviors help to define his role; Rocky clearly acts as the son figure in the film’s Oedipal complex.

 

Deciphering Janet and Frank’s role within the triangle is more complex, however. Traditionally, gender norms would mandate that Frank take on the role of the father while Janet would become the mother figure. However, traditional gender norms are invalid in the castle, which opens up the Oedipal roles. Frank becomes the primary mother figure because he “gives birth” to Rocky; Rocky is Frank’s creation. Frank introduces his offspring to Brad and Janet by saying, “I’m making a man with blonde hair and a tan.” And though he is a man, Frank is able to create life, and, as Robbins and Myrick explain, he therefore takes on “a role as mother to Rocky” (274). In the outside world, Frank’s gender would prevent him from stepping into the maternal role but given the suspension of societal norms in the castle, Frank is allowed to assume that position.

In the traditional Oedipal complex, a father figure would be needed to complete the triangle. However, in the castle, the complex is revised and altered, allowing Janet to assume the role of a second mother. While Janet does not give symbolic birth to Rocky as Frank does, she assumes a motherly role through her nurturing nature. In several scenes throughout the movie, Janet can be seen fawning over and coddling Rocky. For instance, at one point, Rocky tries to escape from the castle and is chased by Magenta’s guard dogs. When Janet finds Rocky, he is battered, bruised, and very rattled, and Janet’s motherly nature immediately shows itself. Janet tries to soothe his fears and even rips her own clothing to make bandages for his injuries. This scene (though partially motivated by a sexual nature) demonstrates her maternal actions and solidifies her role as a second mother in this subverted form of the Oedipal complex.

 

Not only are the players of the Rocky Horror’s Oedipal complex modified, but the structure of the complex itself is as well. The Oedipal complex that exists in Frank’s castle deviates from Freud’s traditional form and becomes the concept

introduced by Raymond de Saussure, the Jocasta complex. The Jocasta complex acts as the converse of Freud’s complex and is characterized by “the sexual desire of a mother for her son” (Roeckelein 112). Rather than having the son lust after the mother and compete with the father, in Rocky Horror, both mothers are locked in a rivalry. Frank’s desire for his “son” is painfully apparent throughout the film. In a musical scene, immediately following Rocky’s birth, Frank chases Rocky around the laboratory, screaming lustfully, gifts Rocky with exercise equipment, and caressing    his    muscle-bound     body.    The     song

"I Can Make You a Man"

performed in this scene is titled “I Can Make You a Man,” simultaneously implying Frank’s creation of Rocky as well as describing his sexual desire for him. In the song, Frank describes Rocky’s muscular physique while making sexually suggestive  innuendos and gestures. At the finale, Frank escorts  Rocky to a dark bedroom and just before the door closes,  Frank leaps into Rocky’s arms and wraps his legs around his waist. This scene implies that Frank achieves sexual

congress with Rocky and solidifies his part of the Jocasta complex.

 

Though she is hesitant to reveal her feelings at first,    Janet also lusts after Rocky. Her performance of the   song “Creature of the Night” illustrates her sexual    desires and marks her entrance into the complex.         Sexual innuendos fly as she dances around and rips off the little clothing she has remaining, singing, “[T]hen if  anything grows / While you pose / I'll oil you up /And drop you down.” The references to Rocky achieving an erection and other sexual allusions in the song make clear Janet’s sexual desire for her son figure. As with Frank’s number, the end of  the  scene  sees  Janet  and   Rocky  having  sexual

"Creature of the Night"

relations. Both of Rocky’s “mothers” desire him as a sexual object, thus confirming Rocky Horror’s subverted Oedipal complex.

The relationship between Frank, Janet, and Rocky provides a prime example of the unorthodox relationships that exist within the free space established by Frank in his castle. The Oedipal complex between Rocky, Frank, and Janet involves taboo behavior that the conservative society of the outside world would prohibit. Freud explains that the Oedipus complex is founded in repressed feelings which are not permitted actualization, meaning the sexual desires experienced in this complex are repressed and stifled. However, because the castle acts as a liberated space, those repressed feeling can be enacted in the deepest rooms of the castle. The heart of the castle allows and even encourages the stifled feelings to grow, so there is no hindrance to the development of the Oedipus complex.

 

“It's Not Easy Having a Good Time”: Society Fights Back

Frank N. Furter’s castle liberates the characters from the shackles placed on them by Denton’s conservative, 1950s-esque society. However, the outside world does attempt to seep into the castle and eradicate the threat it poses to social structure. Throughout the film, a few characters seek to regulate the behavior of those who dwell within the castle. Both the criminologist narrator and Doctor Scott act as regulative forces—symbolic agents of Denton’s society who remind the characters and the audience that these behaviors should not be allowed to continue. Their judgments remind the audience that the taboo behaviors that takes place in the castle are wildly inappropriate in a traditional society.

The narrator’s role as a societal enforcer is apparent in the commentary he adds throughout the film, which is aimed at the film’s audience members. He is very aware of their presence in a way that the other characters are not, often looking directly at the camera and actively addressing the viewer. He works on behalf of Denton to remind the audience that the behaviors exhibited in the castle are not socially acceptable. He appears at intervals throughout the film in order to keep the audience from being sucked too far into the castle’s chaos. He reminds the audience of Denton’s, and what he presumes to be the audience’s, moral core. For example, just before Frank’s infamous floor show in the final scenes of the film, the narrator states, “And just a few hours after announcing their engagement, Brad and Janet had both tasted forbidden fruit.” He then adds, “This in itself was proof that their host [Frank] was a man of little morals and of some persuasion,” attempting to sway the audience’s favor away from the inhabitants of the castle by insisting that the behaviors that occur within it are immoral and “forbidden.”

While the narrator reminds the audience of societal norms, Doctor Scott works within the castle to restore societal order to its inhabitants. He enters the castle in the last half of the film and is appalled by the behavior that the other characters display without a second thought. As his horror grows, Doctor Scotts attempts to rectify the behavior that he sees and return it to the confines of the outside world’s society. His attempts are visible in several scenes throughout the film; the most apparent example comes when Rif Raf kills Frank and Rocky. After Rocky and Frank are killed, Doctor Scott praises Rif Raf, saying, “Society must be protected,” “You did right,” and “You’re okay by me.” Doctor Scott’s even endorses murder if it means the elimination of unchecked sexual freedom. Frank is a threat to the social structure, so when the threat is eradicated, he rejoices. Society is once again safe now that Frank and the sexual taboos he represents are terminated. At the end of the film, societal norms prevail, and the castle, which now reveals itself to be a spaceship, escapes into space. The castle’s departure from earth symbolizes the inability of a non-heteronormative society to survive the pressures of tradition. The liberated castle must depart, leaving Brad and Janet lying stunned in the grass. Though they were temporarily liberated by their time in the castle, they are once again members of a rigid society, expected to fill the gender roles it expects of them.

Since the outside society resists the castle and its ideals, the Oedipal complex that dwells within crumbles, and the members of the complex are either eliminated or corrected. Frank and Rocky die by the end of the film, and Janet is expelled from the castle. In order for the outside society to be truly safe from the deviant nature of the complex, it must totally annihilate Frank and Rocky. These two characters are native to the castle’s liberated space, and as a result they cannot be permitted to survive. As products of the “perverse” castle, they are deemed incurable. Janet does not have to be totally eliminated, however. She is allowed to survive as long as she realigns to society’s mandates. After the castle blasts off, Janet crawls through the smoke and ash towards Brad and Doctor Scott, who lay scattered in the rubble. This action symbolizes her return to Denton and its norms and expectations. With the exit of the castle and the deaths of her lovers, she is cleansed of her transgressions and allowed to reenter society. The castle has withdrawn, its members have been extracted from the grip of the subversive Oedipal complex, and now the society of Denton is once again safe.

 

The image of Frank’s castle blasting off into space reveals a great deal about American views on the issues presented in the film. Both societies presented in Rocky Horror, Denton and the castle, are symbols of groups in the US. The society within the castle is, though exaggerated, symbolic of marginalized groups, particularly LGBTQ groups, who struggle to make a place for themselves in society. The conservative ideals that Denton represents were widely held views in the US when the film was created. Roger Ebert states, “When the film was first released in 1975 it was ignored by pretty much everyone” (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), illustrating that 1970s viewers were largely uninterested in exploring alternative genders and sexualities themselves. It was only later, as marginalized groups began to have more of a voice, that the film’s popularity gradually increased, illustrating a weakening of the Denton-like norms of the American society that had been more prevalent during the film’s release. The correlation between changing norms and the film’s popularity is due to the fact that the film encourages the audience to imagine what is possible beyond the boundaries set by society. It forces the characters and the audience to broaden their minds—to enter a space that transcends the rules laid down by the outside world. The castle’s free space and its cultivation of sexuality and gender liberation and Oedipal complexes do not seek to destroy society’s structure. Even though society perceives these elements as a threat, they simply act as a mirror. The film reflects pressing issues about society back to the audience. Rocky Horror raises questions about where outsiders who refuse to be defined in binary systems fit in such a rigid society.

Works Cited

"American Gothic." The Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago, n.d.

Ebert, Roger. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Review (1975). Roger Ebert." Roger Ebert.com,  http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-rocky-horror-picture-show-1976. 

Ellis, Kate Ferguson. The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology. U of Illinois P, 1989.

Magistrale, Tony. Abject Terrors: Surveying the Modern and Postmodern Horror Film. Peter Lang, 2005.

Neu, Jerome. The Cambridge Companion to Freud. Cambridge UP, 1991.

Paszylk, Bartlomiej. The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films: An Historical Survey. McFarland, 2009.

Picart, Caroline. Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film: Between Laughter and Horror. State U of New York P, 2003.

"The Pill." PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh//amex/pill/.

Robbins, Betty, and Roger Myrick. "The Function of the Fetish in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 9, no. 3, 2000, pp. 269-80. 

Roeckelein, Jon E. Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories. Elsevier, 2006.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dir. Jim Sharman. Perf. Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon. Twentieth Century Fox, 1975.

Siegel, Mark. "‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’: More than a Lip Service." Science Fiction Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, 1980, pp. 305-12.

Studlar, Gaylyn. "Midnight S/excess: Cult Configuration of  ‘Femininity’ and the Perverse." The Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 17, no. 1, 1989, pp. 2-14.

Kasie Betten is an NAU alum with a BA in English, including certificates in Creative Writing and Literature, and a minor in History. She is currently working as an English teacher at Desert View High School in Tucson, AZ. She hopes to pursue a Master's degree in English or Screenwriting in the near future. Her writing consists mostly of fictional pieces and literary analysis. Her current submission in The Tunnels  is her first publication, and she would like to continue getting her writing  published.

 
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