Moviegoers in Japan are generally expected to take a vow of silence at the cinema — unless the film happens to be “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
The musical comedy about white-bread newlyweds who stumble upon a creepy castle full of kinky humanoid aliens from the planet Transsexual was a flop upon its initial 1975 release, but then a New York art house revived it as a midnight movie the following year. The audience began to ad-lib bawdy call-and-response banter with the actors while others stood in front of the screen dressed (or undressed) in character to pantomime the dance sequences. Props such as toilet paper, playing cards and hotdogs flew through the air on cue. The cult of Rocky Horror was born.