‘Chill me, thrill me, fulfill me’: Rocky Horror continues its UPC legacy, cult-classic status

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Mary Renee hovers her hand over a contestants head as the audience cheers to vote for the best costume. During the Rocky Horror Pre Show a costuem contest where participants could win prizes. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Scantily clad women, drag queens, virgin auctions and condoms.

While this may sound like a really wild college party, for the Union Program Council, it is just another screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

On Friday, the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom invited students and the community to partake in the antics and screening of the quintessential cult-classic.

“I think everyone has to experience it,” said Anna DePastino, junior in architecture and a member of the UPC Films committee.

“It’s all about being yourself,” DePastino said. “You feel included and love each other like you are part of the family.”

A picturesque family bonding moment — minus the fact that the event wasn’t exactly “family friendly.”

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is story of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, two newlyweds who find themselves in the predicament of a lifetime. When they get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, they find themselves at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a mad scientist who’s preparing to unveil his latest creation, Rocky Horror.

When participants arrive, they are asked if they are virgins. If so, they are marked with a large red “V” on their forehead or hand in red lipstick. Everyone receives a “prop bag” full of the “essentials” to make the most of the experience.

Out of context, the bag is full of items I would only assume would be in the junk drawer of an estranged grandmother. Included were two cards, a bag of rice, a piece of “toast,” a newspaper and some toilet paper. You know, just the essentials.

These props were used to mimic the scenes on screen. The cards, rice, “toast” and toilet paper were all tossed into the air during the film. The newspaper was the only “grounded” prop, meant to protect your head from the harsh rain during Brad and Janet’s trek to Dr. Frank–N-Furter’s castle.

Rocky Horror played promptly at midnight, but the pre-show began at 10:30. During the pre-show, fans were entertained by host Mary Renee. Her persona added another level to the ambiance of the show. Quotes include, “This movie is a terrible terrible film,” “Who has a penis in their pants?” and “Oh no, I’m stepping on a condom.”

During the pre-show, Renee facilitated the traditional costume contest and “Virgin Auction.”

During the “Virgin Auction,” movie “virgins” are auctioned off, not for money, but for the random objects non-virgins have on them. This year, the main currency was 2-year-old condoms, some birth control, and a handkerchief. Only the best for first-time viewers.

UPC puts this event on every year, but for freshman in open option and “Rocky Horror” “virgin” Ally Demott, it was anything but routine.

“I feel … enlightened,” Demott said. “Definitely a unique experience. That being said, if you have the chance to experience this, you got to go, it’s so fun.”

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” premiered in the U.S. on Sept. 25, 1975. Almost immediately, the movie was shelved.

But one year later, midnight screenings of “Rocky Horror” at the Waverly Theater in New York began to change the movie from a flop, to the coming-of-age ritual it is today. The underground phenomenon has continued for over 40 years, mainly due to the group of dedicated fans who flock to the midnight screenings.

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