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Mistakes?! From the Film

by J. Alan Pfaff


There really aren't too many more errors in editing than there are in most other films, it's just that since RHPS has been viewed so many times, they're more obvious. Just to give a couple of examples, Die Hard II is supposed to take place in Washington, D.C., yet the telephones say Pacific Bell on them; also, Ash does not have his shotgun with him during the pit scene in Army of Darkness, yet he starts shooting people with it when he comes out (of course, this could have been intentional)* There are plenty more. Ask around on alt.cult-movies or some such newsgroup if you're truly interested.

Here's a list of a few from RHPS, in chronological order. If you have any more, please send feedback.

• Ralph's mother (a brunette woman) and father (a bald man with a white tuxedo) run up to be in the wedding picture twice.

• The chalk heart that Brad draws on the church changes shape in different shots.

• Janet's purse in 'Dammit, Janet', moves places when she puts it on the ground.

• The Transylvanian with the Hors D'oeuvres during Time Warp puts it down in one shot, and in another shot suddenly has it again.

• Columbia's hat is on the ground immediately before her tap-dance, but when she starts dancing, it's on her head.

• The red carpet mysteriously disappears for Columbia's tap-dance.

• When Janet faints at the beginning of Sweet Transvestite, a different hand is raised to her head in different shots. Also, she continues to scream even after she has supposedly fainted.

• Brad's shirt is unbuttoned in one shot, and then buttoned again when Magenta is undressing him.

• The position of Rocky's arms and the types of moves he's doing change in different shots during Charles Atlas Song.

• Eddie's bracers disappear at one point while he is rolling around on the floor with Columbia.

• There is blood in the freezer before Frank attacks Eddie with the pick.

• While he's activating the magnet, Frank starts to raise his left leg, but when the camera shot changes, his right leg is lifted.

• The first shot of Dr. Scott going up the stairs shows a piece of carpet turned over by the wire pulling the wheelchair.

• While Rocky is proposing a toast to Janet, Riff's hand can be seen pulling the napkin out of Dr. Scott's glass, yet he pulls it out again a few moments later.

• Riff serves Brad a slice of Eddie in a close-up of Brad, and then again in a wide shot - yet Brad only ends up with one slice on his plate.

• In 'Planet Schmanet, Janet', Frank pulls down Janet's bra strap, but it's back in place in the next shot.

• The tattoo on Frank's arm is washed off in the pool during the floor show, reappears for the last bit of the floor show, is washed off again at the end of the floor show, and is on again at the end of I'm Going Home.

• Brad and Janet are helping Dr. Scott out of the castle without a wheelchair, but Dr. Scott is laying on a broken wheelchair (or is it a bicycle?) during Superheroes.

Since RHPS is a send-up of the old B-movies, it could be argued these were intentional, as the old movies rarely paid too much attention to such trivialities as plot continuity. Regardless of the reason, many things seem to happen that are seemingly impossible (or at least improbable). Here are some of them, and various explanations to go with them.


LATE NOVEMBER EVENING?

The Criminologist says that this all occurs on a "late November evening, "yet Richard Nixon's resignation speech is on the radio in the car. Nixon resigned in August. So what's the deal? Was the radio doing a re-broadcast? Did Brad and Janet go through a Time Warp? If it was Nixon's original speech, why were Brad and Janet talking, rather than listening to it like good clean-cut American citizens? And what's with the copy of The Plain Dealer? Its date doesn't seem to match anything. Many explanations could be theorized about, and any number of arguments could be made, but my personal opinion is that nobody really cared. For you Americans, do you know what was the last year that Margaret Thatcher served? These were Brits making a film set in the United States, and I doubt too much research or attention was placed on what the Criminologist said compared to what was on the radio. Most likely, the speech was on there to give a sense of the period, and the paper to give a sense of the location - i.e. 'Apple-Pie Midwest America". Possibly, the speech was also included to give a "feeling of foreboding."


WHAT TIME OF THE NIGHT?

This is often-times a much debated topic, yet the explanation seems simple. The concern is mainly that according to the clock during The Time Warp, it was midnight when Brad and Janet arrived, yet they had dinner a few hours later, and when they left, it was Still dark out. This is compounded by the fact that the clock chimes more than twelve times. Many various explanations have been given. Some claim that they arrived earlier than midnight, others say that time had no meaning in the castle. Nobody seems to be able to accept the idea that perhaps Transylvanians don't keep the same dinner schedules as Earthlings. Well, here's the chronology for you, so Shut up about it already.

The wedding was in the late afternoon. By the time Brad and Janet stopped dancing and Singing, and got around to changing clothes, getting a bite to eat (White Castle perhaps?), and heading off to see Dr. Scott, it was well into the evening, perhaps around 10:00 or so. When the car broke down around 11:00, they had to walk back several miles in the dark and the rain, so it took a good hour for them to arrive at the castle. Everything between their arrival to the end of the Creation Scene is in "real-time and so Rocky ends up being born between midnight and 12.30. After a bit of sleep (perhaps an hour), Frank seduces both Brad and Janet. Since Frank is the wonderful lover that he is, this takes up a bit of time, putting Janet's seduction of Rocky well past 3:30. Dinner happens around 4:00, after which the Cast is Medusaed, and Frank prepares for the floor show. The floor show begins at around 7:30, making Rocky seven hours old, and by the time the castle blasts off, it's just around dusk (it *is* November in midwest America; it takes a while for daylight to happen).

So there you have it. It all fits, and it all makes sense, so don't try to tell me anything different. Unless, of course, it's a good theory.


WHAT, EXACTLY, IS THE FLOORPLAN OF THE CASTLE?

There isn't one. The castle, as it's portrayed in the movie doesn't exist. It is absolutely impossible for the elevator to be where it is in the lab, and for the hole in the wall to be where it is. You'll also note that there are no doors into the lab. So how do the Transylvanians get there before Brad and Janet? Perhaps they all made a quick trip in the elevator, perhaps they all teleported up there, or perhaps they used Riff and Magenta's secret entrance that was originally supposed to be there. This also was supposed to be the way in which Dr. Scott entered the lab, but nobody really noticed that they forgot to remedy this until it was being filmed. Richard O'Brien asked production designer Brian Thomson how Dr. Scott was going to enter, and Brian answered, as a joke, "We'll just push him through the wall."

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Other History Sites

Rocky Horror FAQ
www.rockyhorror.org

Frequently asked questions about the history of Rocky Horror.

Rocky Horror Preservation Foundation
www.rockyhorrorpreservation.com

A site featuring articles, press releases, and other documents.

TRHPS on Wikipedia
wikipedia.org

A great general rundown of TRHPS.

TRHPS on IMDB
www.imdb.com

Technical and cast details for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


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