'Time Warp' at 50! Critical Approaches to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Roundtable)

Cultural Studies and Media Studies / Women's and Gender Studies

Noah Gallego (California State Polytechnic University-Pomona)

Calling all Transylvanians! 2025 marks the golden jubilee of the iconic and beloved cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Since its release, the film has transcended the theatre and become a global phenomenon, with conventions and ritualistic midnight showings being hosted across the world. While there have been several documentaries and a few book chapters and articles published on the subject, scholarship still remains overwhelmingly scarce. Jeffrey Weinstock’s edited volume, Reading Rocky Horror: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Popular Culture (2008), offered the first collection of critical inquiries that this session wishes to develop and expand upon almost two decades later. This session hopes to elevate the film’s status from a B-movie satire to a film worthy of academic inquiry. Furthermore, in the spirit of the conference theme: “(R)EVOLUTION,” this session wishes to recognize the revolutionary cultural impact of this film fifty years later. The film was not only important for the musical theatre world but for minority communities at large, especially the LGBTQ+ community. Themes potential candidates may address in their presentations include but are not limited to: the relationship with and portrayal of gender, sexuality, queerness, fashion, music, and B-movie horror, among other discourses.

2025 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the beloved cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). This session seeks proposals from Transylvanians and interested scholars alike that critically engage with the film as well as its various stage adaptations under the conference theme: “(R)EVOLUTION.” Topics of inquiry include but are not limited to: gender, queerness, subversion, music, fashion, intertextuality, and parody.