I mentioned this previously, but I’ve been inactive because I’ve been relocating to Texas. What do you mean you didn’t know that? A guy can’t leave his blog unattended for 3 months without losing readers? You’re supposed to be checking in every day, desperately hoping that I’ve left some tasty literary morsel for you to devour. At least that’s how it is in my head anyways. I’m also on a throne, laughing maniacally. But that’s neither here nor there, and neither am I, as I’m in Texas. Here’s the first installment of a new series where I recount the fun, interesting or odd things I experience in the Lone Star State. In typical MRB fashion, may only last for one installment.
Growing up in Rhode Island, Saturday nights in the summer always seemed like they should be evenings of endless possibility, and extraordinary circumstance. Nights that should stretch on into early morning hours, filled with last minute plans and general mischief. Being that Texas in April feels a lot like Rhode Island in August, it’s really not surprising that I ended up at the Inwood Theater at midnight, waiting in line for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
A quick aside about the Inwood Theater itself: That place is magical. I’ve spent my entire life going to corporate multiplexes, with sticky floors and a half hour of commercials before the previews roll. The Inwood is a throwback to a better time. With it’s large marquee and grand neon sign, it’s exactly what a movie theater should look like, and it’s a shame most don’t. Throw in the fact that it’s got a full martini lounge, with drinks allowed in the theater, and couches instead of seats in some of the screening rooms, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful place to see a show.
And what a show I got. For the uninitiated, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a completely unique theatrical experience. There are cult films, and then there’s Rocky. Midnight showings of Rocky Horror have been going on for generations, evolving the film from just a movie, into a full blown experience. All across the country, shadowcasts act along with the film, each adding their own spin on the Rocky experience. At the Inwood Theater, the evening’s shadowcast was Los Bastardos, a raucous group of Rocky devotees who gave me the best night I’ve had in Texas so far. High praise? Certainly, and it’s well deserved, even if their only competition in that category is the night I tried Whataburger for the first time.
The masters of ceremony, Alex and Jason, spent the evening wandering the aisles shouting set up jokes for the film’s more famous lines, along with riffs of their own creation, some rehearsed, some made up on the spot, fueled by whatever the audience shouted out. It’s Rocky Horror, so nothing was off limits. Vulgarities flowed as freely as radiation does from Japan’s famous radiation factories. There was even an opportunity for me to dust of my impressive mastery of Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby.
The stars of the show, however, were the cast members acting out the film itself in front of the screen. Los Bastardos pulls out all the stops, acting out the entire film as it happens, complete with costume changes, matching props and their own brand of special effects. They’ve also developed their own unique pre-show rituals and mid-movie interludes, with a dance party to start the show and an Avril Lavigne laden number in the middle. They’ve also got their own way of handling virgins; those people who’ve never experienced Rocky Horror in a theater before. They’re easy to spot, as the cast makes sure to mark them all with V’s in lipstick before the show begins. I don’t want to ruin all of Los Bastardos’ surprises, so I’ll keep their brand of de-virginizing a secret, and encourage you to embrace your inner peeping tom and check it out for yourself.
If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, check their schedule and then blow off whatever plans you have to go see Los Bastardos and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Drink, dance, laugh and do the time warp, again and again, and again. Afterall, no one wants to be a virgin forever, and what better way to lose it than in a dark theater with a bunch of bastards?