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The New Rocky Horror Picture Show Leaves the Lips Behind

The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s legions of fans know that the iconic cult movie opens with a giant pair of disembodied lips crooning the theme song, “Science Fiction/Double Feature.” But the first five minutes of Fox’s upcoming production of the musical have arrived, and it turns out its opening is a lot more literal.


While the movie intro was sung by the stage show’s writer and screenplay co-author, Richard O’Brien (who also played Riff Raff), here we have pop star Ivy Levan as a cheesecake-y retro usherette doing the honors. Did Fox worry that its target audience would be unfamiliar with classic scifi films? How else to understand why Levan slinks past posters for the very movies referenced in the song lyrics?

If you make it to the end of the song, it does end with a close-up of Levan’s red-lacquered lips singing the final lines. Presumably the folks behind the reboot want to pay tribute to the original film’s popularity even as they try to do something different—a policy, we suspect, which will like be the case throughout the production.


Still, the solo by the lips was the perfectly eerie/titillating/goofy way to begin the 1975 film, and they’ll be missed. The Rocky Horror Picture Show airs October 20 on Fox.

[TV Line]

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I don’t have a problem with them not doing the lips. I don’t have a problem with them showing an usher singing it - after all, that’s how it’s done on stage. I don’t have a problem with them showing off posters of the older films referenced in the film (although a bit more subtlety would be preferable).

But why is it a pop song now? The sound of the original is just so eerie, it really is like a crazy person reminiscing and getting swept up in it all. Sure, it was very 70s, but there has to be a way to modernise it without making it sound so generically ‘pop’. (Also, why the sexy poses? How is that an appropriate tone to be setting for Rocky Horror? If it were Tim Curry doing it then that’d be different.)