With its outlandish characters, satirical plot, and unapologetic queerness, The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic after its release in 1975. The musical film, which isn’t as scary as it is campy, was created as a spoof of B-horror movies that usually feature far-fetched plots, mediocre acting, and low budgets. The film stars Tim Curry in his breakout role as Frank N. Furter, a cross-dressing mad scientist who lives in a Victorian Gothic-style castle. The plot itself is reminiscent of Frankenstein; Frank N. Furter succeeds in creating a sentient yet incredibly airheaded man named Rocky, who is used mostly as a boy toy. However, the film’s inciting incident occurs when newly engaged Brad and Janet get a flat tire and stumble upon Frank N. Furter’s castle. Here, they are acquainted with the goofy characters inside and witness Rocky’s creation. Brad and Janet represent everything that Frank N. Furter does not: repression, chastity, and social conformity. As the plot progresses, Brad and Janet succumb to their deepest desires and give into the flagrant lifestyle of the castle’s residents.
The end of the 20th century saw the creation of a ton of queer musicals, featuring LGBTQ+ characters and stories on stage and on screen. Many are known to those outside of the musical theater community, such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Rent, while others tend to be known by Broadway fans only. Hedwig and the Angry Inch falls into the latter category. Despite being a bit lesser known, Hedwig remains a powerful story that still resonates with audiences today, dealing with topics like longing, loss, acceptance, and self-love.