Wednesday March 11, 2009
Memories of the strangest midnight show
Sometime during 1977 my brother's then girlfriend contacted me, asking if I would accompany her to the famous Eighth Street Theatre
(home to the original Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club),
I Could Go on Singing,
as my brother didn't want to see it, and she believed I was a Judy Garland fan.
"No," I stressed.
"I'm not a Judy Garland fan, I'm a
Wizard of Oz
fan, which is quite different."
But it was a 10pm showing, and being a Thursday, the last night it'd be playing, and I felt bad she'd be alone in Greenwich Village, so I agreed.
Plus as there would be no way for me to get back to New Jersey, I would stay over at her place where I could play with her cat Pit-Face.
Well, the dreadful hundred minute Judy Garland movie felt like seven hours.
She and I were two of six in the entire audience.
As the film ended not a second too soon, a peculiar announcement came over the theatre PA system:
"We usually clear the theatre for the midnight showing of All Dressed Up In Rubber With No Place To Go... but if y'wanna stay y'can..."
She and I looked at each other, wondering what th'heck kind of film would have that as a title...
Then the Rocky Horror Fan Club all raced in and took up the first three or four rows.
We both accurately deduced they apparently had a litany the way they do for Rocky Horror, and they did, making a very badly made silly movie far more entertaining
(this was eleven years before even the KTMA episodes of
Mystery Science Theatre 3000
hit the cable-waves).
Right from the get-go with a considerably substantial amount of female nudity
(with which I have little to no issue),
eventually the lead makes it to New York city, and there was a scene of a street magician, the scene essentially so the hero's backpack could be stolen.
I saw someone in the watching crowd, and to my brother's girlfriend, I indicated a woman resembling Carole Wallace, who'd done some movie extra-work with
some months earlier.
Another shot of the audience and there was my mother...!
We flipped out over the hilarity; mom being in a silly bad movie with so much crude (to just lame) humour and so much "gratuitous" nudity.
After the screening, we spoke with Rocky Horror Fan Club president
to convey this bit of trivia.
It turned out Sal knew my actor friend
and considering various events he'd attended, Sal realized
(and was quite thrilled to deduce that),
at some point he may actually have met my mother...!
Understandably we told mom about all this, but while for some time we tried to get her to come into New York to see it, schedules never quite worked out.
For years I sought out the film on VHS to no avail, and learned it went through a title change or three.
When Mom worked on it, it had been titled
(its imdb entry title).
Recently I stumbled across an online article that mentioned its
All Dressed Up In Rubber With No Place To Go
title, and that under the title
available on DVD...!
I ordered a copy of it, which I received this entry date, and while it is the same film, my memory of the majority of it is extremely different.
The riffing Rocky Horror Fan Club litany made it watchable
(the riffing aspect downright hilarious at the time):
the film on its own is rather dreadful, all but unwatchably so.
For the DVD the film was not digitally "repaired" in any way, and generally everyone was orange in the badly lit interior scenes.
The DVD is also full screen, so I cannot make out Carole Wallace, my memory has her at the far edge of the screen when we saw it in the theatre.
To save emailing the photos as file attachments, I created this page, below on which are frame grabs: Mom is on the right with the 1977 Giant Bug Eye style glasses
(such were th'style at th'time...).