Depending on which fanfic you read, Dr. Frank N Furter is either A.) An abusive, psychotic, heartless jerk who only manipulates and hurts (both physically and emotionally) other people for his own personal amusement or B.) A misunderstood person who only acts the way he does due to some mysterious past tragedy.
Likewise, are Riff Raff & Magenta an evil brother/sister duo plotting Frank's downfall, or are they merely the victims of Frank's abuse and their actions are completely justified? Fanfics will vary greatly on the answer.
There are also plenty of fics where Columbia's personality ranges from bubbly and full of energy all the time, to always in tears and constantly depressed. Fan fic writers can't seem to make their minds up.
Author's Saving Throw: Despite some contingencies among LGBTQ+ activists as to whether or not this movie's representation of them holds up, it's important to remember that Frank is the only Transylvanian who commits any seriously monstrous crimes like murder and rape, not to mention is repeatedly called out for it, first by Columbia's "The Reason You Suck" Speech and later when Riff Raff tells him his "lifestyle's too extreme." Riff Raff and Magenta's relationship is questionable at best and the worst thing they do is kill Rocky and Columbia out of spite (let's be fair, Frank had it coming).
The only thing that could keep "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul" from being a BLAM is the fact that the dinner scene calls back to it. With little or no warning, Meat Loaf rides out of a walk-in freezer on a motorcycle, sings a song, and gets murdered. That's about as BLAM-tastic as it can get.
In the original play, Eddie is mentioned by Columbia before Riff & Magenta (and the Phantoms) else tells them to keep quiet... Which foreshadows Eddie's inevitable appearance, musical number, and death. However, this foreshadowing (for some reason) was cut from the film causing Eddie's appearance and musical number to be totally out-of-nowhere. It's a bizarre case of the character's scene being a BLAM, yet having the character being important to the plot. The 2016 film remake, however, shows Eddie riding a motorcycle in the way of Brad and Janet driving their car in the pouring rain in the night.
The Zen Room.
Not to mention Frank dressing most of the characters as him and proceeding to have an elaborate floor show with them. It makes sense from a character standpoint that Frank would treat all of them as his personal play things, dressing them up and making them put on a show for his own entertainment, but note WHERE DO YOU MASTURBATE??in an empty house? note WHENDO YOU MASTURBATE??In the middle of the night?
In recent years, there's been a divide over the Audience Participation - while older fans defend it as integral to the fandom, a lot of newcomers complain that it has created a hostile environment. There is also an increasing awareness that all the thrown objects mean that theater employees have to stay late to clean up, which is driving smaller theaters to cancel the midnight showings.
The film's place in the canon of queer cinema has also come into question in recent years as trans individuals become more prominent in the LGBT community. While plenty of gay, lesbian and bisexual people claim that it helped them become more comfortable with themselves, many trans individuals argue that the film is a painful reminder that society sees them as sick or perverted. On the same coin, there are people who say that the film introducing them to cross-dressing helped them eventually realize that they were transgender. Adding fuel to the fire is Richard O'Brien's apparent belief that transgender individuals all occupy a third gender, despite personally identifying as non-binary.
Crosses the Line Twice: It's not often that a pansexual transvestite murdering a 1950's motorcyclist is hilarious.
Cult Classic: Typically cited by reviewers as the definitive example of a cult film.
Designated Hero: Brad and Janet, literally, in the opening credits. There's a reason that they're respectively called "Asshole" and "Slut" by riffers.
Director Displacement: The movie is more often associated with creator and writer, Richard O'Brien rather than director, Jim Sharman.
Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Kids, don't have lots of sex, or you might end up in a fabulous musical. It's ultimately left up to the audience if Brad and Janet embracing their desires has left them broken. (This is less ambiguous if one accepts Shock Treatment as canon, as they definitely start that film as broken, and it is only over the course of that film that they relearn how to be functional people.)
Many fans try to present Riff Raff and Magenta as being far more worthy of pity than they are in the film. Yes, the same Riff Raff and Magenta who killed Rocky, Frank, and Columbia out of pure spite.
Likewise, Frank gets the same treatment the same way. Um, since when are we supposed to feel sorry for the guy who tricked two innocent people into having sex with him, brutally murdered a guy from whom he removed half a brain (said half-of-brain was used to make Rocky, BTW) and then tricked said people he had sex with into eating the remains of the guy he murdered? The only aspect of Frank that anyone should feel sympathy towards is the fact that he's batshit insane. His final song, "I'm Going Home", is a very desperate attempt to get people to feel sorry for him. The fact that it doesn't work and he gets killed anyway speaks volumes about the character.
Ear Worm: Half of the songs featured fall under this trope, but perhaps most famously, Time Warp, which was ranked and voted 338 out of 2006 songs featured in the Triple M Essential 2006 Countdown.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Riff Raff and Columbia are neck-in-neck for fan favorite, next to Frank himself.
Epileptic Trees: A common fan guess is that Janet's pregnant at the end, thanks to Frank's line "I've laid the seed/It should be all you need" in "You Better Wise Up, Janet Weiss." This supposedly would've been confirmed outright in the never-made sequel, Revenge of the Old Queen.
Everyone Is Satan in Hell: Isaac Weishaupt wrote a book called It's Just a Jump to the Left: The Unauthorized Guide to Occult Symbolism in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Frank is sexy. This can be attested to by every fan of this movie.
It's not just the movie version either- Rob Morton Fowler's portrayal of Frank in the recent European tour starts at sexy and goes straight into bishonen-beautiful.
Riff-Raff and Magenta both have large fan bases, and not without reason.
Fair for Its Day: The film is very much a product of its time, celebrating the then-recent sexual revolution and what modicum of visibility queer people had within 1970s counterculture. As mentioned on This Very Wiki, the increased awareness of gay and trans rights since 1975 have questioned the film's decision to depict gay people and cross-dressers as literal aliens (an appropriate metaphor at the time, now it feels somewhat backhanded) with some even calling it outright transphobic. A big reason that the 2015 TV version didn't go over too well was because many felt that the producers were merely capitalizing on its legacy despite not truly understanding what it was about.
During Science Fiction Double Feature, Richard O'Brien sings about Flash Gordon being there in silver underwear. Five years later O'Brien went on to play Fico in the movie.
During Dammit Janet, the audience often shouts note As Janet singing to Brad "That you fuck Mom and you blow Dad.". Shock Treatment reveals Harry Weiss to be a Heteronormative Crusader who thinks "Faggots are Maggots" and gets so uncomfortable when gay people are mentioned that he has to leave the room.
"Don't dream it, be it." The actor singing that song would be It fifteen years later.
Its Cult Classic status and rabid fandom are also well-known.
"I got pneumonia." note In an interview for the 40th anniversary on the Today Show, Susan Sarandon says this, and ever since the interview was broadcast, this has become a meme in the Rocky Horror community. For example, some people guessed it was the reason she didn't show up to the Royal Albert Hall 40th Anniversary screening.
A lot of British people like the film due to most of the cast being British. Also, performances of the original stage show (The Rocky Horror Show) are more common in the UK than the US, where showings of the movie with shadowcasts are more common than the stage show.
Despite some of the more dated depictions of queer people, it remains one of the most popular films in queer cinema to this day.
Retroactive Recognition: Among the principal musicians who performed the music for the film is the keyboardist Rabbit, who would later become the touring keyboardist for The Who.
Signature Song: "Time Warp" is the most well known song even among people who haven't seen the movie, with "Sweet Transvestite" coming in second.
So Bad, It's Good: This movie is a textbook deliberate case of this. The plot (such as it is) is very like "Manos" The Hands of Fate (probably unintentional, given "Manos"'s cliched plot and utter obscurity until MST3K found it) with vast galloping amounts of homoerotica thrown in. The characters were, for the most part, based on those of the Bulgakov novel The Master and Margarita - itself a modern masterpiece, partly because all of its failed drama is deliberate. Richard O'Brien intentionally made it this way, as a tribute to the campy sci-fi films of the 50s & 60s (as evidenced by the opening number Science Fiction/Double Feature)
The one real offender is probably the corpse of Eddie under the dinner table, which is pretty obviously a mannequin. It could easily have been avoided if they just had Meat Loaf there in corpse make-up.
You can see the wires pulling Dr Scott's wheelchair up the stairs on his way to the zen room and when the castle blasts off at the end the real castle is visible through the smoke.
The anti-matter effect isn't much more than a sparsely animated flashing light very clearly superimposed over the live-action footage.
It might have been funnier to leave Columbia as a statue. She's treated so poorly throughout the film that getting turned to stone seems like a fitting end to her torment. Of course, that would have meant sacrificing her contribution to the floor show.
The 2015 TV remake is largely a shot-for-shot remake of the original. With the exception of the Usherette character being utilized in the remake, no other elements from the original stage production not used in the 1975 film are presented in the remake. Rocky is even still mute, even though here there's no reason for him to be. Columbia's death is also exactly the same as in the 1975 film.
Values Dissonance: The reason why the film is polarizing in the LGBT community is the fact that Frank is portrayed as a perverted nutjob, something that is viewed today as a very negative stereotype of homo/transsexuals. On the other hand, the film's Be Yourself moral is played straight, and creator Richard O'Brien identifies as nonbinary in real life.
Vindicated by History: A rare example where one could actually see its evolution from a flop B-Movie into a pop-culture behemoth, as the now-famous Audience Participation which has kept it alive all these years started just as the film was finishing its original theatrical run.
The Woobie: Poor Rocky, who appears to be only slightly smarter than your average house pet, goes through a lot of grief in one night without having any idea why. Most fans sympathize very strongly with Columbia, who really gets treated like dirt.