REB #32: “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space…and meaning.”

The Criminologist in Rocky Horror

The end of Rocky Horror is perhaps one of the most interesting, provocative mind fraks I’ve ever seen. Indeed, even after seeing it done three different ways (if you count Glee‘s), I’m still not entirely sure what it means.

Frank says something about taking the aliens, and Riff-Raff interjects that only he and Magenta will be going back home – to the planet Transsexual, in the distant galaxy Transylvania. But then there’s the line about transporting all of Earth to Transylvania, so the ending, with Brad and Janet crawling around in fishnets, is kind of confusing. Are they still on Earth? Did they escape the mansion in time for it to disappear and transport to Transylvania, or did Riff-Raff, in fact, move all of Earth to a distant galaxy? I guess the question is did he change his mind? Or perhaps he simply meant that he was going to kill the other aliens first (or at least Frank) before transporting Earth to Transylvania.

In any case, I love an ending that can make me think, and even more so, I love an “unhappy” ending. That’s not to say that everything should end tragically because, while I think happy endings are good for some shows/stories, others require something with a little more meat. More risk.

I have ideas for three different television dramas that each tie together, and each one would ideally end in a similar fashion to Rocky Horror: in a sort of what-the-hell-just-happened kind of way. Back when LOST ended, I was kind of in that mode but not necessarily in a good way. It was such a shocking ending because it seemed like the ending should have been more substantial that it was. With a little time to think about it, I decided that I really did like it; it just wasn’t what I had expected. And I know that ending was incredibly divisive among fans, some of my friends included.

As such, I don’t ever want to end a story quite like that, but it makes me wonder: where do I draw the line? What exactly is it that makes one “frakked-up” story ending amazing and another one bullshit?

Does anyone out there have any opinions? What makes a good story ending? What makes a bad story ending?

*NOTE: This blog entry is syndicated from a blog I had to start for my Electronic Publishing class at U.B. this semester. I may or may not delete the extraneous blog when the class is over, but I thought I would at least give my readers the opportunity to read the contents of that blog indefinitely.

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One Response to “REB #32: “And crawling on the planet’s face, some insects called the human race. Lost in time, and lost in space…and meaning.””

  1. Dick 21-September-2015 at 6:08 am #

    It’s a missheard quote. Rif says they will teleport the entire *house* to Transexual, not the entire *Earth*. As far as I can tell, there is no ambiguity there – the humans are left behind, crawling in the dirt, along with the rest of the planet.

    I guess what makes art truly great is the fact that it really has nothing to do with what the artist intended. It’s all between the piece and the observer.

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