Many movies were referenced in "The Rocky Horror Show" (1973 original play) and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975 movie based on the musical). The original script was written as a tribute to the horror-B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s. This is a complete list of those references in order of appearance:

References in "Science Fiction / Double Feature"

  • Michael Rennie was ill the day the earth stood still - The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  • And Flash Gordon was there in silver underwear - Flash Gordon (1936)
  • Claude Raines was the invisible man - The Invisible Man (1933)
  • Then something went wrong for Fay Wray and King Kong - King Kong (1933)
  • Then at a deadly pace it came from outerspace - It Came from Outer Space (1953)
  • Dr X will build a creature - Doctor X (1932)
  • Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet - Forbidden Planet (1956)
  • I knew Leo G. Carroll [...] when Tarantula took to the hills - Tarantula (1955)
  • When I saw Jeanette Scott fight a Triffid - The Day of the Triffids (1962)
  • Dana Andrews said prunes give him the runes - Night of the Demon (1957)
  • But when worlds collide, said George Pal to his bride - When Worlds Collide (1951)

The red lips in the movie version are inspired by Man Ray's painting "A l'heure de l'observatoire, les Amoureux" as production designer Brian Thomson disliked the idea of showing clips from the movies referenced in the song.

American Gothic (1930)


The wardrobe of the old man and his wife during "Dammit, Janet" references the 1930 Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic" and the painting itself appears during "Time Warp".

References from The Forms of Things Unknown (1964)

Reference19 Reference20
A coffin unexpectedly appears.

Reference21 Reference22
The Narrator guides the story.

Reference23 Reference24
The heroes drive through a dark forest at night in the rain.

Reference25 Reference26
There is a problem with the car, and the heroes must walk
through the rain until they come upon a strange dwelling.

Reference27 Reference28
A creepy servant answers the door.

Reference29 Reference30
The Scientist arrives.

Reference31 Reference32
The scientist asks the heroes to stay for the night and then goes back up to his lab.

Reference35 Reference36
The servant becomes the master.

Oakley Court


Frank's Castle is actually the Oakley Court, a Victorian Gothic country house overlooking the River Thames at Water Oakley in Bray in the English county of Berkshire. The exterior was used in the filming of a number of films including The Man in Black (1949), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Nightmare (1963), The Old Dark House (1963), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Witchcraft (1964), Die, Monster, Die! (1965), The Reptile (1966), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Projected Man (1967), Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1970), The House in Nightmare Park (1973), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Mutations (1973), Dracula (1973), Vampyres (1974), The Mutations (1974) and Murder By Decree (1979).

References from "Frankenstein" (1931)

Reference01 Reference02
A mad scientist and his servant(s) make a creature.

Reference05 Reference06
The scientist is proud to share his creature with his spectators.

Reference07 Reference08
The spectators are rather scared.

Reference03 Reference04
An old teacher of two characters appears in the castle.

References from "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

The creature is in a tank.

Reference09 Reference10
The creature is covered in bandages.

References from "The Night of the Hunter" (1955)

Reference14 Reference15
"Love" and "Hate" tattoos.

References from "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1932)

Reference16 Reference17
A woman rips part of her clothing to bandage the wounds of a man.

References from "Rope" (1958)

Reference12 Reference13
Dinner is served on a table with a body inside.

Reference33 Reference34
A toast is made to the murder victim.