Seeing the remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show got me thinking about a musical origin/prequel:
The rulers of the planet Transexual in the galaxy Transylvania dispatch a serious, dedicated but sweet young scientist to the primitive planet Earth.
The Transexuals have noticed that an Earthman, a former high-school science teacher named Dr. Von Scott, has been working on an audio-vibratory, physiomolecular transport device capable of breaking down solid matter and then projecting it through space and — who knows — perhaps even time itself. The young scientist’s mission: find the device and perfect it so that millions of Transylvanians can invade and conquer Earth. Assisting the scientist are two servants, a brother and sister.
After they arrive on Earth, the scientist starts working himself and his servants hard: When they’re not trying to build the transport device, they’re gaining knowledge about Earth by posing as proprietors of a nearby church.
The scientist soon realizes that he doesn’t need Von Scott’s research. He finds his own way to transmit Transylvanians through space — but only a few of them. They leave to find Earthly clothing and transportation (e.g., motorcycles).
As his research goes on, the scientist demands so much of himself and his servants that the pair (who are eager to get him out of their hair) tell him to take a break. Go see a science-fiction double-feature, they tell him. The humans’ idea of aliens and science should give him a laugh.
When he gets to a revival theater for a late-night show of King Kong and I Walked with a Zombie (both by RKO), he stares in fascination at the posters for upcoming monster movies. Then he stops at the snack bar and gets a frankfurter.
The feel of the meat in his mouth is a sensual thrill that he’s never experienced before (a fine opportunity for a song about these strange, new feelings). When he watches the double feature, he doesn’t laugh; the images and stories affect him so deeply that he wants to become a character in the movies. (Brief but triumphant reprise of his song about strange new feelings.)
He returns to his servants with new passions and new demands: transform their spacecraft into a mad scientist’s castle of the type that he saw in the movie posters. They need help, so the scientist (who now calls himself Dr. Frank-N-Furter) goes out in a pickup truck and seduces a tap-dancing street busker named Columbia into joining his unsavory crew.
Back at the castle, Frank renames his servants Magenta (because of her hair color) and Riff Raff (because Frank finds him common and ordinary, a description that Riff Raff resents). While the siblings and Columbia transform the castle, Frank announces a new direction for his research: from space travel to biochemistry, to make a sex monster for his own pleasure.
He orders new equipment and takes a fancy to the delivery boy who delivers it: Eddie, a juvenile delinquent with a naive charm (i.e., he’s rough trade).
Eddie’s receptive to Frank — but Frank, with Riff Raff and Magenta obeying his commands, gets so involved in his biochemical research that he pivots from using Eddie as his lover to using him as a guinea pig for his experiments. Eddie, frightened, writes a note to his uncle, Dr. Scott, warning him of Frank’s evil plans.
Columbia sympathizes with Eddie — after all, Frank has rejected both of them as lovers. In fact, Columbia very nearly loves Eddie. But Eddie locks the door and throws away the key to his heart. (Cue for a sad song by Columbia.)
Despite all of his obsessive work, Frank is getting nowhere in his research — until a small accident gives him his breakthrough. He’s missing just one ingredient: a brain. So he takes half of Eddie’s brain and dumps the rest of Eddie into deep freeze.
Frank contacts the Transylvanians to return for a convention that will celebrate the birth of his new creation. Secretly, though, the resentful Riff Raff has sent a message to Transexual, reporting that Frank has failed at his mission (finding a way to send millions of Transylvanians to Earth).
Meanwhile, a young couple named Brad and Janet are planning to go to the wedding of their friends Betty Munroe and Ralph Hapschatt . . . .