Friends may see me as a hip and also with-it male these days, yet I need to confess that i did have my awkward years. Specifics the years prior to I finally involved know and also love the social touchstone the “The Rocky Horror snapshot Show.”

This most well known of midnight movies remained in its so late heyday as soon as I remained in high school. Ns heard part older children detail their toast-throwing, garter-belt-wearing audience-participation experience at the long-gone Kingston four Cinema. I believe my reaction was, “Say what, now?”

The regional showings moved to the also-now-defunct Terrace Tap home as the 1980s pertained to a close. As soon as I finally got to view it, i wasn"t immediately impressed. The folks law the trademark audience one-liners and follow-along skits — what is now dubbed the “shadowcast” — seemed tired that night, together if lock yelled their classic catchphrases more out of responsibility than enthusiasm. It looked choose the “Rocky Horror” era was over and also done.

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Later, ns was able to capture “Rocky Horror” top top TV, and its charm started seeping in. A local cast put ~ above a full-blown stage production in the early 2000s, and also the campy glory of the all lastly opened as much as me prefer a Transylvania dawn. This days, mine son and I regularly partake that the annual October mega-showing that the movie at the Tennessee Theatre. The “Rocky Horror” era marches on, feather boas intact.

Damian Messer can usually be discovered in the middle of the parade. He’s been going come “Rocky Horror” showings since he was 17 and an initial sneaked into the Terrace madness House.

“I started coming every week, then twice a week,” that says. “One night the actors was a man down. They put me in a funny costume, handed me a laser, and also since climate I have actually never looked back.”

Messer describes himself together “a mountain boy, a geek and a freak.” the has enjoyed one eclectic job in his travels across the land, from gift “God’s Gift to Food Service” to analysis fortunes via Tarot cards ~ above New Orlean’s Jackson Square.

“I did Tarot in drag, and I did punk-rock Tarot,” that says. “These things often intersected. I read Tarot indigenous one finish of the continent come the other, and also all up and down the Mississippi, but new Orleans is the only place it ever paid bills.”

Messer freshly finished a task as “hospice nurse to the bowl Exchange,” and likewise earned his degree in journalism and electronic media.

“My absolute enthusiasm is radio, and also I hope to perform it because that a living someday,” the says. “My consuming avocation is the ‘Rocky fear Picture Show.’”

Messer claims he has actually played every “Rocky” duty over the food of his shadowcast years.

“That walk mean, yes, the I have actually played Magenta v a complete beard,” that says, citing a duty that is traditionally depicted by a woman. “My favorite component to beat is Chucky, the Criminologist, or Crim, if you will. I can inhabit Charles Gray. Every move, every facial expression. And I, in fact, have no neck.”

The Satanic Mechanics consist of the shadowcast because that the annual Tennessee Theatre show. This crew has actually been coordinated in recent years by Rhoda Dairyheir and Jimmy Tucker. I suspect at least one of those name is a pseudonym, however I’m going come roll v it. Messer says they keep a professional and also democratic auditioning process.

“To it is in honest, the Knoxville Satanic Mechanics are the finest shadowcast I have ever before been a component of,” that says. “The biggest part of the is down to Rhoda.”

Messer points to the holistic “Rocky Horror” experience as a creator of community — the elusive facet that i missed the end on in my very own geeky, freaky, hill boy youth.

“I think plenty of LGBTTQQIAAP+ (sic) people suggest to the movie, and the fandom, as a ar where they first felt in ~ home,” states Messer. “I think, i suspect, the the call-and-response aspect of the routine does something come reinforce that sense of community, something pretty deep. My experiences of Rocky space not unique. The movie bring together certain creatures — ‘Creatures of the night.’ It gives a place and also a reason to it is in a freak and get public approval for it.”


Randall’s picks

Oh, Rocky!

The Satanic Mechanics will carry out as a shadowcast for two screenings of “The Rocky Horror snapshot Show comes up following weekend. They will certainly perform, in addition to a cabaret show, at 10 p.m. Friday at The Edge, 7211 Kingston Pike. Then they will execute the annual “Rocky Horror” screening in ~ 11 p.m. Saturday at the Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Happy St. For info on the Tennessee Theatre event, visit

Alive After five 23rd anniversary

The BlairXperience will entertain throughout the 23rd anniversary concert of alive After Five, 6-8:30 p.m. Friday in ~ the Knoxville Museum the Art, 1050 world’s Fair Park Drive. Larry Blair, the the legendary Blair Brothers, and also band will do a range of pop, gospel, R&B, blues and also jazz styles. Admission is $10 in general, $5 because that students through ID, and cost-free for ages 17 and younger. For info, visit

Historic gunfight

The 3rd annual Lineage and Legacy event with incorporate a home tour, refreshments, and a quick play about a deadly 1882 happy Street gunfight. Hours are 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the historic Mabry-Hazen House, 1711 Dandridge Ave. For info, visit


Knoxferatu: An night of quiet Horror movies will offer specifically what the event title says beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in ~ Scruffy City Hall, 32 market Square. The evening will kick off with a collection of silent short films dating ago to 1895. The featured titles space “The Unknown,” a 1927 featuring part of early on film"s most bizarre distinct effects; and also “Nosferatu,” a 1922 adaptation of “Dracula.” admission is $10. Ticket are obtainable via

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ArabFest 2016

The 3rd annual ArabFest will certainly be noon-9 p.m. Friday Oct. 21, and also noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, top top the pedestrian walkway, in between Andy Holt Avenue and Volunteer Boulevard at the college of Tennessee. The festival will market “flavors, sights and also sounds” that the Arabic world, including arts and crafts, food, activities for children and entertainment. The event is presented by the Arab American society of Knoxville.