32. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast – ‘Super Heroes’ (1975)

“I’ve done a lot
God knows I’ve tried
To find the truth
I’ve even lied
But all I know is
Down inside I’m bleeding”

Written by Richard O’Brien

Produced by Lou Adler

Taken from the album The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Original Soundtrack

The Rocky Horror Picture Show represents more to me than just good music and fun, although that is of course a big part of it. It’s also a really disturbing story, one that includes a lot of characters that you form a bond with very quickly, and in the end, well, most of those characters are left either dead or evidently dying inside. That’s where ‘Super Heroes’ comes in, the final number of the musical proper before the reprise of ‘Science Fiction’.

After the castle goes back to Transylvania, Brad, Janet and Dr. Scott are left stunned and in fishnets, as the smoking wreckage flies into space. Think about what they’ve just experienced – confirmation that aliens exist, a complete public exploration of their sexuality, not to mention their faithfulness to each other. To an absolutely haunting – like, it shows up in my nightmares – piano loop, Brad starts, with the verse quoted above. Janet follows.

“And super heroes
Come to feast
To taste the flesh
Not yet deceased
And all I know is
Still the beast is feeding”

‘Super Heroes’ may not make much sense on paper, and I guess the lyrics still don’t put to music, but it is the ultimate conclusion to a scattered, strange story, and puts a suddenly serious spin on what had been a frivolous, half-comedic movie up until then. We’re made to remember that what we witnessed wasn’t meant to be that much of a parody – beneath all the sci-fi and B-movie references there’s a proper story to be told, with a deeper meaning than you might expect. Or, as the criminologist says, in the final spoken lines of the film, and the final verse of ‘Super Heroes’…

“And crawling
On the planet’s face
Some insects
Called the human race
Lost in time
And lost in space
And in meaning”

Audio:

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