You think the 47 times you've watched The Godfather is impressive? Kevin Boycik has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show more than 2,000 times, give or take a few dozen, depending on whether you separate the midnight screenings from the home-video viewings from the rehearsal sessions. This weekend, 38-year-old Boycik will celebrate his 25th anniversary as a cast member of Simply His Servants, Cleveland's troupe of Rocky Horror fans who show up at the Cedar Lee Theatre's monthly screenings decked out in fishnets and fright wigs to act out the movie's plot.
More than anyone else in town, Boycik has kept Rocky's cult status alive and kicking its high heels over the past two decades. He first took in a midnight screening of the movie in Columbus, where a family friend took him when he was 13. "I was absolutely hooked," he recalls. "It's more than just a movie for me."
Over the years, Boycik, who grew up in Vermilion, put many miles on his car, traveling across the country to check out his favorite movie and spread the word. At first, he was too young to join the cast of Rocky fans who encourage audiences to do things in a movie theater that are usually frowned upon — like hurling rice at the screen and talking back to the actors. He eventually joined the cast, moving up the ranks until he landed the coveted lead role of Frank-N-Furter and became the head of the local troupe.
Not so surprisingly, considering the number of times he's seen the movie, Boycik actually enjoys watching Rocky Horror. Unlike many people, who consider the 1975 film a cult oddity that must be seen with a group to be appreciated, Boycik thinks the musical — about a transvestite doctor and his castle of freaks — is the best movie ever made. "I'll just sit and watch the movie and study it like the Zapruder film, looking for new details," he says.
Boycik, who recently took a "dream job" at the Cedar Lee as an assistant manager, says his Rocky Horror gig has lasted longer than anything else in his life, including any work he's ever done and his marriage (he met his wife through a mutual friend at a Rocky screening 17 years ago; they've been married for almost 12 years). The movie has become "a way of life," he says. He has memorabilia throughout his Parma home, he watches it on Blu-ray all the time, and he still shows up at every Cedar Lee screening.
But he admits that his responsibility as a dad — he has two young kids — comes before his obligations to Frank, Janet, and Riff Raff.
"If you asked me years ago what's the best age for someone to see Rocky Horror, I would have said 14," he says. "As a parent now? 18."
Photo by William Harris