Super Heroes Cut

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Announcement Ad from LA Times
LA TImes Advertisement for "The Super Heroes Cut" at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles.
‎Within days of The Rocky Horror Picture Show opening at the UA Westwood, producer Lou Adler visited several screenings to gauge the audience reaction. He discovered that in the dark theater, the film's ending was particularly down-beat, and somewhat depressing. At that point, few had seen the movie, so Adler had the ending recut to shorten the song "Super Heroes" and have "The Time Warp" play over the closing credits. The result was exactly what Adler wanted, and had people walking out of the film with a positive beat. Those who began returning for multiple visits began singing and dancing at the end of the film instead of somberly walking out to the depressing "Science Fiction, Double Feature Reprise," describing the cast's downfall. Although the story circulated that the film had been trimmed, there was speculation early on that the entire scene was merely a rumor. In the UK, the film had disappeared in a few short weeks, but the prints remained and were not cut, and later it was determined that there was indeed a U.S. version vs a European version of the film.

In Summer of 1979, all rumors were laid to rest as the film had a limited, 3-week run with a fully restored version playing exclusively at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles. Around that time, The Rocky Horror Picture Show began playing on various cable networks, with a variety of unexplained cuts to the ending. Fledgeling HBO showed a fully restored version of the film, though SelecTV showed a strangely cobbled version with "The Time Warp" playing over the visuals for "Super Heroes." It was also discovered at the time, that a variety of prints were floating around. Different versions existed on 16mm vs 35 mm, and though none actually included "Super Heroes" in theaters, some had "The Time Warp", while others had what was referred to as the "Transylvanian Jam" (the backing music to the "Time Warp" without the vocals) as well as other subtleties, like the credits running next to the globe at the end without the cast pictures.

At the occasion of the film's 10th anniversary in 1985, "Super Heroes" was cut back into the film as part of the mono soundtrack. In 1990, it was restored in stereo, accompanied by "Science Fiction Reprise." From that point forward, the Super Heroes Cut became the more common version of the film, and the up-beat "Time Warp" ending faded into obscurity. The 35th Anniversary edition of the DVD included most of the alternate endings as part of its bonus material.