The Contraption: A Short Film With “Rocky Horror Picture Show” Writer Richard O’Brien

Before writing and starring in cult horror musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, like most actors, Richard O’Brien got his start in short films. This one, called The Contraption, aired on late night cable stations in the ’80s in between full-length features. The film shows a bespectacled man, played by O’Brien, obsessively crafting some kind of contraption in his basement. As he continues laboriously building his device, the dreary music, absence of dialogue, and claustrophobic tight shots create an unwavering feeling of suspense, which all culminates into a bizarre ending with a unique twist. As for O’Brien, he’s gone on to have quite the colorful portfolio, popping up in Flash Gordon to even Spice World. But for most cult movie fans, he’ll still always be Riff Raff.

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