Amber Roth, a sophomore theatre education major at Ball State University, was a freshman in high school the first time she watched a cult classic film. She was in the theater’s dressing room preparing for the school’s production of Snow White.

The student playing the lead in the musical brought her DVD copy of Rocky Horror Picture Show to watch as performers got their hair and makeup done before curtain call. As Amber was in the makeup chair getting her hair curled, she caught a glimpse of the cult film from the corner of her eye.

She was instantly drawn to the film because of how believable the acting was. It made her want to invest her time in the actors and their lives and what they were struggling with. Amber didn’t just sympathize with the film, she empathized with it—she says she related to the characters’ feelings and their struggles.

Amber has been hooked on the genre since then.

Now, five years after seeing Rocky Horror, Amber typically enjoys watching a cult classic film once or twice every other week. Some of her favorites include Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. However, her absolute favorite is still the one that sparked her interest in the genre: the quintessential classic, Rocky Horror. Amber’s love for the genre inspired her to major in theatre education and to participate in a campus Rocky Horror shadow show—a production in which individuals act along with the film playing in the background.

To her, the poor quality of cult films doesn’t matter. She says it’s about the theatrical aspect and bigger message of the stories.  

To continue reading, visit