THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The notorious 1975 rock musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has been a staple of midnight movies since the late 70s. Now it is available on Blu-ray for the very first time. Give yourself over to absolute pleasure as recently engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss get stuck in the rain and end up at a mysterious castle populated by transvestites from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. Brad and Janet have a new sexual awakening as Dr. Frank-N-Furter introduces them to his latest creation.
WHAT I LIKED
I may have never put on fishnets and gaudy make-up, but I have been a huge fan of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” ever since I brought my bag of rice to the midnight movies in high school. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing this film in the late-1980s at the very theater that (at the time) held the record for the longest continual screenings of the film: the now defunct Graceland Theater in Columbus, Ohio.
Aside from the intense taboo nature of this film, which was as politically incorrect as you could get in my high school days, the movie is a hell of a lot of fun for fans of the science fiction and horror genres. It sends up the classics in fantastic ways, paying homage to everything from “Frankenstein” to “King Kong.”
To really have the full “Rocky Horror” experience, you have to see it in the theater with a live shadowcast performing in front of the screen. But as home video experiences go, this is the best way to do so. The new Blu-ray special features include prop cheat sheets, a trivia track, call-back prompts and a picture-in-picture shadowcast performance.
Aside from the whole “Rocky Horror” midnight movie experience, the best part about this movie is the music. The soundtrack is loaded with fantastic songs… and I’m not just talking about “The Time Warp.” Add to this the brilliant cast led by Tim Curry, who was born to play Frank-N-Furter, this new Blu-ray offers the fan and the novice a devilishly fun time.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only problem with this Blu-ray is that there’s no way to bring an encode midnight audience into it so it could join in on the fun in the comfort of your living room.
This Blu-ray book is loaded with fantastic special features, including an import of all the old features from previous DVD and VHS releases. These include commentary by Richard O’Brien and Patricia Quinn, deleted musical numbers and outtakes, the alternate B&W opening of the film, the alternate credit ending and misprint ending, the “Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show” which profiles the 15th anniversary, the “Time Warp” music video and a spotlight on the Beacon Theater in New York.
New special features for the Blu-ray include the pressbook and poster gallery, a spotlight on photographer Mick Rock and his photographs of the film, Rocky-oke sing-along tracks, BD-Live live lookup via IMDb and a lengthy documentary on the auditions and production of the shadowcast for this release.
But the best part of this Blu-ray release is the “Midnight Experience” elements, which were mentioned before. There’s a trivia track, a call-back prompt, prop cues and the picture-in-picture shadowcast performance, all which can be played and toggled throughout the film.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who wants to give themselves over to absolute pleasure.