Reviewed by Heather Wixson
Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Meatloaf, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adam, Peter Hinwood
Directed by Jim Sharman
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
I remember the first time I ever saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was about ten years old and my best friend’s dad took us to a midnight show at this tiny little independent theater in Mount Prospect, Illinois (you know, the kind that still had ashtrays on all the armrests). Being so young, I just remember enjoying the music, the weird people on the screen and because I fell asleep about an hour into it, I obviously missed out on some of the more salacious bits of the movie.
But that first hour was enough to keep me hooked for over 20 years, leading to my attendance at many midnight performances throughout my teens and 20s, and it ended up being the inspiration behind my only tattoo to date, the infamous lips. With that being said, I was beyond stoked to get my review copy because I felt like it was time this monumental film (it is the longest running movie of all time after all) was given a proper Blu-ray release.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the film that defines the term cult classic. Born from a wild and progressive stage play in London, the film opened in September 1975 to some of the worst reviews of the time and while in most audiences, more than half of the viewers walked out, those who stayed behind understood the film’s celebration of open sexuality and individualism, all while introducing people to some of the most iconic movie musical numbers of all time including “The Time Warp” and “Sweet Transvestite.”
From that initial theatrical bombing, a cultish following began for Rocky Horror, with the first midnight shows of the flick coming seven month after the original release. And here we are, 35 years later, and celebrating 35 years of “ultimate pleasure” with the stunning release of the film that gives any fan of Rocky Horror the best release to date.
The restoration of Rocky Horror was taken straight from the original camera negatives and to say that the movie looks stunning on Blu-ray almost feels inadequate. The restoration itself is enough to warrant a purchase, however it’s the special features that really make this a must have for any fan out there.
Not only do you have the choice between watching the US or UK versions (the UK featuring the “Super Heroes” track), you can also watch the original opening sequence in black & white. The B&W is a real treat as it plays up until we open inside the Transylvanian Conventioneers performing the iconic “Time Warp” and gives the film a very cool and almost creepy feeling, a la Night of the Living Dead.
20th Century Fox, keenly aware that most of the fun comes from the interactive nature of Rocky Horror, brings that experience home with the Blu-ray, giving fans a chance to sing along with Rocky-oke as well as The Midnight Experience, which features a picture-in-picture experience of the film, a Prop Box (that signals when you should throw your rice, shoot off your water gun, and throw your toilet paper just to name a few) and a killer trivia track that is bound to offer some surprises for even the most devout of the Rocky followers.
More gems to this 35th anniversary edition of Rocky Horror are the alternate endings with the mythical misprint ending (that I’ve heard about for years but never had actually seen) and the stunning photo gallery featuring the work of Mick Rock. The pictures inside the packaging are slick enough but the ones featured on the disc are the perfect representation of the spirit of the film.
The 35th Anniversary Edition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a must-have for any fan out there. Even though we live in an entertainment culture where it seems live every five years there is a new edition of our favorite movies that seem to get released, what I can say is that this is the definitive release of Rocky Horror Picture Show and you’d be hard pressed to find another from previous anniversary releases that leaves you this satisfied as a fan.
4 1/2 out of 5
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