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Blu-ray Review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
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Rocky Horror Picture Show Blu-rayThe Rocky Horror Picture Show
35th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Jim Sharman
Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 19, 2010

It was great when it all began
I was a regular Frankie fan

Now Frankie fans can rejoice, because The Rocky Horror Picture Show is out on Blu-ray and there’s loads of features that will make you feel like you’re back in the theater, shouting along to the 1975 cult classic.

From the beginning, fans of the horror rock musical would flock to midnight showings dressed as the characters and act out scenes along with what was playing on the screen. There was also extensive ad-libbing, as well as the 4D-type experience: throwing rice during the wedding sequence; holding up a newspaper during rain scene. It’s these little touches that have been passed along for over three decades that make the film so special.

So, you might ask, why buy the Blu-ray when the real experience is seeing it in the theater amongst with other fans? Aside from the obvious issue of there possibly not being a screening near you, along with seeing it in high definition, there’s also the fact that the movie holds up all on its own. It’s got great rock and roll tunes, a wacky scifi/horror element, and of course, that flamboyant, yet sweet transvestite Frank-N-Furter, played marvelously by Tim Curry.

As a teenager, I’d go to the midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show all the time with my friends, some of whom were part of the costumed stage show. It was always a great time, but for the better part of the last two decades, I’ve watched the film at home on DVD. A great new addition on this Blu-ray release is The Midnight Experience, a set of features that allows you to do your own at-home audience participation. This was great fun for me, as it brought back a lot of memories, but I’d imagine that if this is a movie you always heard about, but have never seen, this would be a prime opportunity to get in on the old action.

On a rainy night, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and his fiancee (Susan Sarandon) find themselves stranded and lost after their car gets a flat tire. In the darkness, they head towards a light coming from a castle in the distance in hopes of using a phone to call for help. When they arrive at the residence, they’re met by a group of bizarre people attending an Annual Transylvanian Convention, led by a transvestite mad scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry). Soon, the young naive couple find themselves witness to the scientist’s creation and spend the evening encountering much more than they could have possibly antici…pated.

The film might come across peculiar to you virgins (those who’ve never see Rocky Horror), but don’t be scared off. We were all newbies once, too.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Blu-ray

Special Features

This 35th anniversary Blu-ray edition has amazing bonus features, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed and are a must-watch for any fan of the film, especially those like me who used to go see it at movie theater midnight showings. With that, my only grip about this area of the disc is that at first I had no idea HOW to access all these bonus features listed on the back of the Blu-ray cover. There’s a section labeled EXTRAS, but when you click on it, it only gives you the option to view the alternate black-and-white opening. I played around with this for a long time, until I just shut it off in frustration and took to Twitter to ask if anyone knew how to access these features. So, I have Brian Truitt to thank for suggesting I play around with the arrow buttons on my remote, which worked. But, it’s totally not easy to navigate at all unfortunately.

Option to play the U.S. version or the UK Version.

* Restored Picture – Brand New 4K/2K Master From The Original Camera Negatives

The Midnight Experience

This whole area is filled with options for you to select to simulate the experience of seeing it at a movie theater with die-hard fans who know the drill. You can select all 4 features at once or a combination of them. This Midnight Experience special feature is worth the price alone of getting this new Blu-ray edition. The only issue with this area of the Blu-ray is that the on-screen instructions are small and very difficult to read, especially since images are continuously shown behind the words.

– Trivia Track
This is a pop-up trivia track, so as you watch the film, facts and tidbits relating to the movie come up in the top left corner.

– Vintage Callback Track (Unrated)

When shown in movies theaters, audiences have sayings they shout out. Sometimes it’s simply dialogue from the film, but for the most part, it’s responses to what’s happening on screen. If you select this feature, then the classic callbacks appear in the top right of the screen for you to shout out. It’s the second best thing to actually being in the theater, and even better if you’re watching with a group of people who’ve seen it in the theater and remember these classic lines.

– Prop Box

This is an incredibly adorable feature option; it allows you to virtually throw items at the screen. At the bottom left corner are items like playing cards, bells, and more that you can select and then hit ENTER to have them ‘thrown’ at the screen. If you can’t see the film in a movie theater with die-hard fans, then this is the way to go.

– The Late Night, Double Feature Show Picture-in-Picture
When this feature is turned on it brings up a picture-in-picture window on the bottom right portion of the screen. Playing in the window is a stage reenactment — what’s called a “Shadowcast” — with people in costume with stage scenery acting out the film. This was also something that would occur during midnight shows of the film. These are people who were selected to do this performance specifically for this 35th anniversary home video release. There’s even a part when Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in the movie, shows up to meet the people auditioning and give them advice. In the second part, Barry Bostwick, who plays Brad, reviews the audition tapes and helps to choose who’ll be selected.

* BD-LIVE: Live Lookup™ Powered by IMDb®

Rocky-oke: Sing It!

Footage of 18 musical numbers from the film are played with sing-a-along words provided at the bottom of the scene so viewers can sing with it. The words turn red to indicate the rhythm of the song (think ‘bouncing ball’), which really helps, although if you’re already a big fan, you already know what and how to sing the words. There’s two ways to use this feature: with vocals, so it’s just like you see in movie; without vocals, so you can sing it yourself without the vocals from the movie. A very cute feature played either way and would be fun to put on if you had a party and want your guests to sing along.

The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast

– Don’t Dream It, Be It: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part [30 minutes]
– An-tic-i-pation: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part II [28 minutes]

A two-part documentary about the people who auditioned for the Shadowcast being filmed specifically for inclusion in this 35th anniversary Blu-ray release. We meet a lot of the people who wanted to be involved in this Shadowcast, all of whom are major fans of the film, and get to see their audition footage.

— Mick Rock (A Photographer) [3:36]
An interview with Mick Rock, who was on set taking photographs while the movie was being made, and did set-up photos with the actors in specific scenarios.

— Mick Rock’s Picture Show (A Gallery) [3:50]
This is a gallery of images taken by photographer Mick Rock. The images automatically play in slideshow mode, which is much better than having to click through like on most DVDs. If you want to take a little longer to view a photograph, you can just hit Pause on your remote.

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED BONUS FEATURES

— A Few From The Vault (MAIN CATEGORY)

– Deleted Musical Scenes

There’s 2 deleted musical scenes
– “Once In A While”: A ballad that Brad sings in his room while a montage of scenes with Brad and Janet are shown. Not a very good song, so it’s no surprise this didn’t make the final cut. It would probably slow up the film and bring it down a bit had it been included.

– “Superheroes”: A group song from the end of the film that Brad and Janet sing while they’re in mime face make-up and black corset. This was not in the U.S. version of the film.

– Pressbook Gallery [NEW to Blu-ray]

For this feature, which is of the pressbook for the film, you have to use the buttons on your remote to zoom in to read the articles or see the images close up.

– Poster Gallery [NEW to Blu-ray]

A gallery of posters for the film; gallery plays automatically in a slideshow view. There’s not many posters, so it only takes 25 seconds to go through this section. You can pause it though if you want to look on a poster longer.

– Theatrical Trailer 1 [0:30]

– Theatrical Trailer 2 [2:59]

– Outtakes [10:02]
There’s 12 outtakes from the movie where we see classic moments from different views while they were being filmed, like the Time Warp number and the Janet bedroom scene.

– Alternate Credit Ending
Plays an instrumental (the U.S. version this replaces with Time Warp).

– Misprint Ending
(last scene of the film before credits roll).

– “Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show” (1995) [36:25]
Richard O’Brien interview footage from 1995. O’Brien talks about his idea for the musical and how it first was created as a play. Other actors from the original stage musical, including Patricia Quinn who later appeared in the film as Magenta, talk about how they got involved in the production. There’s also interviews with set designers and other people involved in the original stage show, who also went on to work on the film.

– Beacon Theater, New York City (10th Anniversary) [5:26]
A featurette about the 10th anniversary special showing of the film at New York City’s Beacon Theater. Fan club president Sal Piro talks a little about the movie; there’s also footage from the event, which shows the audience participation.

– “Time Warp” Music Video (15th Anniversary VHS Release) [4:41]

Footage from a film screening of the “Time Warp” sequence with on-stage audience participation.

— Alternate Black-and-White Opening
This is the classic “singing lips” opening with the “Science Fiction/Double Feature” song, except its in black and white. When you select this mode, you can watch the entire film in black and white as well.

— Audio Commentary by Richard O’Brien and Patricia Quinn

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