The Rocky Horror Picture Show [Blu-Ray]

Jim Sharman

BY Michael EdwardsPublished Nov 19, 2010

There was a time when The Rocky Horror Picture Show was the archetypal cult movie. It was only possible to see it at midnight showings in movie theatres located in the worst parts of town, yet people would make that trip week after week, dressing up as their favourite characters, armed with bags full of props to throw at the screen at the appropriate moments. Skip to 2010 and it has become such a widely recognised part of pop culture that it inspired a very special episode of Glee just in time for Halloween. Yet in 1975, when it was originally released, it wasn't particularly well received. The mix of science fiction and horror movie parody, re-imagined as a hedonistic rock musical, took some time to find an audience, but when it finally did, it never looked back. It has dated well, with a universally splendid young cast, especially Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and once it gets to its signature musical number, "The Time Warp," the film hurtles along nicely from song to song before reaching its tender climax. There's a reason people are willing to watch it ad nauseam: it's a very entertaining film. The movie looks as good as a 35-year-old film can, and the colourful, over-the-top nature of the sets and costumes stand out in this newly restored version. It isn't perfect, with some dirt and graininess in the darker scenes, but it looks much better than it has. The original was presented in mono, so the addition of a new DTS-HD 7.1 track is a big surprise, especially as it sounds so good. Also, when it comes to sound and vision, this is the ultimate version of the film. The disc is packaged in a hardcover book filled with movie stills and other promotional pictures. There are a whole bunch of recycled extras from the 25th Anniversary DVD, including a chatty commentary track with Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn, deleted scenes and musical numbers, and a documentary on the history of the film, although some cool extras from the double DVD are disappointingly left off. The new extras are focussed on Blu-Ray capabilities, making it possible to watch the movie with multiple windows that contain trivia, the standard audience participation responses, interactive props to "throw" at the screen and a "shadowcast" with fans lip-synching and acting out the entire movie. Switching on all four windows almost blocks out the main feature, so restraint is advised. Add to that a one-hour documentary on the selection of the shadowcast participants, an absolutely essential karaoke track and some other bits and pieces, and this is a great upgrade for fans of the most popular cult movie around.

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