The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1975
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.66:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Tim Curry ,Susan Sarandon ,Meatloaf ,Peter Hinwood, Charles Gray ,Barry Bostwick
Directed by: Jim Sharman
Music by: Richard O'Brien
Written by: Richard O'Brien, Jim Sharman
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 19, 2010
"There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure."
Fasten your garter belt and come up to the lab and see what's on the slab! It's The Rocky Horror Picture Show Special Edition, a screamingly funny, sinfully twisted salute to sci-fi, horror, B-movies and rock music, all rolled into one deliciously decadent morsel. And now there's even more to make you shiver with antici...pation.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the longest running theatrical release of all time. 35 years after its release, it is still the reigning champ of the cult midnight movie circuit. I had seen it two times before I received this 35th Anniversary edition for review. The first time I was 17. It was a pseudo-date with a super-hottie that I had a year long crush on. She sang the songs, threw rice, danced around the isles and even called Brad an A-hole. She knew it all---I knew nothing and was so nervous that when she tried to get me out of my seat, I just sat there. Needless to say, that was the last date. Damn you Rocky Horror!! (I did sharpen my skills after that and became a legendary womanizer racking up numbers like Wilt Chamberlain and Gene Simmons) The second time was its first American home video release--the 1990 15th Anniversary VHS. I was unimpressed, bored and found it all just plain silly with no real plot. It has been about 18 years since my last viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, did my age at the time play a factor?
The plot is still really a vehicle for decadence, dance and sexually charged musical numbers.Not much more to it really. The whole thing is narrated by a Criminologist played by Charles Gray who introduces us to the square goodie-goodie's, Brad (Barry Bostwik) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), who get stuck in a rainstorm and end up seeking refuge in Dr. Frank-N-Furter's (Played to perfection by Tim Curry) castle. Little do they know, Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite mad scientist alien from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania, is unveiling his newest creation that same evening. Up in the lab, on the slab, we meet his creation, Rocky Horror, a supposed perfect specimen of 'man'. From here Brad and Janet's love, sexuality and life are thrown up in the air as they learn the truth of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, his gang and face their inhibitions.
Deeper down, The Rocky Horror Picture Show seems be be about not judging a book by its cover and opening your mind to everyone and everything. Look, if all it takes is a Transsexual alien to move us all along to a better acceptance of diversity and of different cultures, I'm all for it, but unfortunately it will take a whole lot more. Ironically I don't think the judgmental folk will get more than 20 minutes in before walking out or turning it off. To them I say--open your mind and enjoy the ride, literally. Rocky Horror isn't a great film, it really isn't a good film, but it is a FUN movie! It gets a bit long winded and plods along in the middle, and the musical numbers that start off powerful, catchy and great, lose there hook halfway through as well-- thankfully it picks up again for the finally. I think it is best experienced live surrounded by an audience of red eyed midnight freaks, but it is an interesting experiment on home video.
Rated R for sexual content, adult themes and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and DTS-HD MA 7.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 5.5 mbps.
Fox spared no expense with its 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray release of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fans and Virgins (Rocky Horror speak for one's have yet to experience it) will be impressed with its newly restored 4K/2K master and 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as the original Mono mix. Upon insertion, the Disc gives you the option of the US or UK version. From there you have the option of the original or an alternative B&W Opening sequence. Besides its impressive package of features, the A/V presentation is top-notch. Colors are vivid and natural, with the reds popping off the screen. Flesh-tones are spot-on and the black levels are superb--check out the dining room scene at 1hr 5min. Up close there is a heavy veil of film grain which leads me to believe there is no extraneous image processing, and it is hardly noticeable from a normal viewing distance. The image's detail and resolution do fluctuate a bit, but are over-all impressive for a film of 35 years age.
This DTS-HD Master Audio track is killer. Dynamic and rocking, the music sounded wonderful, on my system. The low end was tight and smooth, and vocals were crisp and clean. The 7.1 mix is a front heavy one, with tastefully used limited ambiance in the rear presentation. I give this mix credit for not over doing the surrounds as this was originally a mono track. There were the moments where I did long for a bit more backbone in the LFE, especially during the thunderous rainstorm. This mix is pretty stellar and any issue of note really would just be nit picking. Put this one in and enjoy!
- Audio Commentary By Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn
- (HD) The Midnight Experience
- (HD) Rocky-oke: Sing It!
- (HD) Commentary By Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn
- (HD) Don’t Dream It, Be It: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part I
- (HD) An-tic-i-pation: The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast, Part II
- (HD) Mick Rock (A Photographer)
- (HD) Mick Rock's Picture Show (A Gallery)
- (HD) Deleted Musical Scenes
- (HD) Outtakes
- (HD) Alternate Credit Ending
- (HD) Misprint Ending
- (HD) Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show
- (HD) Beacon Theater, New York City (10th Anniversary)
- (HD) Time Warp Music Video (15th Anniversary VHS Release)
- 35th Anniversary Book
- BD LIVE
35 years later The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds up to its cult status, for better or worse. I am still a little blah about the whole thing and its appeal, but I did enjoy this viewing more so than before. I do think my age did play a factor not really 'getting' it, and not appreciating the music 20 some years ago. I always wanted more 'horror' from the flick and was not ready for its references to Fay Ray, King Kong, old Sci-Fi flicks and RKO Pictures. I really dug some of the songs now and was blown away by Tim Curry's sexually charged and decadently pitch-perfect job as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Blu-ray's definition and audio capabilities sure did help my Rocky Horror Picture Show experience this time as the movie's look matched its vibe--flamboyant, dynamic and colorful. The supplements are plenty, but it is a bit annoying that you need to connect to BD LIVE to access most of them. Fans will be happy to see the inclusion of two additional musical numbers, "Once In A While" and "Superheroes", which have never before been available! This is a must have for fans and an easy rental recommendation for you virgins out there.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer