on November 25, 2002
The audience participation prompter sounds like a bigger deal than it is.. it really only advises on the major prop participation, and is only a few directions scattered throughout the film.
The audio of the audience is much more intensive, but was apparently just taped from a viewing, for a vast majority of it is simply audience members trying to outscream each other with their own lines, which results in a jumble of sounds that I cannot decipher. When they do come together simultaneously, it's great (witty, and great if you're trying to learn), but you have to suffer through the random screaming of inaudible comments to get there.
I have had a major problem with this, which is the features keep turning themselves off. The multi-view experience inevitable shuts off if you try to add anything else (like English subtitles to understand the dialogue during the cacophany). The subtitles and participation prompter also shut themselves off, so that you end up with nothing but the audeience audio time and time again. This has happened on two seperate DVD players, so I would assume it's a problem with the dvd itself.
OTOH, the commentary from the stars makes a unique and entertaining show in and of itself, even to the causal fan.
The cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show looks fabulous re-mastered on blu-ray, and it comes with some fantastic extras, including deleted scenes, commentary, karaoke sing-a-long, both US & UK film versions, and new for the blu-ray, a "midnight experience" which has options of pic-in-pic "shadow" performance, trivia track, and on-screen directions for audience prop and vocal participation. Additionally, there is a brief photo gallery and featurette on photographer Mick Rock, along with doc's on the extensive casting process for the "shadow performers". Not surprisingly, there are noticeable audio fluctuations (between loud musical numbers and softer dialogue), but it's not much of an issue, given the trade-off of worthwhile and interesting extras. Also, the wonderful packaging is designed as a small picture-book disc container. This 35th anniversary blu-ray version of Rocky Horror Picture Show is a must-have for fans.
on October 28, 2003
Ah, yes! How can I possibly forget to provide a Halloween review for one of the greatest cult films of all time? What can I say about "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" that hasn't been said already? I can best describe this as a spooktacular musical extravanganza! A monstrous creation brought to life by genius Richard O'Brian, this movie is a decadent amalgamation of sex, science fiction, and horror. Don't worry about the R-rating, kiddies; "Rocky Horror" is one of the few provacative pictures that doesn't stretch across the borders of bad taste. And of course, the film has become even more incredible thanks to its infamous audience participation. Despite having debuted in theaters way back in 1975, "Rocky Horror's" infectious songs and fashion trends never get old!
Here's a brief synopsis for all you virgins: Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon play Brad and Janet, a pair of wholesome lovers who planned to announce their engagement to their former science teacher, Dr. Everett Scott (Johnathan Adams). But on a dark stormy night, after suffering a flat tire, Brad and Janet enter a castle owned by the film's star, Dr. Frankenfurter (Tim Curry), a delighfully evil scientist/ transvestite from the planet Transexual in the galaxy of Transylvania! Put on your makeup and fishnet stockings! Let's do the Time Warp (again) with creepy handyman Riff Raff (Richard O'Brian), sultry maid Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and rock & roll groupie Columbia (Nell Campbell). Even Meatloaf gets his own rock solo as the Doctor's motorcycling zombie Eddie (a rebel who ends up getting served for dinner!) Let's not forget also that "Rocky Horror's" unforgettable soundtrack and hilarious dialogue are all narrated by the dignified Criminologist (Charles Gray-RIP). This cult film is a must-have for all horror and musical lovers alike! Enter at your risk!
on August 25, 2003
There is one reason why everyone should see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show": it is the best cult film ever made. There are also three reasons why everyone should want to watch it: 1) It is one of the only 'R' rated musicals in existence. 2) It has strong science-fiction overtones. 3) It is very funny. The movie starts Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon (before they were stars) as the recently engaged Brad and Janet. However, they are upstaged in nearly every scene by Tim Curry who plays Frank N. Furter, the mad doctor. The cast delightfully performs many memorable songs including "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and, of course, the "Time Warp". To fully enjoy RHPS, one must not be closed minded or the picture could prove to be quite offensive. Don't think it's gratuitously violent- it isn't. Merely, the situations the characters find themselves in could shock or appall overly sensitive viewers. If you think you won't enjoy RHPS, going to a midnight screening might be your best bet. The live audience participation will guarantee you a good time, despite your opinion of the actual film. So overall, RHPS is quite a good adaptation of Richard O'Brien's original concept, which always honors its roots on the stage.
on May 26, 2003
Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic that has remained a favorite for over 28 years. Dedicated fans still flock to the theatre each Friday and Saturday night dressed as their favorite transsexual. Perhaps it the music and the excitement, perhaps it is that erotica and utter sexuality that seems to exude from each and every cast member. Whatever draws us to Rocky Horror, it has kept us coming back again and again. This film defines decadence, and I think that for millions of people the movie represents the ghost of an entire era. Years ago RHPS was home to a group of virtually homeless people who, at the time, were not accepted by society. Out in today's world if you walk around wearing almost gothic-like makeup and 7 inch stilettos people are most likely to take one look at you and automatically make a false judgement. Whereas, at Rocky Horror, people are most likely to take one look at you and automatically make a judgement if you AREN'T wearing outrageous makeup, racy laungerie, and stilettos. It's both ironic and intriguing, and the thought of theatre virgins getting initiated at their first RHPS viewing always gives me a kick.
For close to two hours the audience becomes the innocent and naive Brad and Janet, and we allow ourselves to partake in the forbidden fruit that is Rocky Horror. A combination of glamour, sex, eccentricity, and hidden meaning is combined altogether to create the story line. If you were to search for a moral hidden in this movie, you would find it during the floorshow scene, where a large portion of the cast starts swimming in a large pool, continually singing: Don't dream it, be it.' This expresses the whole purpose and meaning of the movie. Many people in today's society have fantasies (sexual and nonsexual), but are too afraid to act them out. What makes the characters in RHPS differ from us is the fact that they are not afraid to act out all of their perverse fantasies. They are comfortable with themselves and have no shame, much unlike us (the audience). Also, take notice of the expression, 'Rose tints my world, keeps me safe from my trouble and pain.' Each character repeats this after singing a verse at the floorshow. Perhaps Richard O'Brien was trying to portray to us how everyone has something that they use for comfort, some kind of distraction that keeps them going on when times get hard. At the very end of the movie, the narrator says: 'And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called the human race. Lost in time, lost in space, and meaning.' I believe he is saying that yes, we humans are lost in meaning. We have lost sight of what life is all about, having fun and experiencing it to the fullest extent. Whereas, the transsylvanians have not, because they are enjoying themselves and ignoring all consequence and all rationality. They just do what they do and to hell with what others think, and isn't that the way it should be?
To the untrained eye RHPS appears to be a mindless, immature movie that makes no sense. Those who say that have obviously not looked deep enough into this film. Also, you can't enjoy the movie to its full extent if you take it too seriously. Let yourself go, and have fun with it. That is truly what Rocky Horror Picture Show is all about. Whether you view this timeless story at a theatre, at home, or at a play, you are sure to leave wanting more.
RHPS is neverending, and years and years from now millions will still be viewing it. Any true RHPS fan will tell you that it is our absolute duty to keep the spirit of Rocky alive and to be sure that it is not forgotten, no matter how long it has already been around. There are rumors of a RHPS remake with a new cast. We must protest this and boycott this!!! Rocky just isn't Rocky without Richard, Patricia, Little Nell, etc, and most of all...TIM CURRY! He not only portrayed Frank as dangerous and manipulative, but he made him sensual and completely irrisistable as well. Frank N. Furter is that guy that you know you shouldn't indulge in...but you really, really want to, despite your better judgement.
Without Tim, RHPS would never have made it, and whether you're a fan of Rocky or of Tim or of both, we owe it to him to make sure that it is the movie with the ORIGINAL cast playing every Saturday night, not the new one.
This movie is not just a movie...it is an unstoppable force and it has a true life of its own. 50 years from now (as long as I age well) I'll still be dressing up in my tattered fishnets and ghoulishly seductive makeup, parading down the street to the theatre for yet another night of mindless fun and dancing and laughing, reciting each and every word of Audience Participation and each and every word of the original script...which is memorized easily if you've watched the movie or seen it in public over a hundred times (like me, lol).
Those of you reading this review who have never seen RHPS will think that I'm an obsessive lunatic. However, those of you reading this interview that are true Rocky fans are probably nodding your head and agreeing with every word that I am saying right now ...
I recommend this DVD for anyone who wants to let go and have fun, you are sure to find yourself singing along with all the music. C'mon...there's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure!
on May 13, 2003
I loved going to "Rocky Horror" when I was in college, but watching on home video just wasn't the same. I'm probably committing heresy but there's a reason why this sci-fi, horror, B-movie satire, rock musical didn't really make it big until theaters started showing it as a midnight movie and fans started attending in costume and talking back to the screen. The 25th anniversary DVD, with several audience participation options, really is the next best thing to being there.
For the uninitiated, "Rocky Horror" tells the story of two clean-cut American youths, uptight Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick of "Spin City") and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon of "Dead Man Walking") whose car breaks down on a dark, deserted road in the middle of a storm--the classic beginning to many horror movies--and who seek help at a nearby castle. Castles, as Rocky fans know, don't have phones! What this castle has instead is a cross-dressing mad scientist Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry, in perhaps his finest performance), two very creepy servants, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien, who wrote the musical) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and various other hangers-on, including lovers Columbia (Little Nell) and biker Eddie (Meat Loaf). Brad and Janet walk in on a party celebrating the creation of Frank-N-Furter's muscle-bound boy-toy "Rocky." Bed-hopping chaos soon ensues, until the servants reveal their true identities and take control.
Punctuating this wacky plot are some of the wildest rock-musical songs ever written. In addition to the classic "Time Warp," there's O'Brien's salute to cult-classic B-movies, "Science Fiction Double Feature," Meat Loaf's "Hot Patootie," and Sarandon ode to sexual self-discovery, "Toucha Toucha Touch Me!"
So much for the "Rocky virgin" portion of the review... What makes the DVD so exceptional is the chance to experience "Rocky Horror" at home nearly like you would in the theater. The DVD has the option of turning on the audience screen comments as well as another option for viewing members of the Rocky Horror Fan Club performing select scenes before returning to the main movie. For those less familiar with audience participation, the DVD can prompt when to throw toast, toilet paper, rice, etc., light a match, put your newspaper on your head, etc.
The second disc contains fascinating interviews with cast members, where fans can find out about their reaction to starring in this cult classic. Meat Loaf's description of not realizing what "Rocky Horror" was going to be about and running out of the theater when Tim Curry entered wearing fishnet stockings, spiked heels, a merry widow, and a leather jacket and singing "Sweet Transvestite" is hysterical. Patricia Quinn talks about how her fondness for the opening song, "Science Fiction Double Feature" made her want to take the role even though she hadn't read the rest of the script. What? Don't remember Quinn singing that number? In the stage versions she did, but the song got reassigned in the film version--and Quinn makes her feelings about that QUITE clear. Sarandon makes the interesting observation that "Rocky Horror" probably kept a lot of art house theaters in business over the years, since they could count on good revenue from the midnight movie, even if the latest regular-hours offering flopped. In Bostwick's interview, however, the actor sounds a bit like William Shatner giving his anti-Trekkie diatribe on "Saturday Night Live."
The only disappointments on the DVD are that the outtakes really aren't that interesting and actor bios aren't provided. I would have liked to see what else the "minor" cast members did after Rocky, but that information is limited to a few lines in the companion booklet. Also, some of the audience-participation comments are nearly impossible to understand because fans are talking over each other. But then that's part of the modern-day theater experience. Even Sarandon noted in her interview that talking back to the screen has gone from the more unison catechism approach to a loud free-for-all.
What seemed so risquÃ© and shocking a few decades ago seems much more innocent today, but it was great when it all began and it's still great! If you've never ventured into the theater to experience "Rocky Horror," this is the best way to experience it at home.
on November 1, 2002
"Rocky Horror Picture Show" is one of the best cult classics of it's time.
Originally this movie started out at a play over in Europe staring a small cast of characters and a very dedicated audience.. Then one day the play director (you will see him as rif raff) decided that he wanted to pass this truelly magnificient gift on to others.. Thus was born "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".. When it first came out it bombed badly.. So Bad that it was taken out of the theatres faster then it was placed in them..
Then one night a group of people went to a theatre manager and asked that Rocky be played at midnight.. and WHAM!! The craze was born.. and the shows went on..,.
What is all the excitement you ask? Simple.. this movie is a fun spoof on all those olde sci-fi movies that featured outerspace creatures, sex, and strange going on's.. With the excitment of a full broadway musical with such songs as "Dammit Janet", "Time Warp", "Sweet Transvestite" and many many many more songs that lend to the whole ambience of the film..
The acting is not the best but, is carried of quite well by Tim Curry (Dr. Frank-N-Furter), and Susan Sherandon (Janet)..
And if you are trying to find the best version of the film to get make sure you get the ones that feature the deleted scenes and the alternate endings.. You will wonder why they ever took them out..
on October 28, 2002
From absolute disaster to international success, few titles have had the roller-coaster ride of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Originally a low-budget English stage show, it exploded into mainstream popularity and became one of London's longest running musicals--but then died a quick and very painful death in New York. As an afterthought, the American company played a limited engagement in Los Angeles and once more the show was a smash hit and soon became a motion picture--which received mixed reviews and proved a box office dud. That probably would have been the end of it, but the film suddenly and unexpectedly emerged as a cult movie phenomena and ascended to international acclaim.
The story is well known. All-American Brad Majors and Janet Weiss become engaged and rush to tell their mentor, Dr. Everett Scott. But they take a wrong turn, have a flat, and suddenly find themselves captives of a bisexual transvestite from outer space who is intent on making the perfect boy-toy lover from scratch. Although the material was considerably softened for the screen, even today it remains surprisingly sharp, and the film contains numerous references to the classic Hollywood horror films that inspired it. The cast, most of whom played in the stage versions, is truly astonishing. Tim Curry was little known when the film was made, but he shows tremendous talent in the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter, the bisexual transvestite from outer space; his performance is a remarkable combination of broad farce, sensuality, and dark wit. While Curry is certainly the show's centerpiece, the rest of the cast is equally effective. Both Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon are beautifully cast as the goody-goody Brad and Janet; Richard O'Brien (who wrote the stage show), Patricia Quinn, Little Nell, and Meatloaf all give memorable turns as the mad doctor's bizarre associates; and character actors Johnathan Adams and Charles Gray offer considerable drop-dead wit in supporting roles. Only Peter Hinwood seems out of his league, selected more for looks than talent--but strange to say, this actually works in the context of the film.
If you've only seen this film at an audience-participation showing, you're in for a surprise: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is wickedly funny, something you're likely to miss when every one in the audience is screaming at the screen. Although the material was toned down for the movie--song sequences were rearranged, lyrics rewritten, and script and characters softened--the whole thing still has plenty of bite. The story, of course, is intrinsically subversive; the script has a uniquely British sensibility; and the songs are catchy, bouncy, and frequently have lyrics that are very clever in an underhanded sort of way. This double DVD release offers two versions of the film: the American release and the British, the latter of which is slightly different and includes the song "Superheroes." It also includes a version that offers "prompts" for audience participation and a version that shows the audience in action. There are also a mixed bag of videos, interviews, and the like. I was not greatly impressed with the bonus package--it seemed to me that it was all pretty obvious stuff--but most fans will find something to enjoy. Whatever the case, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW has a lot more going for it than cult status; it's a good film in its own right. Recommended.
on January 13, 2002
More turns out to be less in the case of this double DVD edition of 1975's "Rocky Horror Picture Show," a charming if innocuous and uneven spoof of horror and sci-fi B movies with a rock n' roll, gender-bender twist. The whole point of the Rocky Horror phenomenon was the participatory role of the audience, not the movie, which is as much of a period piece as the movies it attempts to send up. The extra disc in this set includes a lengthy, turgid, humorless documentary about the making of the play and the movie, with interviews of the director, writer, producer, and various actors--practically everyone associated with the show except the most important contributors--the audiences whose "appearances" in the production easily exceeded those of the actual performers.
We are unlikely to witness anything like the Rocky Horror cult phenomenon again. In Western theater as well as mainstream movies the role of the audience is generally passive, isolated, private and voyeuristic. Only in the Dionysian theater of ancient Greece or the cult rituals described by Antonin Artaud in "Theater and Its Double" do we learn about a kind of theater that amounted to a communal celebration of the daemonic, a liturgical worship with the audience as active celebrants. But "Rocky Horror" rewrote the rules or, perhaps more accurately, the audiences themselves invented a new form of movie, in effect "producing" the 20-year-run of a happening known, for lack of a better title, as the "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Throw away the documentary disc and set the movie's alternate sound track to "audience," easily the feature that makes the DVD the one to own rather than the VHS version. Now what you have is at best a reminder of a singular party that ended the instant it became a mass-produced commodity.
on September 18, 2001
"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey." To describe The Rocky Horror Picture Show as "a strange journey" is putting it mildly; RHPS is a full-on cinematic adventure blending comedy, raunchiness, science fiction, and addictive musical numbers. While not as shocking to today's audiences as it must have been to its first viewers in the 1970s, RHPS still packs in plenty of sex, laughs, and rock 'n' roll.
RHPS has something for everyone. Who can resist a movie starring Tim Curry as a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania who creates lovers during his spare time like an erotic Dr. Frankenstein? Can anyone keep himself/herself from dancing the Time Warp or singing along to such show-stopping musical hits like "Toucha-Toucha-Toucha Touch Me," "Damnit Janet," and "Hot Patootie?" For ladies like myself, this movie contains a wonderfully muscular stud named Rocky clad only in a little gold speedo and matching boots. For the men, a very young Susan Sarandon parades around in her bra and undies. Toss in a hilariously nonsensical plot, plenty of places for audience participation, memorable catch phrases, and a cameo by Meatloaf... Who could ask for more?
The 25th Anniversary DVD contains plenty of extras that any RHPS fan will love. You get interviews, different movie viewing options, an awesome screensaver, and more. Don't forget to search for the hidden "easter eggs" on this 2-disc set. You'll love this movie, and be prepared to buy the original soundtrack!