on February 15, 2014
This used to cost a fortune to buy.... was a cult favourite in our local Repeatory Cinema... they used to play it at midnight around Halloween. Patrons would dress up like the characters, join in the songs and light lighters at the right scenes... until fire regulations nixed that! :) Tim Curry fans who have seen some of his other movies, like Annie, Muppet Pirates and Fern Gully are in for a big suprise if they haven't seen this one.... this was (in my opinion) his defining role of both his youth and his theatrical versatility.
on June 18, 2013
First off, I've never see this production live, I intend to at some point in my life but have yet to experience it. Secondly, I absolutely am astonished by Tim Curry as an actor, his ability to change personality, character and especially voice is riveting. Thirdly, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of my favorite (if not favorite) musical. It's certainly dark, gritty--sure the plot is far-fetched but for 1975 the songs, the acting and the characters have such charismatic depth and perception which is what made the film so enjoyable. I first saw this at the age of roughly 14-15, I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now at the age of 20. I recommend it, most definitely.
'Michael Rennie was ill, the day the Earth stood still, but he told us, where we stand,
And Flash Gordon was there, in silver underwear,
Claude Rains was the Invisible Man,
Then something went wrong, for Fay Wray and King Kong, they got caught in a celluloid jam,
Then at a deadly pace, it came from outer space,
And this is how the message ran:
Science fiction, double feature.'
The above comes from the opening (sung by disembodied oversized female lips with a male voice) of this completely different musical comedy horror film that's a satirical tribute to science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1970s.
It is based on the 1973 musical stage production, 'The Rocky Horror Show' by Richard O'Brien (who acts in this movie as the character Riff Raff).
The story centers on a young engaged couple Janet & Brad (Susan Sarandon & Barry Bostwick) whose car breaks down near a castle called the 'Frankenstein Place' where they seek a telephone (no cell phones at this time) to call for help. The castle is occupied by Strangers (notice the capital 'S') in elaborate costumes celebrating the 'Annual Transylvanian Convention.'
They discover that the head of the castle is a Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), an apparent mad scientist who is a transvestite. (Yes, that's right, a transvestite mad scientist.) Dr. Furter hails from (you guessed it) Transsexual, Transylvania. (Well, maybe you never guessed it.)
The singer Meatloaf has a small part in this movie as Eddie.
A criminologist (Charles Gray) narrates the story.
The twenty songs found in this movie are quite good and catchy. And Susan Sarandon sings!
When this film was first released, it was largely critically panned. But thanks to 'midnight movies,' this movie now has a large international cult following. (Critics might like to know that this movie has earned almost one hundred times its original budget!!)
Not surprisingly, this movie was selected for preservation on the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress on 2005.
Finally, the DVD itself (the fortieth anniversary edition released in 2015) has six extras. One of the extras gives you a choice between the U.S. or U.K. version of this movie. The movie on this disc has been digitally remastered meaning that there are no blemishs or artifacts.
In conclusion, if you're looking to view something completely different, this is the movie to get!! And what's the lesson learned from this movie? One possible lesson is:
'It's not easy having a good time.'
(1975; 1 hr, 35 min excluding end credits; wide screen, 35 scenes)
<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>
on September 21, 2012
This is undoubtedly one of the canniest, cheesiest, corniest, funnest, and loads of other "ests" movie ever created. And if you haven't had the joy of live play, this is a great sneak peak for all the virgins still hiding in their cobwebbed corners. If you have been de-virginized and just feel the need to be re-prodded, you can't beat the price! Shame Amazon didn't sell it directly when I ordered but the seller still managed to deliver within the allotted time frame. My son lost his RH virginity to this at home (which he insists was better than being in a room full of virgins) and as disturbing as it sounds, he seemed to really enjoy it. Watch it over and over...and over again. Might as well give yourself over to absolute pleasure.
Note: I gave this 4 stars because the extras seem a bit buggy. The interviews are great but the audience participation options are tricky. This isn't a seller or site issue. Those were great. This is just a manufacturing or tech problem (the movie itself or perhaps my player refusing to read and react correctly to the options).
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 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.
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.