The Rocky Horror Picture Show 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Review: Don't Dream It, Buy It

Celebrating 40 years of absolute madness and mythic pleasure.
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What else can I say about The Rocky Horror Picture Show that hasn't already been said before. It is the greatest midnight movie ever made, the greatest cult film of all-time, and one of the most exhiliateringly strange cinematic experiences I've certainly ever had. However, this classic film does go much deeper than just its weirdness and uniqueness. It is a film that means a great deal to not just me, but the entire LGBT community. The film taught us that being different doesn't make us second-class citizens, it makes us stronger and more human. It was a statement on freedom, sexuality, music, and gender-bending antics that remains completely revelant in the history of film.

Obviously, everyone knows the story, but if you don't, let me enlighten you. Brad Majors and Janet Weiss (Barry Boswick and Susan Sarandon) are a prim and proper married couple whose car breaks down near a creepy old castle where they are met and greeted by Riff Raff (a skeletory Richard O'Brien) who tells them that they arrived on a very :special" night. After they witness a strange and bizarre party where the guests do the "Time Warp" (one of the most celebrated dance moves in pop-culture history), they meet the master himself, the sexually ambigious and flamboyantly androgynous Dr. Frank-N-Furter (an incredible Tim Curry) who is more outrageous and kookier than the entire Addams Family put together. Soon, Brad and Janet are thrown into a world full of trangression, sex, music, and some of the most wonderfully weird characters ever put on screen.

It's not really about the plot, it's really about the music, with super famous songs such as "Sweet Transvestite," "I Can Make You A Man," "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me," "Don't Dream It, Be It," and Curry's teary ballad "I'm Going Home". There is also Meatloaf's wild "Hot Patootie" and the brilliant opening "Science Fiction Double Feature" (complete with very seductive blood red lips). The characters: Frank-N-Furter, Brad, Janet, Riff Raff, Magneta, Columbia, Eddie, Rocky, and Dr. Scott are so integrated in popular culture, that people continue to attend midnight screenings dressed as them. I mean how many other movies have had that particular affect on society? 

Although as a 40th anniversary edition, it isn't particuarly mind-blowing Blu-ray, since the special features have been recycled from the previous 25th and 35th anniversary releases, but they are still really fun and engrossing:

  • There are both the U.S. and U.K. versions (the song "Superheroes" is included in the U.K. version).
  • The Full Midnight Experience: The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture in Picture Show: a live shadowcast presentation with cast members from around the world.
  • Vintage Callback Track (Unrated): this is the original 1983 Par-Tic-I-Pation track provided by Sal Piro, the Fan Club's President. (the subtitles tell when to react)
  • Prop Box: this allows you to toogle through different props and virtually thrown them at the screen.
  • Trivia Track: a pop-up track where you learn about the film, cast, and creators while watching the film.
  • Rocky-oke: Sing It!: Karoke-style lyrics where you can turn off the cast's vocals, and sing the songs yourself.
  • Mick Rock (A Photographer): He is the film's famous on-set photographer who talks about shooting the production.
  • Mick Rock's Picture Show (A Gallery): a photo monage of Rock's best pictures.
  • Audio Commentary with O'Brien and Patricia Quinn ("Magneta", Riff-Raff's sister).
  • The 35th Anniversary Shadowcast: this is a two-part audition process. In part one, the film's biggest fans take part in a fun audition where they try out for the shadowcast. In part two, Boswick is the judge of the audition, where he picks the best people.
  • Vintage feature: pressbook and poster Gallery
  • Vintage feature: two deleted musical scenes and eleven outtakes
  • Vintage feature: alternate B&W opening
  • Vintage feature: alternate credit ending and misprint endint
  • Vintage feature: Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show
  • Vintage feature: Beacon Theater, New York: footage from the 10th anniversary showing
  • Vintage feature: "Time Warp" Music Video¬†
  • Two theatrical trailers

In closing, the Blu-ray is highly recommended. It remains a classic film that teaches us that you don't have to be ashamed to just be yourself. So, "Don't Dream It, Be It! and Let's do the Time Warp Again!!!"

There is also an Ultimate Collector’s Edition (featuring limited edition packaging) that comes with collectible pink surgical gloves, fishnet stockings, and a soundtrack.

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