Original Theatrical Version runs 100 mins.
Re-released U.S. Version runs 98 mins.
To write a review for one of the greatest and most important films in cinema history is never an easy task. To write a review for a film that has been a major part of my life since I was in middle school is even harder. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a film that has embedded itself so deeply in the world around us that it would be impossible to imagine a world without it. The film has such a power to it that no other film can ever hope to achieve. The film brings so many different people together from all walks of life. To all those who are a part of the ever-growing Rocky Horror community, or family, you know what I'm talking about!
The story is pure camp. A young engaged couple, one dark, rainy night, in the middle of nowhere, meet up with a strange crop of people who turn out to be from another world, and their leader is a mad scientist who is on the verge of completing his greatest creation. The film's creator, Richard O'Brien, borrows from many different science fiction/horror films from the days of yore, yet me makes everything feel fresh, no matter how many times you watch it. There are plenty of movie references for someone like me to geek out over!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show began its life as a stage production in London in 1973. It was a small affair that grew on word-of-mouth. It was taken to Los Angeles, where it had another successful run. In 1975, a failed attempt at a Broadway production preceeded the unsuccessful initial theatrical run of the film version. Sure, Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, and Meat Loaf are all big names now, but who were they in 1975? The film had no stars and was a strange film to advertise. It's pretty easy to see why audiences around the globe didn't take to it at first. Twentieth Century Fox was about to lock it in the vault when the extraordinary happened: various theatres began showing the film at midnight on weekends, and audiences began showing up dressed as the characters, shouting lines at the film, throwing things in the theatre at specific times, and even gathering people to act out the film in front of the screen. Similar "audience participation" had happened at the London and Los Angeles stage productions, as well. Ever since then, the film has enjoyed a non-stop theatrical run, as "virgins" are pulled into its irresistable charm.
Now for the true nerd in me to come forth!
To the untrained eye, there are two versions of this film: one with the first two verses of the song "Superheroes" and one without them. In reality, there are many different versions of the film:
What is worth mentioning, though, is my strong recommendtation to avoid the 2010 blu-ray release of the film. Why? Let me explain.
It seems to me as though the workers at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment kind of fell asleep at the wheel, so to speak, in the creation of the blu-ray release of the film. The problems with the color tinting could be the result of allowing a computer to "auto color correct." Whatever restoration technique they may have used on the film, it might have read the blue and pink tints to be a flaw on the film and corrected them. However, the pink tint on Janet's bedroom scene is still there! Weird. As for the other issues, I have no freaking clue what was going through their heads. Like I said, stay away from the blu-ray release of the film. I highly recommend buying the 2000 "25 Years of Absolute Pleasure" DVD.
Many Rocky purists will tell you to go see it in a theatre for your first time. I'm not one of them. Sure, that may be the best way to experience the film, but there is so much going on all around you in the theatre that you may not be able to actually understand what's going on. I say, watch the film at home, by yourself, the first time. Then, let your hair down, pull your stockings up, and "Give yourself over to absolute pleasure!"
Original thearical aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Rated R for strong sexual content, some violence, and brief language.
Original Musical Play, Book and Lyrics by
Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien