The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dig out your fishnet stockings. The ultimate cult film has made the jump to HD...

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is undoubtedly the definitive cult movie. Now 35 years old, this film adaptation of Richard O’Brien’s stage musical is more popular than ever, continuing to do big business with its loyal fanbase as it plays at midnight screenings across the US and UK. It probably doesn’t hurt that it’s also a marvellously madcap piece of cinema, packed with outrageous performances, big laughs and catchy songs that stick in your head forever.

Picture: I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing The Rocky Horror Picture Show on a variety of different formats – from DVD and VHS through LaserDisc, TV broadcasts and cinema screenings – and this Blu-ray release trumps them all by a considerable distance when it comes to picture quality. While the film’s visual style is rarely as extravagant as its cast of characters, this beautifully restored AVC 1.66:1 1080p encode certainly knows how to bring the very best out of the images. Fine details, textures and film grain are all present and correct, but it’s the colour saturation that really impresses – just check out check out the vibrancy of Columbia’s gold sequinned top hat and tails during her introduction during the Time Warp in Chapter 7 to see what I mean.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: The Blu-ray’s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix is definitely an improvement on the old DD5.1 remix that appeared on the DVD release. The musical numbers are now much more balanced, with volume levels for the lyrics and instruments being much better matched. That said, the limitation of the original audio elements mean that, outside of the musical numbers, Rocky Horror… remains a very front-heavy affair, with some movement across the L/C/R spread, but little beyond that. For purists, the disc also includes a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 presentation of the original mono mix as well.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Rocky Horror… comes to Blu-ray with a cornucopia of bonus features that still managed to leave this fan slightly disappointed. There’s both the US and UK cuts of the film (the latter with the additional song Superheroes), the option to view either version with the opening in black and white as Richard O’Brien originally planned, an interview with location photographer Mick Rock and a gallery of his iconic snaps and loads of stuff from the old DVD Special Edition (including a commentary, outtakes, deleted musical numbers, featurettes and more).

However, the big addition is the inclusion of a picture-in-picture ‘Shadowcast’ presentation with an accompanying two-part doc about the audition process – which is cute, but doesn’t really make up for the omission of the delightful VH-1 Where Are They Now? feature from the old DVD. And really, would it be too much to ask for a proper feature-length documentary about the making of the film, the play that inspired it and its enduring appeal?
Extra rating: 3/5

We say: Give yourself over to the indecent thrills served up on this wickedly satisfying hi-def platter

20th Century Fox, All-region BD, £20 approx, On sale October 18