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A new Time Warp DVD has even more for fans of Picture Show

( The Dallas Morning News )

Al Brumley / Staff Writer; 09-29-2000
DVD TALK

Christmas might have come early for the good folks at Dalworth Carpet Cleaning.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has landed on DVD.

Come Tuesday, the film that put the "er" in terror and made midnight movies a national pastime will be inviting fans to throw rice and squirt water on their own floors for a change.

Fox has put together a loaded package worthy of the longest-running picture of all time. It will not only answer questions for the uninitiated and half-interested, but also could possibly even be of use to longtime audience members who worship at the altar of Richard O'Brien.

(Said audience members should skip the next few paragraphs or risk damage to precious optic globes from incessant eye-rolling.)

Mr. O'Brien, who plays Riff Raff, wrote the original play's book, music and lyrics in the early '70s on a lark. It was performed in London at the Royal Court's experimental Theatre Upstairs, a 60-seat venue.

But it garnered such wild reviews that it soon moved to the 500- seat King's Road Theatre. Producer Lou Adler brought the play to the United States and then put it to celluloid with first-time director Jim Sharman. The film opened, closed, hit the midnight-movie circuit and has been there since. Basically, Rocky Horror is Mr. O'Brien's ode to '50s sci-fi schlock, musicals and transvestites.

Brad and Janet, two really nice all-American kids, find themselves stranded with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Through the pouring rain, a light from Dr. Frank N. Furter's castle shines through, and the games begin.

Less basically - but maybe one reason the movie has stuck around so long - are its undertones of dark vs. light; straight vs., oh, let's say crooked; middle-America white-bread naivete vs. the fringe. And in this movie, the fringe wins. Frank might get his in the end, but Brad and Janet will stagger home in their fishnet hose, high heels and pancake makeup with a lot of thinking to do. Well, and then there's the music, much of which was written long before Mr. O'Brien conceived of a golden, muscular man-child imbued with artificial life named Rocky Horror.

Mr. O'Brien admits this on the DVD's commentary track, one of the set's best features. "I used to bore ... people singing my songs, you know," he says. "And they used to go home going, [sarcastically] 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.' And when this of course happened, they were going, 'I was there, of course, you know, I heard that song in the early days!' It's strange how things change, isn't it?

He's joined on the track by Patricia Quinn, who plays his incestuous sister Magenta. They have a great time remembering old friends - many of whom have seen their last picture show - but Ms. Quinn has a bad habit of stepping on Mr. O'Brien's lines.

Still, they tell some great stories, as when Mr. O'Brien had to scour the gyms looking for someone beefed-up enough to play Rocky. "In those days," he says, "everybody wanted to look done in, you know. They wanted to look like they'd been drinking with Peter O'Toole...."

Other features include deleted scenes, excerpts from a VH1 special, a 30-minute documentary, the extra song from the British version and a function that lets you watch certain scenes being performed live at a midnight screening of the film.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

B+

Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell, Peter Hinwood, Charles Gray and Meatloaf. Directed by Jim Sharman. Rated R (brief nudity, language, strong sexual content). $29.98. 98 min. Release date: Oct. 3

Al Brumley / Staff Writer, A new time warp DVD has even more horrors for fans of Picture Show. , The Dallas Morning News, 09-29-2000, pp 9J.



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The Richard O'Brien Crusade est. 1996