Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show and wind up as captives.
“Shock Treatment” is a 1981 musical film that serves as a spiritual sequel to the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Directed by Jim Sharman and featuring music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien, the film takes a satirical look at media, celebrity culture, and consumerism.
In “Shock Treatment,” the story revolves around Brad and Janet Majors, the central characters from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” who find themselves trapped in Denton, a small town that has been taken over by a television station called DTV. The residents of Denton are obsessed with fame and are willing to do anything to be on television. Brad becomes a contestant on a reality TV show called “Marriage Maze,” while Janet falls under the spell of the charismatic host, Farley Flavors.
The film’s plot is intentionally bizarre and surreal, with exaggerated characters and over-the-top musical numbers. While “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” achieved cult status and has been embraced by audiences worldwide, “Shock Treatment” didn’t receive the same level of recognition or success. It was released with limited distribution and received mixed reviews upon its release.
Opinions on “Shock Treatment” vary among viewers. Some appreciate its unconventional and subversive nature, as well as its commentary on society’s obsession with fame and television. The songs in the film, although not as memorable as those from its predecessor, still showcase Richard O’Brien’s unique style and musical talent. Additionally, the film’s visual style and production design are visually appealing.
However, others criticize “Shock Treatment” for not capturing the same magic and cult appeal of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Some find the storyline confusing and disjointed, and the characters less compelling than those in the original film. It’s worth noting that the absence of Tim Curry, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the first film, is often cited as a significant factor contributing to the mixed reception of “Shock Treatment.”
Overall, “Shock Treatment” is a polarizing film that didn’t achieve the same level of success as its predecessor. It’s a unique and unconventional musical that offers social commentary and satire but falls short in comparison to the iconic status of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” If you’re a fan of cult films or Richard O’Brien’s work, it may be worth watching “Shock Treatment” to form your own opinion.