Shock Treatment - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shock Treatment Reviews

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November 26, 2016
Unnecessary (s)equal to Rocky Horror. Feels very familiar to RH, same type of songs written by Richard O'Brien. Not horrible, but not great either.
November 5, 2016
A bit of a black sheep in the cult musical genre, but so much god damn fun! On par with its much more famous older brother in terms of sheer inventiveness and campy joy.
September 7, 2016
30 years later, this grossly misunderstood film, widely dismissed as a misfire back in 1981, seems more like its creator's earnest attempt to warn us of some impending doom. Like an accidental prophecy of our bleak broadcasting future, with a touch of dark humor, SHOCK TREATMENT plays like someone woke up from dreaming the real horrors of American Reality TV, 30 years ago, and then tried to jot down their visions before they could forget them. If Anthony Burgess ever wrote a Game Show, I imagine it would have went something like this. Denton really is America's Truth - The Home of Happiness indeed. God help us. It's messy but its meta-weird, fun, and surprisingly intellectual stuff.
½ August 17, 2016
I wasn't a huge fan of this one when I first checked it out, possibly because I was so sold on the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I have to say that upon the subsequent revisits, this has grown on me a great deal, and I no quite enjoy most of the songs, even if the story itself isn't quite as strong as you might prefer.

I'd definitely suggest giving it a rental, just to see what's up, maybe you'll surprise yourself (like I did) and get into it in spite of yourself.
February 25, 2016
This movie doesn't stand up to Rocky Horror in any way but I still enjoyed it. Some on the songs were decent (Denton USA, Shock Treatment and Look What I Did To My ID) and the costume and set design was great. Richard O Brian said that it was 'ahead of its time' and it was. It did predict tv nowadays!
February 19, 2016
More to say then is given credit for. Through the years I have come to actually appreciate this film more than Rocky Horror.
½ April 1, 2015
An equal, NOT a sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show that is just as weird, wacky and fun. Shock Treatment. a film that was way ahead of its time, is work of artistic genius. True Rocky Horror fans will appreciate the continued wacky misadventures of Brand and Janet in Shock Treatment.
February 6, 2015
After the success of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), creator Richard O'Brien reunited with co-writer Jim Sharman to do a follow-up, rather than making a sequel, they made an 'equal'. It was a troubled production, when the Screen Actors Guild went on strike, the production was downscaled and moved from America to London, and confined to a soundstage, which gives it an edge. Set in Denton, USA. Married couple Brad and Janet Majors (Cliff De Young and Jessica Harper) are invited to take part on Denton TV's new game show Marriage Maze, hosted by blind Viennese psychopath Bert Schnick (Barry Humphries). Brad is committed to Dentonvale, an insane asylum ran by Cosmo and Nation McKinley (Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn). Janet is groomed for stardom and world domination, while Brad is locked in a cell. Meanwhile, Denton Dossier hosts Betty Hapschatt (Ruby Wax) and Judge Oliver Wright (Charles Gray) investigate who the McKinley's really are, and who has orchestrated this whole wicked scheme. On a visual level, it looks brilliant and the sets are absolutely vivid, and the songs are top notch too. But, it's absolutely insane, and half the time you really don't know what on earth's going on, but that doesn't seem to matter. It's a mad satire on American culture and TV shows. Plus, look out for a young Rik Mayall as Rest Home Ricky.

Here's something you ain't NEVER seen before, a SEQUEL, (or if you will, "equal" to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975))!! This time, it's set in a TV studio, and has Brad and Janet (this time played by Cliff De Young and Jessica Harper), being tra...(read more) pped in a nightmarish game-show-come-reality-TV show, run by doctors Cosmo and Nation McKinley (Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn), and blind Austrian game show host Bert Schnick (Barry Humphries!!) Visually, it looks brilliant, the songs are top notch too. But, it's ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!! Half the time, you don't even know what on earth's going on, it's a satire on American culture, punctuated by 80's pop numbers with an American country-western flavour. God knows what Ritz O'Brien was on when he thought this one up, but don't let it put you off!! Oh, and there's a young Rik Mayall in it!! ;)
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2014
"The sun never sets on those who ride into it." The little known sequel to Rocky Horror, Shock Treatment, is a bit of an acquired taste but has its own sort of charm. When Brad and Janet Majors' marriage hits a rough patch they go onto a game show where Brad gets committed to an asylum and Janet gets swept up by the glitz and glamour of television. Most of Rocky Horror's main cast returns, including Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, and Charles Gray, but they're playing different characters. Jessica Harper takes on the role of Janet, and really shines; bringing a lot of charisma to the part. And, O'Brien's songs are energetic and quite catchy, featuring a variety of musical styles. However, the story is rather weak and the pacing is too fast. Also, the satire about television culture is overly broad and unfocused. It's a bit of a mess, but there's still plenty of fun to be had with Shock Treatment.
½ September 28, 2014
An *airquotes* sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, that features a few performers from the previous aforementioned film, it's a very bizarre follow-up that does oddly enough predict the rise of reality television and is obviously meant to be a biting satirical look at network television and commercialism/consumerism. However, the execution could have been done better and the plot more coherent.
September 25, 2014
wonderfully kooky and strange satirical romp that was clearly ahead of it's time
September 7, 2014
Seriously don't know why, but I can never get enough of this movie!!!!
July 26, 2014
It's safe to say that the primary mistake this movie made was connecting it with "RHPS." Because Shock Treatment is truly it's own beast. Richard O'Brien decided to skew our fascination with television and it's effect on Americana. The allure of celebrity and the desire to give ourselves completely to the faint glimmer of stardom.

The themes presented in ST are truly ahead of their time. In this film we see prophetic vision of reality tv and the public's almost disturbing desire to hang onto every little action even though it's blatantly being manipulated by the higher-ups for the sake of good ratings and lurid overindulgence.

The film takes place in an almost dreamlike world where the mass populace eat up our every action and allow themselves to be consumed by the glamour of TV personalities and in the end they willingly commit themselves to the madness.

All of this heavy satire is conveyed with broad caricatures and macabre performances by RHPS veterans and some new faces as well. Their performances are over the top but hint at the idea that they are putting it on for the audience. All of which is punctuated by a new array of songs by Richard O'Brien that truly require no comparison to RHPS as they are definitive in their own respect. The songs do a wonderful job conveying a story of discontent, vulnerability, seduction, deception, and ultimately reconciliation.

So to call Shock Treatment the TRON of musicals I mean that like TRON here was a film that was decades ahead of its time, which tackled things which would not be truly relevant until now and I hope that like TRON, one day the public will embrace it on its own terms.
July 8, 2014
I think this is one of the best musical movies I've seen. Do not know why they did not like it. Is so perfect.
June 2, 2014
this sequel continues the saga of brad and janet
February 11, 2014
This movie may be an overall fail as compared to its brilliant predecessor, but it succeeds in putting out great music, some meaningful dialogue, and an overall fun, weird, and spectacular time.

PLOT:Brad Majors (Cliff De Young) and his wife, Janet (Jessica Harper), return to their home town of Denton for help with their failing marriage. However, they find out that their whole hometown has been turned into a giant TV station, ran by a fast food founder, Farley Flavors (Cliff De Young). After having Brad committed to a phony mental hospital for his "condition", Janet meets up with her parents and the doctors for help. In a little while, Janet notices she's being pushed to be Flavors' new star on this station's prime time programs and the new show Fantasy Factory. However, the whole existence of the TV station seems to be out of a lust for power and love for a certain person, with dark pasts leading up to the result. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in this movie are pretty well done overall. I enjoyed most of them for their balances of humor and seriousness. Jessica Harper and Cliff De Young both did a great job as the leads Brad and Janet Majors, also Farley Flavors. Some parts seemed over-acted, but it all went with the movie. The best performances aside from Harper would have to actually be from Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, and Barry Humphries as Dr. Cosmo McKinley, Dr. Nation McKinley, Judge Oliver Wright, and Bert Schnick. These few really captured the movie's essence and performed their parts extremely well overall.

SCORE:The musical score in this movie is rockin' and high-energy at most parts, with the ballads being beautifully done. The score in this movie as compared to its predecessor is a bit different a toned down with some pitchy voices and cheesier songs, but overall, the score is well-written and well-performed, from "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" to the title track and even to "Anyhow, Anyhow."

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is a completely different change from its predecessor, Rocky Horror, but the wild-and-wacky tone of insanity stays just as it originally was. The movie itself is a deep, rockin' ride into the insanity of stereotypes of television and the world itself, with metaphor after wacky metaphor. However, the plot twists near the end seem preposterous and unnecessary, with the movie making less and less sense in the end. It may be a cult classic, but lightning never strikes in the same place twice. This movie doesn't reach the same satirical heights as Rocky Horror, but it does attempt to put on an entertaining show, and entertain it does.

OVERALL,a great musical cult classic with a great plot, well done acting, rockin' score, deep study of stereotypes, and wacky fun, however, the plot twists just seem preposterous near the end, and the heights of its predecessor aren't possibly scaled.
January 26, 2014
An absolute insult to the original RHPS. It takes the most important part of that movie (the Floor Show) and renders it meaningless.
½ January 3, 2014
75%

The seed of reality TV? Maybe, just maybe.
January 2, 2014
Not as good as Rocky Horror.
January 2, 2014
A movie far before its time, Shock Treatment is often unfairly judged in comparison to its predecessor. Unlike the sexually-charged sci-fi campfest that was Rocky Horror, this film does a great deal to showcase the breakdown of individual realities in the face of reality television--something that is more prevalent and relevant today than ever before. Give it a fair chance.
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