on 5 August 2003
This movie is the most underrated movie of all time. The film is a complete satire of American Entertainment Culture in the 80's-but still applies today. Do not compare this film to it's predeccessor 'The Rocky Horror Show', the two films are entirely different, though having the cast from the previous film is a nice bonus. The film has Brad and Janet living in Denton- a town revolving around tv, where audience members sleep in their seats. Brad and Janet are brought onto the show Marriage Maze, hosted by 'blind' Germand Bert Schnick (Better known as Dame Edna). Brad is taken away to a reality show 'Dentonvale' which is a psychiatric hospital. Janet's ex-friends, Betty Hapschatt (Ruby Wax) and Judge Wright try to uncover the whole conspiracy, while Janet becomes a star overnight (literally!). Janet forgets about her friends and husband, constantly being drugged by 'Dentonvale' hosts- siblings Cosmo and Nation McKinley. Betty and Judge Wright find out that the tv networks president 'Farley Flavours' (played bythe same actor as Brad- Cliff DeYoung) is Brad's twin brother, who grew up less priveliged than Brad,so he is trying to win Janet over by getting rid of Brad and making Janet very famous. The musical numbers in this film are fantastic- my favourites are 'little black dress' and 'Anyhow,Anyhow'. View this movie at least 3 times to understand it and ap[preciate it fully. It's a pity this film doesn't have a dvd release- because it has gathered a cult following. A must see movie I'd reccomend to anyone!
on 26 October 2013
As a Rocky Horror Fan, I have always been sceptical on a "sequel" to the great Rock n Roll musical. Although it's not Rocky Horror, it's still a good story as a parallel telling of Brad and Janet's struggle against fame and temptation.
A must see, even if only the once.
I'll certainly watch it again. Perhaps not as often as the Rocky Horror Picture Show though.
on 30 October 2016
Went to see this last night as part of a double bill at the BFI with 'Rocky Horror' as the main feature and actors acting along to each scene.
Having never experienced the film as such, I did find this element enjoyable, but the lines shouted out by obvious 'plants' in the audience did begin to wear after a bit (one too many Ad-Libs about Donald Trump etc), so much so other viewers were shouting 'Shut Up!' Was this part of the show? Ended up being an uncomfortable evening...
Then came on 'Shock Treatment' (after a Q&A dominated by some dreadful old hag), if I was feeling uncomfortable this mess only made it worse... The same formula of actors acting along (though they seem to have given up any notion of caring) only made this claustrophobic disjointed nightmare of a film even more unbearable. True it had the powerful image of Richard O'Brien holding a full length mirror to the main character, and a run of three great songs in the middle (I'd say 5 of the songs were fabulous), but the story itself was ultra depressing and everyone involved (apart from a rather wonderful Barry Humphries) was either wooden or manic. Couldn't wait for it to end.
on 18 April 2006
Sequel to The Rocky Horror Show. Although it lacks in story line it is just as bizarre as Rocky Horror. But despite this the songs are top dog. With catchy lyrics & few funny moments it will have you singing & dancing with them all. I would advise anyone to buy it for the soundtrack alone.
on 20 March 2012
If you want to know what it is pure television you have to watch that sequel of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was done for television and constantly remindS you of the fact.
The whole action takes place in the Denton TV studio. It is the story of a television show that changes sponsors. The new sponsor has to diabolize the older sponsor and to push forward a new icon for the new sponsor that creates at first a link with the older one. Hence they diabolize the older sponsor as some kind of emotional misfit and use his wife as the new icon. They will even reveal in the end that the new sponsor is in fact the twin brother of the older one. And there we have a basic simple primitive if not even simplistic theme that goes back to the oldest layers of prehistory, the conflict between two brothers, what's more twin brothers. Better than Abel and Cain. And this wife of the older sponsor will bring sight to the blind anchor man of the show. Isn't that divine and angelic and beautiful?
Then it uses language as some kind of mesmerizing fascinating hypnotizing whip to make you get in line with the game. The rhyming patterns are so simple that they seem to be like the drums of some voodoo dance with a lot of Hollywood sauce on top and a simplistic comic flavour underneath. You are the pronged cattle taken up and tied up in that caravan, carnival, canned mental emptiness. And the main catch letter to your ears and eyes is F. F mind you like in the most famous four letter word in English, and yet it is five Fs in one motto. Farley Flavors' Fabulous Fast Foods that becomes in the mouth of some TV announcer: "First and Foremost, Farley Flavors' Fabulous Fast Foods Feed and Fortify Families For a Fabulous Future." From five to thirteen, from the devil to the witch, from the pentacle to the worst omen possible on earth. Be repetitive and you will always reach the bottom of hell and the dire straits or purgatory. But don't expect to find heaven in commercial repetitiveness.
But the point is that this show, this film, this TV film, this film about TV and this film at the local TV station does not in the least try to make you think. It is here only to whirl you around into a maelstrom out of which you cannot escape. And don't believe there are good ones and bad ones. There are only old ones and new ones and new ones are neither better nor worse than old ones. They have only one aim which is to make you be a robotic un-thinker, a mechanized non-thinker, a motorized anti-thinker.
That's the kind of rapport TV wants to establish with its audience: all-sensorial, hypnotic, non-mental acceptance of the show as good or the same all-sensorial, hypnotic, non-mental rejection of the show as bad. You like or don't like but you sure don't have to think about it. It is all at the level of your kinetic and kinesthetic, kinesiological primary response at the essentially physiological level of your being, what they justly call the "id" in the show, with Freud's picture somewhere lost in that mess.
The only link with the Rocky Horror Picture Show is in fact in the flimsy vision of Grant Wood's painting known as American Gothic. But that is a cliché, nothing else, not even a wink.
And be sure this TV film will not take any side between the losers of old and the winners of today. They will eventually all go their own ways but with the same convertible and one girl will be replaced by another one in the "First and Foremost, Farley Flavors' Fabulous Fast Foods Feed and Fortify families For a Fabulous Future" advertising venture, and the new one will even be better since she is a gorgeous, sumptuous, splendiferous, glorious and definitely opulent blonde. Television does not require the audience to think but only to feel good and relaxed.
Some may say it is a pastiche of a TV show or even of a TV comic thriller. But it is such a good pastiche that we do believe it is the real stuff. It is a perfect imitation of a TV show and as such it is a perfect pastiche, but that does not give it any mental reflective distance. It is meant to carry your adhesion or your rejection but not to make you think in any way. You like or you dislike but to agree or disagree is not even a question.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
on 3 April 2016
A much-maligned and misunderstood satire of television, consumerism and too-perfect communities, Richard O'Brien's follow-up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show had a very troubled history.
Originally intended as a direct sequel to Rocky, entitled Rocky Horror Shows His Heels, the original script was pretty-much unfilmable, and each subsequent draft moved further away from O'Brien's original intent and ended up as a satire. The film features Brad & Janet (played this time by Cliff DeYoung & Jessica Harper) several years after the events of Rocky and their marriage is headed directly for the rocks. Their local television station, DTV, - owned by the mysterious Farley Flavors) has them appear on game-show Marriage Maze and the result is that Brad is committed to an asylum whilst Janet is groomed for super-stardom.
Shock Treatment was a box-office disaster when originally released - it made it on to video, where it started to gain something of a cult following. The years that followed saw the rise of reality television, where members of the public could be plucked from nowhere and gain stardom almost overnight. O'Brien's screenplay predicted this now-omnipresent aspect of society more than a decade before it started happening. Frank-N-Furter's line from Rocky - "I made you, and I can BREAK you just as easily!" - is an eerie precursor for not only the events in Shock Treatment, but also for the stars/victims of reality television.
Satire aside, the film has surreal, almost claustrophobic feel to it, as everything was shot in the studio to save money (no location work at all) and this just adds to the bizarre atmosphere of the piece. There are some great, witty lines in O'Brien's screenplay, with the cast delivering them with gusto and the songs - a number of them apparently intended for Rocky Horror Shows His Heels - are even better than those in Rocky, showing O'Brien's maturing style, weaving humour, clever wordplay, satire and drama together. There are musical motifs that tie several songs together and In My Own Way, dealing with the changing nature of love is a heartbreaking stand-out.
Cliff De Young plays Brad as something of a buffoon, but there is a good reason for this, as he needed to clearly differentiate Brad from his dual role as Farley Flavors. Jessica Harper's take on Janet is radically different from Susan Sarandon's, and Harper's transition from timid and reserved to arrogant and intoxicated on her own hype is extremely plausible. O'Brien and Pat Quinn once again play brother & sister with a decidedly "close" relationship and Barry Humphries goes OTT as a Viennese psychiatrist who has a shady past. Charles Gray returns in a role similar to, but different from, The Criminologist in Rocky - he also gets the funniest lines, too.
Shock Treatment may not appeal to everyone - those not around when the film was released will struggle to get past some of the satirical elements that are firmly rooted in late seventies/early eighties television - but those who can appreciate what Richard O'Brien was trying to do when addressing the fleeting nature of fame and celebrity will find much to enjoy. Oh, and the songs are great, too.
on 17 June 2007
Can't quite believe the other reviewer was watching the same film. The songs in this one are far superior to the ones in Rocky, I would go so far as to say that this is the best of the 2. Plot is fairly straight-forward, and Brad and Janet are played by 2 far superior actor/singers.
Not actually seen the DVD version but have a VHS of this. Don't quite understand why this flopped, but it is well worth a watch, and should be more readily available on it's own.
Unlike the other reviews here I wouldn't go as far as saying this is either the worst film ever, or the most underrated.
Simply this is a fun, pop, 80s musical with a cautionary tale that is fairly apt with today's crazy reality tv lifestyle.
Confuzingly Brad and Janet are the same characters as in Rocky Horror played by different actors, whilst the actors from Rocky Horror play completely unrelated characters, what!?
Essentially Brad and Janet get caught up in a crazy reality-tv station that locks everyone up, including the audience who actually love it, with only afew people seeing that something strange is going on.
The music is ok, pretty catchy, but not a patch on Rocky Horror songs, however this is more pop than rock n roll. The storyline, well I still haven't made my mind up after all these years of watching it, I just think you have to be in the right kind of mood.
Worth seeing if you like cult stuff, the bizarre or contemporary musicals.
on 26 January 2013
... that this film isn't treated as equally as RHPS. The musical numbers are amazing and have a sizzling electrical brilliance to them. I don't have a best one, as they are all genuinely great. Don't miss this at all, it is one the most underrated musical in the history of musicals, with amazing performances from Jessica Harper and cliff de young and all of the original RHPS cast. A definite must watch for the cult members :)
on 9 January 2016
A must have for any true rocky horror picture show fan.
This is the lesser known sequel to the rocky horror show.
It pales in comparison to RHPS, but is still a cult must have.
Ever wonder what happened to Brad & Janet after their exploits with frankenfurter?
This tells you.
An oddball cult classic.