Double Feature Weekend – Shock Treatment (1981)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall

 

Plot: Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show… but wind up as captives instead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Way Before It’s Time

 

Story: Shock Treatment starts as Brad (de Young) and Janet (Harper) are part of a marriage television show where Brad gets taken away for treatment through Dr Cosmo (O’Brien) and Dr Nation (Quinn).

With each day becoming a new day on the show Janet leaves Brad in the hands of the doctors while she considers her options.

When Brad finds, himself becoming the face of a fast food franchise Janet learns that they have become trapped in this twisted world with no escape as her star power continues to grow.

 

Thoughts on Shock Treatment

 

Characters/PerformanceReturning us to Janet and Brad is an interesting idea but they both seem very different people, Janet gets drawn to the idea of becoming a big star leaving people behind to do this, Brad spends most of the film tied up which doesn’t give him a lot of time to do anything. The Doctors are good without being anything special which is what could be said for the rest of the characters too.

Performance wise, Jessica Harper is great in the leading role but it would be fair to say none of the other stars really stand out on the level she reaches through this film.

StoryThe story is in places complicated, but it does poke fun at reality television which for the time was something unknown, watching it now and seeing how people look at success we do get to see a huge difference in what people think. On the other hand, this is so far away from the Rocky Picture Show we don’t need to use the same characters.

Comedy/MusicalThis doesn’t reach that many levels of comedy but I do think the musical numbers are an improvement from the Rocky Horror.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside a studio showing us just how Janet rose and fell from celebrity status which feels like the television show we are watching.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects here once again but when needed they are good.

Final ThoughtsThis does take the characters in a direction you wouldn’t expect and has fun poking fun at television shows but otherwise it isn’t anything special.

 

Overall: Strange sequel with little connection.

Rating

 

 

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