Shock Treatment (1981)

Shock Treatment (1981)

Taglines: Trust Me, I’m A Doctor.

Continuing from The Rocky Horror Picture Show are the characters of Brad and Janet Majors (now portrayed by Cliff De Young and Jessica Harper, respectively), now married. The film takes place in the town of Denton, USA, which has been taken over by fast food magnate Farley Flavors (also De Young).

The town of Denton is entirely encased within a television studio for the DTV (Denton Television) network. Residents are either stars and regulars on a show, cast and crew, or audience members. Brad and Janet, while seated in the audience are chosen to participate in the game show Marriage Maze by the supposedly blind and kooky host Bert Schnick (Barry Humphries). As a “prize”, Brad is imprisoned on Dentonvale, a soap opera that centers upon the local mental hospital run by brother and sister Cosmo and Nation McKinley (Richard O’Brien and Patricia Quinn).

Janet is given a taste of show-biz as Farley Flavors molds her into a singing diva superstar in an attempt to take her away from Brad. Her compliance is assured through the use of drugs supplied by the McKinleys. Betty Hapschatt (Ruby Wax) and Judge Oliver Wright (Charles Gray) investigate Farley and other people involved in DTV, eventually discovering that Cosmo and Nation are not doctors, but merely character actors, and Farley Flavors is Brad’s jealous, long-lost twin brother, seeking to destroy Brad and take Janet for himself. The pair rescue Brad from Dentonvale and have Brad confront his twin on his show Faith Factory. Farley imprisons the three and Janet, but they manage to escape in a car along with a local band.

Shock Treatment (1981)

Shock Treatment is a 1981 American black comedy musical film directed by Jim Sharman, co-written by Sharman and Richard O’Brien. It was a follow-up to the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

While not an outright sequel, the film does feature several characters from the previous film portrayed by different actors and several Rocky Horror actors in the roles of new characters. The film stars Jessica Harper as Janet and Cliff De Young in a dual role as Brad and the film’s main antagonist Farley Flavors, with O’Brien and Patricia Quinn as sibling character actors.

Given in a limited release on the midnight movie circuit beginning on October 30, 1981, Shock Treatment was a critical and commercial failure, not earning the same level of cult film status its predecessor received. Still, it has a minor following. In 2015, the film was adapted as a stage production in London.

Shock Treatment Movie Poster (1981)

Shock Treatment (1981)

Directed by: Jim Sharman
Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Darlene Johnson
Screenplay by: Richard O’Brien, Jim Sharman
Production Design by: Brian Thomson
Cinematography by: Mike Molloy
Film Editing by: Richard Bedford
Costume Design by: Sue Blane
Set Decoration by: Ken Wheatley
Art Direction by: Andrew Sanders
Music by: Richard Hartley, Richard O’Brien
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 30, 1981