"Shock Treatment" (1981) directed by Jim Sharman is the less known brother of cult phenomenon "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975) that follows married couple Brad and Janet Majors years in the future, now living in Denton, a small town that has been transformed into a massive TV station.
As the musical begins we see Brad (Cliff De Young) having problems fitting into the plastic suburbanity that surrounds him while Janet (Jessica Harper) uselessly tries to calm him down. Soon enough the couple is called onto the stage as contestants of the game show "Marriage Maze" and the show host declares Brad mentally unstable, committing him to mental hospital and reality show "Dentonvale" thus turning the couple's strained marriage into entertainment for the live audience living in the Studio.
While Brad is detained and sedated by character actors pretending to be doctors, being held as an example of insanity for the audience, Janet, representing the classic “girl next door” is manipulated into becoming an idol, ultimately being crowned "Miss Mental Health" as part of a bigger revenge plot devised by Denton TV executive Farley Flavors.
"Shock Treatment" far from being simply the sequel to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is a satire ahead of its time against the TV industry, star system and consumerism of a racist, sexist and homophobic society that blindly accepts whatever their idols sell with a nearly fanatic enthusiasm.
director JIM SHARMAN
writer JIM SHARMAN and RICHARD O'BRIEN
director of photography MIKE MOLLOY
cast JESSICA HARPER, CLIFF DE YOUNG, RICHARD O'BRIEN, PATRICIA QUINN, CHARLES GRAY and RUBY WAX
words OLIVIA MELLO
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