Shock Treatment (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  30 October 1981 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,380 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 41 critic

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



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A remake of the 1970's Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darlene Johnson ...
Manning Redwood ...
Wendy Raebeck ...
Jeremy Newson ...
Betsy Brantley ...
Perry Bedden ...


Following on from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", this musical is set several years later in Brad and Janet Majors' hometown - which has become a giant TV station; residents are either participants or viewers. They are married now, but their romance has fallen on the rocks. Ostensibly to fix their marriage, Brad is imprisoned on the program "Dentonvale" (the local mental hospital) while Janet is conscripted to become a new star. As Janet is entranced by the high life, she forgets Brad. Who is trying to woo her away? Written by Miss Rori Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's Not A Sequel... It's Not A Prequel... It's An Equal See more »


Comedy | Musical


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

30 October 1981 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Brad and Janet Show  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sal Piro:  In the opening sequence, the president of the National Rocky Horror fan club stands below a staircase talking on a payphone. See more »


When Brad knocks over the pitcher of water on the "Marriage Maze" set, a glass is propped against one of the "M"s. The glass wasn't there in previous shots. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [voice-over] Once upon a time, there lived a real fast guy. His life was fast. His friends were fast. Heh - even his food was fast. But he was still not satisfied. He wanted to share his fast philosophy with someone else, a beautiful girl. Trouble was, she was in the arms of... another man.
See more »


Referenced in Who Is Alan Smithee? (2002) See more »


Written by Richard Hartley and Richard O'Brien
Performed by Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Jessica Harper,
Rik Mayall and Nell Campbell
See more »

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User Reviews

It's a comment on the whole RHPS phenomenon
5 November 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Shock Treatment", aside from being a hellava lot of fun, seems to be Richard O'Brien's dig at the whole RHPS phenomenon.

Forget about this being a RHPS sequel. It's not. The whole tone is different. RHPS was an affectionate salute to B-science fiction movies of the 50's married to the seventies punk rock movement. "Shock Treatment", if it is related to RHPS at all, is a satire of the whole RHPS fan culture. Consider: "Shock Treatment" takes place in a TV studio where the audience lives 24/7. They live for the highs received from Denton TV, yet are a pretty conservative lot on the whole. Isn't that like the typical RHPS audience where straight laced Brad and Janet types go to the show, enjoy the freakiness for two hours, then go back to their normal, suburban lives? "Shock Treatment" goes to great lengths to satirize the horrors of suburbanity, and the costumed entertainers they worship. The most blatant example? Two of the main characters, who profess to be doctors, turn out to be character actors. Character actors who have great fun in costume and in the end, drive off into the sunset, in a cool new car, back to suburban normalcy.

And you know what? I have barely scratched the surface of what makes "Shock Treatment" so clever. If you've read anything recent written about it, you know the film is a huge piss take on reality television, and a prescient(by over 20 years)parody of our current culture which makes stars of...well, whomever the TV industry, film industry, and Hollywood publicists tell us we should think of as stars. Paris Hilton? Vin Diesel? Even Jude Law. Did we discover these people? No, they were foisted upon us,we were TOLD they were stars, much as Janet is in "Shock Treatment". When Janet wakes up and realizes she wants her real life back, another cute chick is pimped up and easily accepted.

"Shock Treatment" is a very smart movie that works on the intellectual level RHPS did not. Hey, I love RHPS, but it operates from a gut, instinctual level. "Shock Treatment", if you give it a chance, will make you think about the media's grip on society, make you take a second look at the "stars" adorning the covers of magazines such as Entertainemt Weekly, give you a whole new take on the audiences lining up for RHPS every Halloween (unlike the 80's when we went every month or weekend), and, having been made in 1981 (!) add no surprise to the fact that Richard O'Brien is a prescient futurist who made a killing in the stock market.

Heck, I haven't even talked about the fact that "Shock Treatment"s use of primary colors, editing, and music video style sequences, predates the birth of MTV by at least a year. This movie could be called a template for the 80's music video boom.

Lastly, I have to comment on one facet which will either a) draw RHPS fans and non fans to check this move out or b) disregard this entire review. I absolutely, unequivocally, LOVE the music in this movie. Every song is fun in the best tradition of the short lived "rock musical" genre (I often sing a somewhat edited version of "Lullaby" to my kids at bedtime)and, on screen, every song is presented with a strong sense of atmosphere. Come to think of it, this IS "Shock Treatment"s greatest commonality to RHPS, except in RHPS, the atmosphere was dark and cluttered, in "Shock Treatment", it's bright and sterile. Two different settings. Two different themes. Both brilliantly achieved.

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