Shock Treatment (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  30 October 1981 (West Germany)
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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?


While Richard O'Brien dislikes this film due to its confusing plot as a result of its many rewrites, he does praise the music and the fact it foretold reality TV by two decades. See more »


During "Little Black Dress," the champagne in Cosmo's hand switches from his left to his right, then back, without him moving it. 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 The Cinema Snob: Ilsa, the Wicked Warden (2014) See more »


Looking for Trade
Written by Richard Hartley and Richard O'Brien
Performed by Jessica Harper and Cliff De Young
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User Reviews

A fun little gem
3 June 1999 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Shock Treatment' will always suffer in comparison with its older, weirder sibling 'Rocky Horror', but comparison of the two is not really the point. Richard O'Brien, the author of both films, has created a movie musical spoof of American pop culture that should be viewed and enjoyed in its own right. Sure Brad and Janet, the wholesome couple who ran afoul of the Transylvanians in the first film reappear, but from that point on 'Shock Treatment' spins dementedly off on a trajectory all its own.

Jessica Harper takes over the role of Janet, Cliff de Young is Brad (and Farley Flavor, sinister tv station owner) and both actors are fine. Richard O'Brien and Patricia Quinn, the incestuous siblings from 'Rocky Horror' appear as, well, incestuous siblings, doctor hosts of a tv medical show. Barry Humphries is slyly hilarious in the role of Bert Schnick, gameshow compere.

The central concept of 'Shock Treatment' is that Denton, USA, the wholesome American town alluded to as the benchmark of normality in 'Rocky Horror', is in the thrall of tv culture. Citizens are avid viewers who live vicariously through the personalities inhabiting the various programmes broadcast by DTV, the local television station. Popularity is all, and independent thought regarded as a sign of mental instability. Into this brightly lit soap opera of a world come Brad and Janet, unhappily married and contestants on a game show which airs their marital disharmony for all the world to see. Brad is whisked off for psychiatric help and Janet groomed for stardom on a new show. Farley Flavor covets Janet from afar and schemes with Cosmo & Nation McKinley, the fraudulent tv doctors and character actors, to keep Brad and Janet apart while he makes his move. Rushing to brad's help comes Betty Hapschatt, recently sacked morning show hostess (and Rocky Horror newlywed), played deliciously by the ever-abrasive Ruby Wax.

Richard O'Brien shrinks from a more incisive scrutiny of the dumbing-down of America by it's television obsession. The songs in 'Shock Treatment' are short, bright and instantly forgettable, and the characters flat and garish as, er, cartoons. But the whole package is shiny, good-humoured and utterly entertaining. Watch 'Network' if you want a bitter critique of television culture, but watch 'Shock Treatment' for the sheer mindless pleasure of it.

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