Shock Treatment (1981)

I guess this is an official sequel to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and while it spends most of its time doing its best to approximate the demented, deliriously over-the-top energy of its predecessor, all “Shock Treatment” does is remind you that you’d rather be watching “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” instead. When you allow yourself to focus on its own merits however, this is actually pretty good: The sets are interesting to look at, the story foreshadows exploitative reality television, and the cast is filled with lively “Rocky” veterans (like Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, and Nell Campbell). But the main attraction is O’Brien and Richard Hatley’s music: I’d argue that the songs here are just as strong as the original’s, including fiery numbers like the title track and “Me of Me,” which is performed with confident abandon by the always-fascinating Jessica Harper (stepping in to replace Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss). Overall the narrative is entirely in the shadow of its predecessor, and the movie never really establishes that its story is worth telling (because, let’s be honest, no one really wanted a sequel to “Rocky Horror”), but there’s an undeniable, vaguely seedy charm to the proceedings that makes the whole thing go down easy.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

2 comments

    1. For me, it just made me want to watch “Rocky Horror” instead… which was my first reaction 10 years ago when I tried watching it for the first time and gave up 20 mins in… to re-watch “Rocky Horror” instead lol

      Liked by 1 person

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