Shock Treatment (1981)

Shock Treatment (1981) movie poster

director  Jim Sharman
viewed: 06/07/2017

Movies are hard to make. It takes a lot of talents: writing, acting, cinematography, editing, directing, music. There is also the notion that comedy is hard, and by comparison death is easy. Add into that musical numbers, songs that have to take the front stage center of a film. I would suggest that musicals would be the most difficult genre to succeed in.

Add onto all of this, making a follow up to a cult hit, the midnight movie to rule over all midnight movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien took on was massively unlikely to be a success. And surprise. It wasn’t.

But the annals of cult film are wide and broad, deep and tall, and even a failed cult film can become a cult film success in a minor way too.

Bringing back a lot of elements of Rocky Horror (though leaving out the most popular stars and some of its key elements regarding sexuality), Shock Treatment is a strange comic musical with a lot of similar-sounding rock-n-roll pop tunes and characters named Brad and Janet.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s really half-bad. It does get a bit tedious but it’s also quite fun. Watching Rocky Horror outside of a midnight movie house loses a lot of its charms as well.

Actually, it’s cool to see Jessica Harper again. She made quite a few appearances in cult musicals in her day.

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