Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shock Treatment (1981) review


This movie may be an overall fail as compared to its brilliant predecessor, but it succeeds in putting out great music, some meaningful dialogue, and an overall fun, weird, and spectacular time.

PLOT:Brad Majors (Cliff De Young) and his wife, Janet (Jessica Harper), return to their home town of Denton for help with their failing marriage. However, they find out that their whole hometown has been turned into a giant TV station, ran by a fast food founder, Farley Flavors (Cliff De Young). After having Brad committed to a phony mental hospital for his "condition", Janet meets up with her parents and the doctors for help. In a little while, Janet notices she's being pushed to be Flavors' new star on this station's prime time programs and the new show Fantasy Factory. However, the whole existence of the TV station seems to be out of a lust for power and love for a certain person, with dark pasts leading up to the result. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in this movie are pretty well done overall. I enjoyed most of them for their balances of humor and seriousness. Jessica Harper and Cliff De Young both did a great job as the leads Brad and Janet Majors, also Farley Flavors. Some parts seemed over-acted, but it all went with the movie. The best performances aside from Harper would have to actually be from Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, and Barry Humphries as Dr. Cosmo McKinley, Dr. Nation McKinley, Judge Oliver Wright, and Bert Schnick. These few really captured the movie's essence and performed their parts extremely well overall.

SCORE:The musical score in this movie is rockin' and high-energy at most parts, with the ballads being beautifully done. The score in this movie as compared to its predecessor is a bit different a toned down with some pitchy voices and cheesier songs, but overall, the score is well-written and well-performed, from "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" to the title track and even to "Anyhow, Anyhow."

OTHER CONTENT:This movie is a completely different change from its predecessor, Rocky Horror, but the wild-and-wacky tone of insanity stays just as it originally was. The movie itself is a deep, rockin' ride into the insanity of stereotypes of television and the world itself, with metaphor after wacky metaphor. However, the plot twists near the end seem preposterous and unnecessary, with the movie making less and less sense in the end. It may be a cult classic, but lightning never strikes in the same place twice. This movie doesn't reach the same satirical heights as Rocky Horror, but it does attempt to put on an entertaining show, and entertain it does.

OVERALL,a great musical cult classic with a great plot, well done acting, rockin' score, deep study of stereotypes, and wacky fun, however, the plot twists just seem preposterous near the end, and the heights of its predecessor aren't possibly scaled.

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