Shock Treatment is a film that gets a bad rap. I’m a huge fan of Rocky Horror — as regular readers will know, it got me through plenty of low points in my life — but Shock Treatment is excellent on its own merits. It’s not Rocky Horror 2, and why would you want it to be? No sequel could live up to the original, and from the various scripts I’ve seen that were supposed to be a direct sequel, it’s far better that Shock Treatment became what it was: not a sequel, an equal.
One thing that I think hurt its success at release was that it was too ahead of its time. It incorporated commentary on things contemporary then, but it actually was more of a sharp prediction.
Shock Treatment is a cogent and poignant criticism of modern-day American society, and really of the ‘world entertainment culture’ that depends so heavily on disposable American pop entertainment. Pseudoreligious views unite with pseudomedical quackery, all fused into something jazzed up to be an amusing distraction. And people are stupid enough to buy into it.
The only people who win in this ludicrous fixed game are the people who don’t play it and leave the stage. This audience isn’t worth it.
The sun never sets on those who ride into it.