Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fun Sized Movie Treats (Part 27)

One last one-parter, then it's all two-parters until Halloween.

Shock Treatment (1981)

It's "Rocky Horror Picture Show 2".

There are people that object to calling it a sequel for continuity reasons.
Too bad, and I'll dismantle why.

There are people that object to calling it a sequel for aesthetic reasons.
Too bad.
If I have to live with Star Trek 5, and 9, and 10, and the SW prequels, you Rocky Horror fans have to buck up, and accept "Shock Treatment".

Now, to continuity.
It's got Brad and Janet, and continues their story.
End of.

It's got all the other Rocky Horror people except Tim Curry, and Brad and Janet are recast, but it's a continuation.
And the rest of the Rocky Horror cast play new roles, but they have to, cuz everyone's characters either died, or went into outer space.
They had to re-incarnate to be in the thing.

If Brad and Janet weren't there, you could say it was an alterni-verse thematic sequel like The Cornetto Trilogy, but Brad and Janet are there, so, tough nuts.

New-Janet is Jessica Harper who played Phoenix in "Phantom Of The Paradise".

So, there you go, it happened, a "Rocky Horror", "Phantom", crossover! :-D

"Rocky Horror", fans washed their hands and feet of this, as did Richard O'Brien, but it's getting re-discovered, and gaining in appreciation.

So, basic plot is, Brad & Janet are having marital troubles since their "Rocky Horror", experiences, so Janet drags Brad to a show that's a reality soap, "The Newlywed Game", "Family Feud", "Dr. Phil", "Ellen", and "America's Got Talent", all rolled into one.
But before any of those ever existed.

And that's where this movie really shines, is predicting the state of 21st century television 34 fucking years ago.

Anyhoo, it's decided that Brad is riddled with insecurities, and is sent to the studio Loony Bin.

But, the real reason Brad is disposed of, is they see star quality in Janet, and don't need a husband getting in the way of her rise.
She's brainwashed into a celebrity, given a fashion makeover, and essentially becomes a Kardashian.

The host of the multi-headed hydra of a show is the guy who plays Dame Edna.

The boss of the studio is Richard O'Brien as a bald mad scientist who plots to grow the show until it conquers the planet.
Same dude from the poster, BTW.
And he bangs his sister like in "Rocky Horror", and it's the same chick in a new role.
So, even the personalities re-incarnate.

Tim Curry was supposed to be in this, but he bowed out, so his songs are given to Janet.

...the bad guys kinda win in this.
I won't give it ALL away, but..the good guys survive, and seem happy, but...the world outside is essentially doomed.
The show wins.

Kinda like NOW!

So, how are the songs?
It really comes down to the songs.

Um...I think they're pretty good.
There's a couple ones that are duds just for being repetitive, but overall, not bad.

BUT...they're not catchy like "Rocky Horror".
So, that prevented people from turning it into a cult participation thing.

I think O'Brien made it about reality TV, so that when the audience participation thing happened, it would be a layer within a layer.
Cuz there's an audience sing along IN the fucking movie in the studio audience of the show.
There's two or three of them.

And, I think that soured "Rocky Horror", fans that he was trying to force that.
I can see that, you can't make a phenomenon like that, it just has to happen.

Richard O'Brien hates his performance in this, which is the chief reason he's down on it, but I think he's the best thing in it.

My overall thoughts on the movie-
I liked it.
I liked it a lot.
I didn't love it, there's no way you could equal the original, but not equaling or topping originals doesn't make a movie suck.

But, y'know, I don't LOVE the original.
I'm not a fan-y-fan-fan, I just kinda dig it.

I think this is a worthy successor, and because of time, and it predicting reality TV, it needs a second look from everybody.

In fact...

Boom, Amazon link.

Do eeet.

Next up, sensitive 80's portrayals of addiction, and vampirism.


B, D, said...

Jessica Harper was also the star of "Suspiria."

Diacanu said...

Yep she was.

Think she was probably best in "Phantom".

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