Dir. Jim Sharman, 1981
94 min, English
The less-widely hailed follow up to The Rocky Horror, Picture Show, it holds a certain political prescience as we end 2017, with writer Richard O'Brien taking aim at the cultural bankruptcy of the moral majority and wholesome values police we now associate with the Reagan years. Among other things, we get a slick, shiny, lacquered, and EYE-POPPINGLY BRIGHT take on cultural fascism, intellectual sedation, the world of consumer homegoods, the fickle and treacherous nature of celebrity, and so many other great silly stuff, all with a snappy soundtrack.
BYOB and drink along (responsibly) to this outright riot of a movie.
"When 'Shock Treatment' had its 25th Anniversary DVD release ten years ago, many noticed that it correctly predicted the culture of narcissism, ‘80s materialism, reality television, people who were famous for being famous, the rise of celebrity doctors and the mainstreaming of mental health. Ten years later, all of those things have become the norm in our culture and almost aren't worth commenting on anymore.But now we're in the era of Trump's presidential candidacy and 35 years after its release, "Shock Treatment" has another eerie layer to it.
The parallels to Trump are accidental, of course, but that is what makes all of these films fascinating to revisit today...
[Shock Treatment's] Farley represents Trump’s showmanship and ability to dupe millions into buying into his all of his brands, whether it be fast food, a reality TV show or 'the illusion of a happy ending.' Like Trump, he never learns a lesson, but will likely be no worse for wear once his TV show fades to black."