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Film / Shock Treatment

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"Not a sequel... not a prequel... but an equal".

Shock Treatment is a 1981 musical comedy film from the creators of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Cliff DeYoung, Jessica Harper, Patricia Quinn, Richard O'Brien, Charles Gray, Nell Campbell, Ruby Wax, and Barry Humphries. Although Brad and Janet are once again major characters (albeit played by different actors), it isn't a direct sequel and few characters aside from them return.

Denton ("The Home of Happiness")note , the town that the now-married Brad and Janet Majors (DeYoung and Harper) call home, isn't what it used to be. It's now dominated by DTV, a TV station run by fast food mogul Farley Flavors (also DeYoung), and most of its residents serve as a permanent audience for its programming. Indeed, the entire film unfolds within the giant studio. Brad and Janet have lost the passion in their marriage, and when they're chosen to be part of Marriage Maze by kooky host Bert Schnick (Humphries), it doesn't take much convincing for Janet to allow her "emotional cripple" husband to be committed to the asylum/Soap Opera Dentonvale to see if he can't be cured by Doctors (and siblings) Cosmo and Nation McKinley (O'Brien and Quinn), alongside their staff - Nurse Ansalong (Campbell) and Rest Home Ricky (Rik Mayall).

Unbeknownst to Brad or Janet, Farley is manipulating these events from behind the scenes - he is interested in molding Janet into his newest star for his new show Faith Factory, and she's easily enticed into forgetting about Brad. The only people who see through the smoke and mirrors of Farley and his crew are Betty Hapschatt (Wax) - freshly divorced from Ralph (Jeremy Newson) after his affair with the vivacious Macy Struthers (Wendy Raebeck) - and her Denton Dossier co-star Judge Oliver Wright (Gray) after the two are taken off the air, and they set out to find out the truth behind DTV and reunite the couple before it's too late...

It was both critically and commercially unsuccessful, and the filmmakers were disappointed with how it turned out. It was originally conceived as a direct sequel (Rocky Horror Shows His Heels, which would have involved Dr. Frank-N-Furter being restored to life among other things), but for many, many reasons ranging from Tim Curry not wanting to play Frank again to the 1980 Screen Actors Guild strike, it was gradually transformed into a media spoof that is far removed from the kinky farce of the original. Within the Rocky Horror fanbase, it generates mixed reactions, with many RHPS devotees preferring to not acknowledge it; however, it does have its own fan club, the presidents of which provided an audio commentary on the 2006 DVD release.

Not to be confused with the 1964 neo-Noir film of the same title. nor with the 1973 horror-thriller movie from France, Shock Treatment.

Hoopla, Tropes!:

  • 15 Minutes of Fame: Janet's lasts from her debut on Good Morning Denton during "Me of Me" until she rejects Farley on the premiere of Faith Factory.
  • The '80s: Very early Eighties, most obviously in the new wave and punk stylings of the songs.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The villain, his business, and his branding all use the letter "F" a lot. His name is Farley Flavors, he works in fast food, is premiering a show called Faith Factory, and a slogan in an ad for his company is "Farley Flavors' Fabulous Fast Foods Feed and Fortify Families for a Fabulous Future!"
    Audience Participation: Fuck the Fabulous Future!
  • Alliterative Name:
    • The main villain's name is Farley Flavors.
    • Most of DTV's shows have names like this; Denton Dossier, Faith Factory, Happy Homes and Marriage Maze.
    • Also, Kirk's Korner, the coffee stand.
    • One of Cosmo's fake names is Cosmo Coolidge.
  • Alliterative Title: "Duel Duet".
  • All There in the Script: The shooting script reveals Kirk's last name is "Idle", and that the hippie woman visible in audience closeups during "Breaking Out" and in the Dentonvale office alongside the villains during "Anyhow, Anyhow" is the mother of Oscar and Brenda Drill.
  • American Gothic Couple: This portrait can be seen hanging in the prop room as a nod to the first movie.
  • And That's Terrible: The back of the DVD case says "Brad, on the other hand, has been imprisoned in a mental hospital and is not enjoying himself."
  • And You Were There: Oscar Drill and The Bits appear as the pool and arcade game players in Janet's dream.
  • Artifact Title:
    • The title harks back to the Rocky Horror Shows His Heels script where electroshocks are used to clear mold off a resurrected Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Although the Title Theme Tune is still there, the movie doesn't feature any kind of electroshock treatment.
    • It also references a scene in The Brad and Janet Show script where Dr. Scott is administered shock treatments to "cure" his paralyzed legs.
  • Art Imitates Art: The Brad and Janet Show script showed various families watching TV during "Denton, U.S.A." in the style of Norman Rockwell paintings.
  • Artist and the Band: Oscar Drill and the Bits, a "suburban-garage" band that befriends Janet during her ascent at DTV.
  • Ascended Extra: Ralph and Betty Hapschatt make the transition from very minor characters, mostly meant to establish where Brad and Janet were going before winding up at Frank's place, to a secondary villain and one of the main heroes, respectively.
  • Audience Participation:
    • As with Rocky Horror, "shadowcast" productions with audience props and callbacks have been mounted over the years. Aside from the film being less popular, a likely reason there haven't been more stagings is that far more performers are required. You can read it here. Some highlights include the five F's for today turning into "Farley Flavors Fingers Fat Females", "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" ending with "Bitchin' in the Kitchen or fuckin' with a dildo all night!" and "Anyhow, Anyhow" becoming a song with several verses about having sex with a cow.
    • Also, in-universe, with the Studio Audience. They sing along with some of the songs, and even have a couple of dance numbers, along with getting prompted by the show hosts.
  • Bad Girl Song: "Looking for Trade" seemingly is one with Janet's lyrics of looking for "young blood" and at one point comparing herself to a dog in heat.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Although Farley doesn't get Janet, nobody stops him from brainwashing the town and locking them all in a mental institution!
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • At one point, Oliver asks Betty if she's interested in doing a "masquerade", to which she happily obliges. The two have been flirting throughout the film, so it seems like they're about to go do something romantic. The next time we see them they're undressing. Then it's revealed they're just getting doctor disguises on so they can infiltrate and get info on Farley and the McKinleys.
    • During Faith Factory, Ralph announces the president is in the DTV studio. Dramatic music plays, the audience stands to attention, Neely and her crew get a good angle all ready for the arrival of... Irwin Lapsey, president of Lapsey Autos. Cue everyone sitting down in annoyance.
  • Bald of Evil: Cosmo has no hair and is one of Farley's main minions involved in turning Janet into a star and keeping Brad drugged and complacent.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: "Duel Duet". (Possibly.)
  • Bedlam House: Dentonvale, the TV hospital show, houses hallways of rooms and cells for patients kept under false pretenses.
  • Beta Couple: Oliver and Betty end up as one at the conclusion.
  • Birdcaged: When imprisoned in Dentonvale, Brad is left inside a cell resembling a bird cage, all while gagged, restrained by a straitjacket, and left in a wheelchair.
  • Bit Character:
    • The Wardrobe Mistress, who gets three lines and is mostly seen fussing around in the background.
    • Doing slightly better is the Floor Manager, who gets more screentime as one of Farley's top henchmen alongside Ralph and Bert, yet still not getting a name.
  • Blasphemous Boast: "Denton, U.S.A." compares the town to holy sites like Mecca and Bethlehem.
  • Blatant Lies: "Denton, U.S.A." specifically mentions "tolerance for the ethnic races". Later on Happy Homes, when Emily tells Janet that her father doesn't like Mexicans, the DTV audience erupts into cheers.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Oliver quotes this when it's revealed that Bert's only pretending to be blind.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: Oliver throws the ring of keys he stole behind him when it turns out Betty's hairpin opens Brad's cell in seconds.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • Nation uses Bert's "Hoopla!" when she catches him peeping on Janet in the shower.
    • Janet also uses Bert's "Hoopla!" during her makeover in "Little Black Dress".
  • Building of Adventure: Denton is all inside one TV studio, and the Dentonvale asylum hides many of the studio's operations.
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Duel Duet", between Brad Majors and Farley Flavors.
  • Call-Back: The first thing that Janet says to Brad is "It's all right, Brad -- everything's going to be all right."
  • The Cameo: Sal Piro, president of the Rocky Horror fan club, appears talking on the phone during the overture.
  • Camera Fiend: Rest Home Ricky is constantly taking Polaroid photos, most notably during "Lullaby" and "Shock Treatment".
  • Canon Discontinuity: It helps that no attempt appears to be made at all to tie this plot in with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. To be fair, it's presented as a Spiritual Sequel rather than a direct sequel, albeit with some of the same characters from the previous film. Nothing that happened in Frank's castle has any bearing on this film's plot. O'Brien disowned Shock Treatment as "an abortion" not long after release, and future attempted sequels like Revenge of the Old Queen and Rocky Horror: The Second Coming seem to ignore it.
  • Casting Gag: Most of the Expy characters are played by their RHPS equivalents. Cosmo and Nation not only share actors with Rocky Horror's Riff Raff and Magenta, but both sets of characters are incestuous siblings in the employ of the villain. Though Cosmo and Nation aren't really siblings at all, but rather actors playing them who have a bad habit of letting their real-life relationship intrude creepily on their phony medic personas.
  • Catchphrase: Bert Schnick uses an enthusiastic "Hoopla, Denton!" to greet the DTV audience.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: In the climax, Janet turns down the rich and famous Farley and sticks with her good old Brad.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Janet is too overwhelmed with Brad's commitment to sign his papers immediately, and Nurse Ansalong further advises her to wait because the first night of services will be free if she does. Janet is able to stop the studio from taking Brad back into custody when he's broken out because she remembers she never signed his papers.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Betty sure is handy at picking locks with a hairpin.
  • Cigar Chomper: Farley spends most of his screentime in his office with a cigar either in his hand or mouth. He even has one during the Battle in the Center of the Mind in "Duel Duet".
  • City in a Bottle: The entirety of Denton seems to be inside a TV studio.
  • Companion Cube: "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" is a song where Brad and Janet ask inanimate household objects being advertised for marriage advice.
  • Cool Car: An "almost brand-new" car from Lapsey Autos. It was supposed to be awarded to Janet, but she rejected it. Later, Brad, Janet & co. use this car to drive out of the Denton TV studio, and presumably away from Denton itself.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Farley Flavors, who wishes to dominate the airwaves and the people consuming them.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Denton puts on an idealized face, despite having a population of mindless, sometimes bigoted slaves to television.
  • Creepy Gas-Station Attendant: Kirk was a mild version of this in an early script, making perverted remarks about Janet while serving her father. In the final product, he works at a coffee stand but still makes the same comments.
  • Crowd Song: "Denton, U.S.A." Justified in that it's apparently the town's theme song/anthem.
  • Dark Reprise: At the end, "Denton, U.S.A." gets one during "Anyhow, Anyhow": The studio audience is partying in Dentonvale — wearing straitjackets and happily singing while their "phony medics" drink champagne and trash the offices.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Despite proclaiming tolerance, Denton has prejudices, with the audience cheering on Janet's father's racism toward Mexicans and him getting a song about rigid masculine standards that disparages women and gay people.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: During "Little Black Dress", Bert sings "Ever since I was the eine kleine herren". Which translates as "a small man". So he's saying "Ever since I was the a small man".
  • Digital Destruction:
    • In the original theatrical cut, the end credits are underscored by a reprise of the overture, and once they've rolled the screen goes to black for several additional minutes while the single version of "Shock Treatment" plays (inspiring a stretch of jokes about the void in Audience Participation showings). This was preserved for the original VHS release through Key Video, though they stuck in the standard FBI warning image before going to black, while Fox Movie Channel airings just cut the music-only stretch. The 20th Century Fox DVD release's soundtrack jumps ahead to the second half of the overture when the credits start, so the single version of the song starts up midway through them and fades out as they end, meaning that neither is heard at their original length. Making matters worse, the end credits — particularly the photos of the actors — are clearly timed to the overture in the original cut, so an amusing touch is lost on the DVD.
    • Synching/transferring issues with the original music causes a brief but very noticeable audio drop towards the end of "Denton, U.S.A." on the DVD.
  • Dirty Cop: Officer Vance Parker, who willingly works for the Big Bad Farley Flavors and has no problem locking up anyone who gets in Farley's way.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: "Looking for Trade", in which Janet has a drug-induced dream where she wanders aimlessly through Dentonvale. Almost the whole number takes place under extremely garish lighting, the sound is distorted and Brad keeps appearing out of nowhere.
  • Distant Duet: "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" was one in the draft script. Brad would have been singing in the kitchen while Janet sang upstairs in the bedroom and bathroom but the finished movie has them sitting on the set of Marriage Maze singing to advertisements on a TV monitor.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Farley Flavors' logo features five F's (standing for Farley, Flavors, Fabulous, Fast and Foods) arranged in a circle, all joined at the tail. It was designed to be reminiscent of a swastika.
    • The song "Breaking Out" plays over scenes of Brad escaping from the asylum. But listen to the words, and it seems to be about another kind of coming out entirely... (This is not surprising, given that it was written when the project was a more direct sequel to Rocky Horror).
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Implied. Officer Parker is frequently seen standing by the donut case at Kirk's Korner.
  • The Door Slams You: Cosmo gets a door to the face when he tries chasing down Janet in an attempt to get her to sign the Dentonvale contract.
  • "Double, Double" Title: "Anyhow, Anyhow".
  • The Dragon: Bert Schnick is Farley's most trusted subordinate and the one who recruits the other villains for the plot.
  • Dramatic Pause: Used to allow for Audience Participation. For example:
    Farley: You see the way we got rid of that dirty little dish...
    Audience Participation: Did he say bitch?
    Farley: the way we are going to put the rest of our house in order. Including the upstairs!
    Audience Participation: Oh shit, that's my room!
  • Duet of Differences:
    • Brad and Janet's marriage troubles are introduced in the song "Bitchin' in the Kitchen", in which Brad whines and Janet rages.
    • Later in the film, Brad squares off against Farley in the song "Duel Duet".
  • Eagleland: Denton is striving to be a commercialized embodiment of Type 1. Their anthem ("Denton, U.S.A.") preaches how "You'll find happy hearts and smiling faces, and tolerance for the ethnic races, in Denton". In reality, it is more Type 2 since the citizens of Denton are presented as bigoted and easily manipulated.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Cosmo, Nation and Bert (with his back to the camera) can be briefly spotted during the overture before their introductions shortly after.
    • Likewise, Rest Home Ricky can be spotted in the background as Betty and Oliver head to Kirk's Korner after their conversation with Neely before his introduction on Marriage Maze.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: It seems that if you live in Denton, you either work for DTV or permanently live in the audience stand. By the end of the film, the entire population besides the main characters are singing happily in a mental home while wearing straitjackets.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Duel Duet", which gives us Brad and Farley's final confrontation during the premiere of Faith Factory.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Brad is unable to clap in time with the rest of the town during "Denton, U.S.A.", estblishing how at-odds he is with the rest of Denton and his role as an uncorruptible character.
  • Everytown, America: The song "Denton, U.S.A." invokes this trope. The film was supposed to play this trope completely straight by filming it in an actual American town called Denton, but a writers' strike resulted in that Denton had to be completely set in a film studio.
  • Evil Costume Switch: See The Little Black Dress below.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Duel Duet" is just that, a duet with two characters in a verbal duel.
  • Expy: With regards to the Rocky Horror characters, we have...
    • Doctors Cosmo and Nation McKinley for Riff Raff and Magenta (who were supposed to impersonate doctors in the Rocky Horror Shows His Heels draft).
    • Nurse Ansalong for Columbia.
    • Judge Oliver Wright for the Criminologist. note 
    • Farley Flavors for Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
    • Bert Schnick for Dr. Scott (Bert was Dr. Scott in the Brad and Janet Show draft).
  • Fanservice: Nurse Ansalong. According to Little Nell, if she wasn't going to be allowed to show headlights, she was going to show caboose instead, and her part in "Look What I Did to My Id" even talks about her high hems as she tears a few inches off the bottom.note 
  • Faux Affably Evil: The McKinleys, Bert, and the rest of the Dentonvale staff. Whenever Janet is around they're almost nothing but cordial, polite, and supportive towards her (if a bit patronizing, in a faux-concerned "We only want what's best for you" sort of way), but of course this is only so they can manipulate her and everyone around her into following Farley's agenda, and they have no problem shoving drugs down her throat and keeping Brad locked up in a cage (and shoving drugs down his throat as well) to keep things running smoothly. The McKinleys in particular are prone to letting the facade slip ever so slightly every once in a while when they get annoyed with someone. And as soon as Farley orders the heroes out of his sight, they don't hesitate in turning on her and joining in with the crowd's repeated screams of "OUT!". Nurse Ansalong is a bit of an exception; although she happily goes along with the big scheme, her perpetually cheerful attitude seems to be genuine.
  • Film Comic: The fansite has an incomplete one. It's referred to as a Movie Novel after the one Richard Anobile did for the first film.
  • Flipping the Bird: Betty does so to Macy during the climax.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In Italy, the film was released as Shock Treatment - Amazing Treatment!.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the end of "Bitchin' in the Kitchen", as Brad is being wheeled off to meet his fate, Bert gleefully says to the audience "The subject is committed!". He then turns to the Floor Manager and murmurs "As are we all". At the end of the movie, the entire town (minus Brad, Janet, Betty, Oliver, and Oscar Drill and the Bits) is effectively committed to a mental institution.
    • During "Looking for Trade", an imaginary Brad tells Janet, "I've just come to tell you how fabulous I am!", hinting he and "Fabulous" Farley have a connection.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Betty and Oliver can be seen pinning name tags on themselves when disguising themselves with Faith Factory costumes, however they are only readable later in the film in Oliver's brief close-up right before "Duel Duet" starts, revealing that they say "INCOGNITO".
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Keep a close eye on the audience when Janet makes her big DTV debut ("Me of Me"), and see Bert, the McKinleys, Officer Parker and Kirk all getting really into her act over by Kirk's Korner, while Neely and her camera crew do the same from the giant "DENTON" letters.
    • More of a Funny Foreground Event, Bert just sitting on his bed somehow becomes more absurd throughout the entirety of "Lullaby" as the camera keeps panning over to him still sitting there even as the lights go out. This may be more of an attempt to hold onto Bert's apparent blindness.
    • If you watch the DTV audience during "Breaking Out", you can spot Neely and Officer Parker dancing to the music.
  • Funny Foreigner: The Viennese Bert Schnick (although he does play it up for the cameras).
  • Gainax Ending: Bordering on Happy Ending: Brad, Janet, Betty and Oliver happily sing and dance away, stealing the convertible. All of the citizens of Denton are committed to Dentonvale, but they seem happy about it, and they were assholes anyway.
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: "Little Black Dress" kicks off Janet's egomania as Cosmo gives her a sleek new look.
  • Genre Shift: Doesn't have any of the science fiction or horror elements that its predecessor has. It's more of a straightforward musical comedy with heavy elements of satire.
  • Glove Snap: Nation does one as Farley's subordinates dress up for Faith Factory during "Look What I Did to My Id".
  • Gratuitous French:
    • Bert refers to Cosmo and Nation as "neuro-specialist par excellence".
    • One of Janet's lines during "Me of Me":
      Janet: Je croie en toujour en moi.note  Ha ha!
  • Hannibal Lecture: Farley Flavors tries this on Brad in "Duel Duet". Brad doesn't go along with it.
  • Happiness in Slavery: The people in Denton sure enjoy being locked up and in straitjackets at the end.
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song/ "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Duel Duet" is a Call-and-Response Song that is both of these between Brad and Farley.
  • Hero vs. Villain Duet: "Duel Duet", where Farley insults Brad for being a complete wuss and Brad snaps back that Farley is a plutocrat devoid of compassion and humanity.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Janet's father. "Thank God I'm a Man" is one giant "I hate" song, despite being rife with what is, arguably, Hard Gay imagery!
  • Honest John's Dealership: Irwin Lapsey, president of Lapsey Autos, gives Janet a car when she's crowned Miss Mental Health.
  • Hospital Hottie: Nurse Ansalong, who gives us a good view of her panties when introduced and shows off her legs during "Look What I Did to My Id".
  • Hypocrite: The studio audience cheers a racist remark towards Mexicans, despite Denton's supposed "tolerance for the ethnic races" as mentioned in "Denton, U.S.A."
  • "I Am" Song: "Thank God I'm a Man" for Janet's dad is all about his manly man philosophy.
  • Informed Attribute: Bert is mentioned to be a gourmet several times throughout the film, yet is never shown cooking anything.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Hoopla" is used throughout the entire film.
  • Institutional Apparel: Brad spends most of the film in a straitjacket after being sent to Dentonvale.
  • Ironic Echo: "Denton, U.S.A." during "Anyhow, Anyhow", showcasing that while the protagonists have escaped, they haven't stopped anything.
  • It's All About Me: The whole point of "Me of Me" is to show Janet's transformation into a fame addict as she performs for the audience the first time. She gets worse and worse until "Looking for Trade" brings her back down to Earth.
    Janet: I've got a lot going for me, y'know. I'm going places. I'm gonna be someone. I'm gonna win my way into the lives and hearts of the people even if I have to kill to do it. I'll make the pathetic little crones love me.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much everyone apart from Brad, Betty or Oliver. But Janet gets better.
  • Karma Houdini: Farley and all of his staff. Sure, they don't succeed at corrupting Janet and the main characters escape, but they to manage to get the entire population of Denton to commit itself to the loony bin and make a mint off it. They're last seen having a dance party in the asylum as money literally rains from the sky around them.
  • Kinky Spanking: Although hard to see due to the camera angle, Macy Struthers is bent over a table getting spanked at the end of the "Denton, U.S.A." reprise in the middle of "Anyhow, Anyhow".
  • Lighter and Softer: At least compared to its predecessor. It isn't a horror film; Nobody gets murdered or cannibalized in this movie! It went out with a PG certificate, though, due to some of its more bizarre moments, it would probably warrant a PG-13 now (the film was released three years prior to the creation of the PG-13 rating).
  • Little Black Dress: Provides the title of a song, as Janet gets this as part of her celebrity makeover and does Modeling Poses while pictures are taken of her in it.
  • Living Prop:
    • The make-up woman gets no lines and does nothing except for follow around the Wardrobe Mistress, who herself was a Bit Character.
    • Neely's camera crew similarly only follow Neely around and film her, but at least they got a spot in the credits.
  • Medley Overture: The overture to Shock Treatment is a medley of "Denton, U.S.A." and "Anyhow, Anyhow".
  • Minion Shipping: Cosmo and Nation McKinley, who are depicted as a married couple (though they still pretend to be siblings), and Rest Home Ricky and Nurse Ansalong are also revealed to be paired off. note 
  • Modeling Poses: Janet shows some off during "Little Black Dress" to show her new look to Nation and Bert.
  • Musical World Hypothesis: Mostly diegetic because nearly everything in Denton is a series of reality TV shows, but "Looking for Trade" is a Dream Sequence that Janet has while unconscious due to drug use, "Duel Duet" might be a Battle in the Center of the Mind, and "Anyhow, Anyhow" is a conventional finale for the heroes while everyone else is busy with the Dark Reprise of "Denton, U.S.A."
  • Naughty Nurse Outfit:
    • Nurse Ansalong is a Hospital Hottie already but a lot of the other characters dress in these during "Look What I Did to My Id".
    • Neely Pritt dons one for the premiere of Faith Factory, much to the delight of the DTV audience.
  • Nerd Glasses: Brad wears these for two reasons: To show how boring he is, and to help stop the audience from seeing the similarities between him and Farley.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nurse Ansalong tells Janet to leave signing Brad's commitment papers or a day so she can get a day's treatment free. At the end Brad goes free because Janet hasn't signed the papers yet.
  • No Full Name Given: Although most characters get full names, we never find out Rest Home Ricky or Frankie the cheerleader's last names, or Nurse Ansalong's first name.
  • No Name Given: For the Floor Manager, the Wardrobe Mistress, or the drummer and guitarist of Oscar Drill and the Bits.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: The narrator is uncredited but voiced by Christopher Malcolm who plays Officer Vance Parker onscreen (Malcolm was also the first actor to play Brad in the original London staging of The Rocky Horror Show).
  • Obfuscating Disability:
    • Bert isn't actually blind.
    • An early draft had Dr. Scott from Rocky filling his role. One scene would have had Nation walk in to find him standing in front of his wheelchair, then he would quickly get back into it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Bert plays his kookiness up for the audiences which helps to hide his position as Farley's second-in-command.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Proposed titles Rocky Horror Shows His Heels and The Brad And Janet Show would have averted this trope.
  • Old Hero, New Pals: Brad and Janet (and minor characters Ralph and Betty — and possibly the Criminologist) are the only Rocky characters to appear. In an unusual case, all except Ralph and the Criminologist are played by different performers, while several performers from Rocky appear in different roles.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: Farley's office includes a wall of monitors that he uses to watch Brad suffer in Dentonvale with, while he cackles in the shadows.
  • Once Upon a Time: Kicks off the Opening Narration.
  • The Oner: "Lullaby" has the camera move back and forth across the windows of Dentonvale for several minutes without a cut.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Sinitta's natural British accent comes out when Frankie asks Janet how she's feeling after "Looking for Trade".
    • The same happens to Jeremy Newson when Ralph apologizes to the DTV audience for Brad, Betty and Oliver crashing the Faith Factory premiere.
  • Opening Chorus: "Denton, U.S.A.", where the DTV audience all sing about how great their town is.
    DTV Audience: Denton, Denton,
    You've got no pretension!
    You're where the heart is,
    You're ok!
  • Opening Monologue: At the start of the film one gives an explanation to Farley's goals for Denton as a whole, and sets up his desire for Janet.
    Narrator: Once upon a time, in a town not far from yours, there lived a real fast guy. His life was fast. His friends were fast. Eh, even his food was fast, but he was still not satisfied. He wanted to share his fast philosophy with... someone else - a beautiful girl. Trouble was, she was in the arms of... another man.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: One of Janet's final lines in "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" is delivered directly into the camera, addressing the "spectator". She technically means the studio audience in the film but is certainly aimed at the viewer as well. Bonus points for doing this while keeping up the rhyme scheme of the song.
  • Perky Female Minion: Nurse Ansalong, just like Columbia in the first film.
  • Phoney Call: Judge Oliver and Betty stand at adjacent pay phones to cover up the fact that they're actually talking to each other while listening in on a conversation between some nearby bad guys.
  • Phrase Catcher: Bert gets an enthusiastic "Hoopla, Bert!" in response to his Catchphrase.
    Audience Participation: Fuck you Bert!
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: How Brad and Janet are dressed in the beginning.
  • Putting on the Reich: Farley Flavors' logo resembles a swastika made from letter Fs, and Bert, his right-hand-man, evokes Hitler in his appearance and some of his behavior.
  • Quarreling Song: "Duel Duet", where Brad and Farley sing insults and suicide dares back and forth at each other.
  • Reality TV: Parodied before its time. Instead of filming real life and using Manipulative Editing to make it more dramatic, they manipulate their actors into behaving in a way suitable for a studio audience.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The Brad and Janet Show script was set all around Denton, and even used "In My Own Way" to establish the town by having Janet sing it as she drove past various important locations, but an inability to film in America had Richard O'Brien set the entire film inside the studio.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Duel Duet" is two of them at the same time, directed at each other.
    Farley: Well, the best thing you could ever do is die.
    Brad: Well, the best thing you could ever do is die.
    Farley: Well, the best thing you could ever do is die!
  • Recursive Canon: A copy of TIME Magazine can be seen on Betty's desk with a picture of the Rocky Horror lips and "Cult Films" written on the cover.
  • Repeating Ad: In-universe example, we first see the Farley Flavors Fast Food commercial when a show on DTV takes a break, and if you listen closely, we can hear the commercial play again when Janet is at her parents' house.
  • The Reveal: It turns out that Brad and Farley are identical twins separated as infants after the deaths of their parents.
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • Ralph and Bert do this as they check how the plan is progressing.
      Ralph: How's Brad?
      Bert: He's a wreck.
      Ralph: Check. The quacks are willing tools?
      Bert: Ah, the quacks are fools!
      Ralph: Y'know, I wouldn't mind doing Janet one or two favors.
      Bert: Shh. It's time to check with Flavors.
    • Brad, Farley, Cosmo, Janet and Oliver all fall victim to this before "Duel Duet" starts.
      Brad: Seducer!
      Farley: And... who are you, sir?
      Brad: Your twin brother and your accuser!
      Janet: Brad!
      Cosmo: Arrest that man! He's committed to our care!
      Janet: I never signed your contract! He's not going anywhere.
      Oliver: To revenge your twin, you tried to abuse her.
      Farley: A ridiculous accusation! You... force me to refuse her.
      Brad: Then why did you choose her?
      Farley: Because of you, sir!
  • Rhyming with Itself: Most of the lines in "Me of Me" end with the word "Me".
  • Riding into the Sunset: The lyrics "The sun never sets on those who ride into it..." appear in the final song.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Invoked in "Look What I Did to My Id":
    Cosmo/Nation: When Heaven's in the music,
    Hell is in control!
    The angels got the voices,
    But the devil got the rock and roll!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After seeing the DTV audience get violent, Oscar Drill and the Bits make a quick exit and hide out in Janet's convertible until "Anyhow, Anyhow".
  • Separated at Birth: Farley and Brad; their parents died in a car accident and they were adopted by different families.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In "Bitchin' in the Kitchen", Janet calls an alarm clock a "micro-digital awaker" and a leg razor a "depilatator".
  • Setting Introduction Song: It starts with "Denton, U.S.A." which describes the titular town.
  • Ship Tease: Between her gleefully telling Janet that Farley's the closet thing to a successful man in Denton, her insistence to get an interview with him and her absolute misery at seeing him choose Macy Struthers as the new Miss Mental Health, it seems Neely Pritt (the reporter) has a thing for Farley Flavors.
  • Show Within a Show: All of DTV's programming, with Marriage Maze and Dentonvale being the most relevant to the plot.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Brad's lines in "Duel Duet" are mostly just him telling Farley that he's wrong and that he's lost his way.
  • Soap Opera: Dentonvale is DTV's most popular soap opera, and based on one Cosmo and Nation had previously been on in Europe.
    Nation: This could be worse than the old series.
    Cosmo: In the old series we never had a convertible.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Most of the musical numbers have little to no choreography, with the exception being "Look What I Did to My Id", which has all the couples working for Farley (Janet's parents, the McKinleys, Ralph and Macy, and Ricky and Ansalong) do a complicated routine with mirrors and lots of twirling.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Harry Weiss' stance in "Thank God I'm A Man" where he sing that men should be the "masters of their sisters".
  • Stepford Smiler: Played for Laughs. Denton is a hybrid of a TV station and a town, so naturally it encourages its residents to be shallow, cheerful consumers.
  • Stepford Suburbia: As a hybrid of a TV station and a town, Denton encourages its residents to be shallow, smiling consumers, or as "Denton, U.S.A." puts it, "The acceptable face of the human race".
  • Studio Audience: Implied to be the entire population of Denton.
  • Suicide Dare: Both Brad and Farley sing to each other that "the best thing you could ever do is die" during "Duel Duet".
  • Supreme Chef: Bert is mentioned to be a gourmet chef several times.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Denton's theme song makes a point of highlighting their "tolerance for the ethnic races", and states that they've got no pretension.
  • Tagline: "It's not a sequel... it's not a prequel... it's an equal". O'Brien's later comments that the movie was an abortion is usually considered more accurate.
  • Take That, Audience!: Shock Treatment parodies the only audience that would ever give it attention - Rocky Horror fans. The TV studio audience shouts in unison at what they're watching, seem hopelessly (and happily) glued to their seats, worship Brad and Janet's every move, and blindly follow the characters, even when they're all led into a mental institution. Subtly, some are also wearing costumes from Rocky Horror.
  • Tears of Joy: Nation is moved to tears after Cosmo reveals he's stolen the keys to Janet's luxurious new convertible.
  • Theme Naming: All of Cosmo and Nation's phony surnames, which are those of U.S. presidents.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Bert fakes his blindness so he can invoke this for the Denton audience, pretending Janet's presence cured him to give credence to the Dentonvale program.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Shock Treatment", of course. Interestingly, it was intended to be the most memorable number, but it was usurped by "Denton, U.S.A.", "Little Black Dress" and "Anyhow, Anyhow".
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Bert loves caviar. He even sings about it during "Little Black Dress".
    Bert: And the vone taste treat so sweet,
    That really cain't be beat
    Is what we have, ja.
    How you are?
    That little black mess!
  • Trapped in TV Land: The back of the DVD case implies this to be the plot by saying "[Brad and Janet] find themselves stuck in a weird television-world".
  • Trash the Set: In-Universe. Janet goes gung-ho on the set during "Me of Me". It seems to make Farley even more excited.
  • Trust Me, I'm a Doctor: Said by Dr. Cosmo McKinley at the end of the trailer, when assuring the audience that "You'll be pathetically crazy about Shock Treatment".
  • Twitchy Eye: Farley occasionally has one throughout the film, although it's most prominent at the end of "Duel Duet".
  • Unnamed Parent: Though he's called Harry here, Janet's father is only ever referred to as Dad or Mr. Weiss in The Brad And Janet Show script.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Farley dons a white suit for the Faith Factory premiere.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Farley comes close at the end of "Duel Duet", but manages to compose himself and win back the audience.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Farley Flavors wins over the TV audience of Denton in order to impose cultlike dictatorial control over them.
  • Visual Gag: At the end of "Little Black Dress", Janet, Bert, Nation and Cosmo strike the pose that Frank-N-Furter, Columbia, Magnenta and Riff Raff had during "Sweet Transvestite".
  • Wham Line: Betty searches up Cosmo and Nation in a DTV database to find out more about them and their medical practices, only to discover...
    Betty: Oh my God! Character actors!
  • Wham Shot: Betty looks at a microfilm of an old newspaper... that reveals that Brad and Farley were twins Seperated At Birth.
  • Where The Hell Is Denton?: The Opening Monologue refers to it as being set in a town "not far from yours", it was originally supposed to be filmed in Denton, Texas but the Screen Actors Guild going on strike put a halt to that, meaning it had to be filmed in England.
  • Xtremely Kool Letterz: Kirk's Korner, the coffee stand for the stars of DTV.
  • The X of Y: In "Denton, U.S.A.", the titular town is referred to as the Mecca of America and the Bethlehem of the west.
  • Zonk: "Bitchin' in the Kitchen" shows off many of the prizes to be won on Marriage Maze, although some are less than desirable, such as a trash can, a shower curtain and a tube of toothpaste.

"The sun never sets on those who ride into it!"


Video Example(s):


"Denton USA"

Shock Treatment starts with "Denton USA" which describes the titular Everytown, America.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SettingIntroductionSong

Media sources: