Richard O'Brien's sort-of-but-not-quite-sequel to the Rocky Horror Picture Show has pretty much flown under the radar ever since it was first released in 1981. A musical featuring several Rocky characters and cast members (although only one single actor is re-cast as their original RHPS counterpart), Shock Treatment joins Brad and Janet several years after their encounter with Frank-N-Furter. Coerced into taking part in a marriage-guidance game show, it soon becomes apparent that the entire town of Denton is actually a massive TV set in which every single citizen plays their part either in front of or behind the scenes. And one of them in particular has a more sinister motive than others...
While not as well known as Rocky, Shock Treatment features all the hallmarks of Richard O'Brien's madcap genius. Crazy characters played with glee by a host of familiar faces, including two turns from Cliff de Young (Brad) who is almost unrecognisable as the main villain Farley Flavors. The strikingly colourful visuals are brought to life on this Blu-Ray transfer, with details that we hadn't picked up on despite seeing the film on DVD countless times in the past. The soundtrack - included here as a bonus audio CD - has a more mature edge to it than Rocky, but is just as memorable. The default stereo audio track is as clear as you could want it to be, and there's an isolated music and sound effects track for those wanting to act along at home. Surely someone must do that sort of thing? Unfortunately though, we must report that the 5.1 track features the same audio dropout during the opening song which has plagued older DVD releases, which is a shame for those with big fancy speaker systems.
Despite not fixing that audio blip, Arrow Video have gone all-out with this release, furnishing us with more extra bits and pieces than you could have imagined. All of the previous DVD “archive” featurettes, interviews and commentaries are included, as well as a brand new commentary by Patricia Quinn and “Little” Nell Campbell. Quinn also appears elsewhere in conversation with Mark Kermode, and there are new features about the soundtrack and cover songs, as well as “fan made content” of slightly dubious quality, but we're fine with that. There's also that bonus soundtrack CD, as well as a double-sided poster, mix and match cards, and a collector's booklet.
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to knock a point off for the inclusion of the brief audio dropout. We'll argue that it isn't the end of the world, and as an overall package, this is as close to perfect as we're going to get.
SHOCK TREATMENT / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: JIM SHARMAN / SCREENPLAY: JIM SHARMAN, RICHARD O’BRIEN / STARRING: JESSICA HARPER, CLIFF DE YOUNG, RICHARD O’BRIEN, PATRICIA QUINN / RELEASE DATE: 11TH SEPTEMBER