THE "SEQUEL / EQUAL" DEBATE

ON


OKAY, LET'S FACE IT.
NOT EVERYONE SHARES THE SAME OPINION ON HOW TO CLASSIFY SHOCK TREATMENT.
IN FACT, THERE ARE SOME FANS WHO BELIEVE ONE IDEA SO MUCH, THEY'VE ACTUALLY ARGUED OVER IT!
SO I PLAN ON RESOLVING THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!!! (hopefully)


DEFINITION OF SEQUEL: (According to Webster's New American Dictionary)

se-quel \'se-kwel\ n 1 : logical consequence 2 : a literary or cinematic work continuing a story begun in a preceding one.

Well, I think we all have to agree that Shock Treatment meets this definition, particularly the second one.

DEFINITION OF EQUAL: (According to Webster's New American Dictionary)
e-qual \'e-kwel\ n : one that is equal, of the same measure, quanity, value, quality, number, degree, or status as another - free from extremes.

Hmm... I think most Rocky and / or Shock fans would agree that Shock Treatment is different from Rocky Horror in many ways.  Not exactly an "equal" by definition.  And on the other hand, there are many similarities.  So calling it an equal is not exactly cut and dry.

OTHER TERMS DEFINING SHOCK TREATMENT BY FANS AND NON-FANS:
follow-up:  What exactly determines a film to be a follow up?  Any sequel instantly becomes a "follow up" to its predecessor.  This is a givey.  However, any film or writing written after a story, regardless of whether it is a sequel or prequel is called a "follow up."  For example, Star Wars: Episode 6 - Return Of The Jedi is a follow-up to Star Wars: Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back, right?  But keep in mind that anything made after "Return Of The Jedi" is a follow up.  Therefore, the prequel, Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace is a "follow-up" to Return Of The Jedi.  And think about it: Would you classify each Bond movie as a sequel to the movie before?  No, each is a follow up.  SO YOU GET THE IDEA: Same character(s), new story = follow up.
 
spin-off:  This suggestion was submitted by Scott M. James, who plays eddie in The cast of Divine Decadence
 in Las vegas.  He suggests that Shock Treatment should be called a "spin-off."  Hearing this suggestion, it reminds me of television "spin-off"s.  Levern & Shirley, Joanie Loves Chachi, and even Mork & Mindy were all spin-offs from the TV show "Happy Days" because that's where the characters were first scene.  This would tie in with the next suggestion:
 
new adventure:  Recently, when watching the DVD of "Hannibal", which is the "sequel" to the movie "Silence Of The Lambs", the director commentary made the point of saying that he felt that "Hannibal" was not a sequel to Silence Of the Lambs, but it was a sequel to the two main characters.  Sort of a "new adventure".  This type of term is a great one, and in relation to RHPS and ST, that would make Shock Treatment a sequel to Brad and Janet, not to Rocky Horror.  Hey, think about it: many promotions for Shock Treatment advertised the continuing "adventures of Brad and Janet."  Not a bad term, really.

THE DEBATE:

Here's what we know as fact:

1.  Twentieth Century Fox asked Richard O'Brien to write a "sequel" to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
2.  Budget restraints forced several script and name changes, against O'Brien's will.  It eventually became Shock Treatment, and Twentieth Century Fox advertised it as a sequel still.
3.  Upon poor responses from early screenings of the film, advertisements changed the promotion to "From the creators of The Rocky Horror Picture Show ... The continuing adventures of Brad and Janet."  This avoided the word "sequel."
4.  The movie bombed.  Even die-hard fans didn't like it in the beginning.  Embarrassed, they decided to describe the film: "Not a prequel, not a sequel, but an equal," based on a quote from O'Brien in an early interview.  This opens the door for them to make a NEW "sequel" one day in the future, if that day ever came.
5.  Over the years, fans argue over what classification to call it.  Anticipating a real sequel, some fans are firm that Shock Treatment is NOT a sequel.
6.  The most recent video releases (VHS) describe the film on the back as -- YES, it's there folks in black and white -- a "sequel."  The back of the Fox video release (1184) reads: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show Was Just The Beginning!  Picking up where The Rocky Horror Picture Show left off, this outrageous musical sequel to the midnight hit stars Brad (CLIFF DeYOUNG) and Janet Majors (JESSICA HARPER) in a wild send-up of America's favorite pasttime - television."


SO THERE YOU HAVE IT: Even 20th Century Fox now officially calls it a sequel.  So let's stop arguing over it and deal with it!  By the above definitions, Shock Treatment is all of those terms!  It is a follow up, as well as a sequel and an equal!  It's also a new adventure and a spin-off.  But most of all, it's a fantastic movie!


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