"Shock Treatment F.A.Q."

(Frequently Asked Questions)

The place to turn to when you just HAVE to know those answers before you go insane!

1.  When exactly was Shock Treatment released at the theaters?

Shock Treatment originally was slated for release in September of 1981 in theaters everywhere.  Then, after poor screenings with test audiences, it was announced to open in only a few select cities in the month of October.  When October came around, Shock Treatment still was not released.  Prevue magazine stated that a new date was set for a "limited theater" release in November.  However, it took an entire month again to actually surface -- late December in only a few cities.  It was never released widely, due to its poor response in the select cities.

2.    Is Shock Treatment a sequel or an equal?

Technically, anything that is a follow-up to a movie is a sequel.  However, this question seems to have consumed many Shock Treatment and Rocky Horror fans for years.  Richard O'Brien said in an interview that it was an equal instead of a sequel.  This may have stemmed from the several script changes that lead to Shock Treatment because his original script was beyond-a-shadow-of-doubt a direct sequel called "Rocky Shows His Heels" with Rocky, Frank, Riff and Magenta.  However, due to budget cuts and several rewrites to fit the budget cuts (primarily due to the 1980 Actors' Strike), the script was altered into what it is today, a story VERY much different than the original "sequel" Richard had written.  So this could explain why he calls it an "equal."  Yet at the same time, 20th Century Fox prints on its video box to releases (particularly '93 and forward) that this is the "sequel."

3.    What Shock Treatment merchandise(s) are still in print?

Currently only the video is still in print and easily orderable from video outlets.  The soundtrack is out of print, but several CD outlets still have the soundtrack in their warehouses.  Other merchandise that is rare or out of print may be found easily through traders, collectors, or eBay.

4.    Are Cosmo, Nation, Ansalong, and Judge Oliver Wright really Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia and the Criminologist?

No.  As written in Richard's screenplay, they are original characters.  Some Rocky Horror / Shock Treatment fans have attempted to make it more of a "sequel" (true to the original film) by suggesting that these characters (even dead Columbia) are the original film characters pretending to be new ones.  This commotion has been created due to the fact that they are the same actors from the first film in different roles.  The only actor from the first film who plays the same role is Jeremy Newson playing Ralph Hapschatt.

5.    Why didn't Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon reprise their roles?

Barry Bostwick had other film projects in the works so he was unavailable.  Susan Sarandon wanted too much money for the role which was impossible due to film budget restraints.  Tim Curry was offered the dual roles of Brad Majors and Farley Flavors but he couldn't get the American accent down pat.  Imagine, if you would, what rumors would have surfaced if he had! (see question 4)

6.    What CHANGES have been made since the original script?

The original script, "Rocky Shows His Heels," featured Brad, Janet, Frank, Rocky, Riff Raff, Magenta, and Dr. Scott.  The songs in "Shock Treatment" were originally written for this script, as well as a few others.  In that story, Janet is pregnant with Frank's baby, Brad and Dr. Scott are gay, Rocky steals Frank's body for revival, and Riff Raff and Magenta steal Janet's baby.  The first draft proved to be too costly to film, so it was scrapped and re-written into a Shock-Treatment-similar script, called "The Brad And Janet Show."  This script was almost exact to the film today, except it features Dr. Scott in Bert Schnick's role.  Other differences: scenes / songs were all over Denton, instead of one television studio set, including Bitchin' In The Kitchen sung inside Brad and Janet's home, and Duel Duet sung outside on the front stops of the Denton sanitarium; there were no television shows, with the exception of Denton Dossier at the beginning;  Farley Flavors' Faith Factory Show was an interview outside the sanitarium; some song lyrics were longer, different, new verses; and Dr. Scott's secret was that he faked his handicap (like Bert faked blindness) thus leading to a scene where he, in his wheelchair, is chained to the back of a moving vehicle, while Cosmo, Nation and Janet (in the car) sing "Carte Blanche."  The third draft is the closest draft to the actual film, with some slight differences in dialogue lines throughout the story.  The forth and final draft, used for the film, is word for word, scene for scene, correct, matching the film entirely.

7.    What exactly does Nation McKinley say to Bert as he "peeps" in on Janet showering?

This debate started when the script was "transcribed" by ear for websites.  The transcripter heard the line as "Care for a non-sex act" and this line seemed acceptable for Rocky fans who wanted some eliment of sex in the sequel.  I, personally, thought the line was "Care for a nonsense snack" because they immediately went and ate caviar.  However, upon obtaining the various drafts of the actual script (not transcripts), I was about to read what the line actually was: "Care for an on-set snack?"

8.    Who does the voice of the narrator in Shock Treatment?

The voice is uncredited.  In good humor, I'd like to answer Uncle Jessie from The Dukes Of Hazzard, but alas it is not so.  Most likely, it belonged to someone already acting in the movie, most likely a small role.  If this is so, the most logical voice to match an actor would be Manning Redwood, who plays Harry Weiss, Janet's father.

9.    Are there any references to Rocky Horror in Shock Treatment?

Several.  Frank's throne is present, as is the American Gothic painting and other props.  "Thank God he didn't end up like Danny Slipstrini," Janet's mother said to Janet, about Brad -- referring to homosexuality as a result from sleeping with Frank N Furter.  The newspaper (on microfilm) that Betty discovers features a headline "UFO spotted over Denton."

10.    How can I get Shock Treatment to play in my theater?

According to a 20th Century Fox representative, through a phone call via my theater, there are only 3 existing 35mm prints of Shock Treatment for theater rental.  And they are not in the best of condition.  Ask your theater to book the print, but if you plan on booking at Halloween (the most common time to show it), book it pretty early due to the lack of prints available.