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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Shock Treatment [Blu-ray]

 

(Jim Sharman, 1981)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:35:02.154 

Disc Size: 45,804,735,333 bytes

Feature Size: 31,097,435,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.89 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Custom Digipak Blu-ray case

Release date: September 11th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2476 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2476 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Archive audio introduction by Richard O Brien (2:03)
Brand new audio commentary with actresses Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell
Archive audio commentary by Mad Man Mike and Bill Brennan
DTV Presents: A Shockumentary retrospective making-of featurette (14:54)
Let's Rock n Roll: Shock Treatment's Super Score archive featurette on the music of Shocky (6:01)
The Rocky Horror Treatment vintage behind-the-scenes documentary (22:45)
Patricia Quinn in Conversation with Mark Kermode (17:02)
Fan featurettes & cover songs
Promo gallery featuring trailers, radio spot and stills
Exclusive digipak packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Blyth
Set of exclusive Shock Treatment Mix n Match Cards
Exclusive double-sided D-E-N-T-O-N poster
Complete Soundtrack CDs

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: It's not a sequel... it's not a prequel... it s an equal! Available on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world, it is with absolute pleasure that Arrow Video presents Shock Treatment the criminally underrated sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show!

Several years on from the events of the original Rocky, Brad and Janet Majors find their strained marriage put to the test on popular Denton TV show Marriage Maze. Poor Brad is heavily sedated and institutionalised, whilst Janet is given a radical makeover and primed for stardom. But what are the real motivations behind the kooky DTV crew and their enigmatic head-honcho, Farley Flavors?

Featuring a host of familiar Rocky faces including Richard O Brien and Patricia Quinn, alongside the likes of Jessica Harper, Barry Humphries and Rik Mayall not to mention a rocking, shocking score from Richard O Brien and Richard Hartley Shock Treatment is the follow-up that s more than the equal of its predecessor.

 

 

The Film:

Many a year ago a bald skinny weirdo freak of a man, lets call him 'Richie' wrote a musical which became a complete phenomenon. Now whether you love or loathe the 'Rocky Horror Show', you have to admit that it is freakishly popular for many generations. As is the film adaption of that show. But fast forward 6 years on from the film to 1981. A time when big hair and big jumpers were cool, where looking like a plastic dildo meant something. In this mystical time of shameless tack, the little skinny baldy Richie released another musical onto us, but a sequel to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It sunk fast. Faster than a whore on a rich man. But what was it like?

Well, for once a sequel that is completely different to the original. You know the way the Police Academy films tried to inject new life into the sequels by changing the settings? Well in the end they were still Police Academy movies. Here instead of a rocky horror 2, the skinny baldy man has taken a few characters from the original film and moved them into new surroundings, with a new style, and a new flavour.

Like the best supernatural tales, one is left with a certain level of the ambiguity. Does the tormenting Aki actually exist as an external threat to Miki, or is Miki’s own internalized guilt starting to act out on her? Perhaps what we’re witnessing is the decline of Miki’s sanity moreso than a malevolent spirit. Or if it is a spirit, perhaps not so malevolent after all.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE

This screwy sequel to original midnight movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) doesn’t quite hit all the marks or is as compulsively watchable as its predecessor, but it’s an oddly fun enough time.

Newlyweds Brad and Janet Majors (De Young, Harper) find themselves tagged to be the contestants on Marriage Maze, a game show hosted by blind Viennese nutcase Bert Schnick (Humphries) after they sit in on an episode’s filming.

Excerpt from TheTerrorTrap located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Shock Treatment looks impressive on Blu-ray from Arrow!  Colors are very bright - kudos to the art direction - and detail is solid and consistent. I have no idea what this film looked like theatrically but this extravaganza has very appealing visuals. There is plenty of depth, strong detail and the sets and costumes are brilliant! There isn't a lot of texture but I see no digitization. It is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate and the 80's style really comes alive in 1080P. This 1.85:1 aspect ratio Blu-ray visually also looks impressive in-motion with no flagrant flaws, noise or artefacts. Sweet!

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Arrow utilize a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) or the option of a DTS-HD 5.1 surround bump. There is some separation in the latter. The music is credited to Richard Hartley and Richard O'Brien who wrote almost all the numbers from the instrumental Overture (played at opening and ending credits), Denton, U.S.A, Brad + Janet performing Bitchin' In The Kitchen to Thank God I'm A Man, Little Black Dress and, of course, Shock Treatment sung by Cosmo, Nation, and Ansalong. It's pretty buoyant and toe-tapping - sounding clean, the choruses rich and fun.  There are optional English subtitles (for the lyrics as well!) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

This is a large package with many supplements starting with the archive audio introduction by Richard O Brien and a fun archival audio commentary by Mad Man Mike and Bill Brennan. Fans also get a brand new audio commentary with actresses Patricia Quinn (Dr. Nation McKinley) and Nell Campbell (Nurse Ansalong) sharing stories and making the listening enjoyable. DTV Presents: A Shockumentary is a 1/4 hour retrospective making-of featurette. Included is the 6-minute archival featurette on the music of Shocky titled Let's Rock n Roll: Shock Treatment's Super Score and the 23-minute The Rocky Horror Treatment vintage behind-the-scenes documentary. Many will appreciate Patricia Quinn in conversation with Mark Kermode for a full 17-minutes. Plus there is much more including fan featurettes & cover songs, promo galleries featuring trailers, radio spot and stills. I only have the screener disc but the package is described as an exclusive digipak featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys with a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Blyth, a set of exclusive Shock Treatment Mix n' Match Cards, an exclusive double-sided D-E-N-T-O-N poster and a complete soundtrack CD.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This isn't The Rocky Horror Picture Show but it is certainly similar although not considered an outright sequel. Many will recall several of the same characters (played by different actors.) It wasn't going to match the former's unexpected and overwhelming success but has a fun nature that is infectious. It's labeled a black comedy and it's hard not to be impressed with the inventive nature of the musical numbers, colorful sets, costumes and overall extravagance. Lots of eye candy to appreciate.  The Arrow Blu-ray is a full package with plentiful extras to augment the strong a/v transfer - plus the packaging, CD, poster etc. Fans of Rocky Horror will see the campy value in this - the 'absurdly tragic' but lacking the spontaneity quality of its predecessor. Jessica Harper is particularly impressive in the role of Janet. Not to all tastes but I was draw-in and it had me amused - the art direction is dazzling. Great package from Arrow. Recommended to those keen! 

Gary Tooze

September 24th, 2017


 




 

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