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A video store clerk stumbles onto an alien plot to take over earth by brainwashing people with a bad '50s science fiction movie. He and his friends race to stop the aliens before the tapes can be distributed world-wide. Written by
Andy Bogursky <email@example.com>
God I love Jeff Lieberman's work and it never seems to amaze me. 'Remote Control' is no different, and it's probably his most obscure feature. All this guy needs is quite a healthy budget to let those innovative ideas and visions truly evolve. What's lined up in the VCR (yep it's the glorious video era) is a B-grade Sci-fi retro spoof on 1950's Sci-fi set in modern times and the late 80s video boom that's mainly spot on with its send up, even with such limited resources and slight material. It's quite well done (in typical 80s spirit) and ejects rather an inventive premise that have aliens using an mind-controlling video which features an hilarious shoddy old-fashion Sci-fi film called "Remote Control' that sees the viewer becoming apart of the screen action and virtually losing control, killing anybody near. So it's up to a video clerk who discovers the secret to put a stop to it all. Something only the 80s could spit out.
From the get-go everything falls on the quirky and low-key side. It's daft, but it knows it and plays it accordingly with its often witty, but undemanding script. Where it builds upon paranoia and conspiracy laced inclusions, but despite its small groundwork Lieberman's able direction makes it work and the self-parody is hard to dislike. Even Peter Bernstein's music, expertly harked back to those eerie 50's sci-fi scores. The vibe that was created was perfectly pitched. Tim Suhrstedt's camera-work sparsely moves around and effectively judged which it's at its best during the attack scenes.
Little to no FX is used (which would be due to the considerably low-budget), but an attempt at story-telling and heighten suspense comes to the forefront. It works to its strengths and this is what makes it more so successful. Some passages can get slack or repetitive, but the pace manages to be snappy and the fashionable décor holds your attention. Not letting you forget what era this was from. There's convincing performances (done in mock-seriousness approach) from a reliable Kevin Dillon, a wonderful Deborah Goodrich and an all too short, but a perky Jennifer Tilly. No matter how small her part is, Tilly always does her best to leave an imprint on proceedings. I didn't think that Dillon would be strong enough to carry the lead role, but surprisingly he looks and acts the part.
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