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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>
Aliens with knowledge of marketing and earthly hypes develop the brilliant plan of distributing an altered 50's Sci-Fi movie that holds the ability to brainwash its viewers through the television screen and turn them into mad-raving maniacs out to kill their own species. I tell you; only in the demented 80's decade some producer would actually consider pumping money into a goofy horror premise like this. "Remote Control" couldn't be more eighties if it tried to be (I'm actually surprised Duran Duran didn't sign for the soundtrack), but at the same time it's extremely amusing as long as you interpret the film like it should, namely as a light-headed spoof. The silliness of the plot, the over-the-top grotesque costumes, the cheesy sound and make-up effects and the tongue in cheek acting performances all clearly indicate that the film shouldn't be taken too seriously and that the whole thing is merely a big juicy wink at the so-called "video revolution" that boomed during the mid 80's. Any film that simultaneously parodies an entire cinematic sub genre (alien invasion flicks of the 50's) and an entire way of life (80's punks with crazy hairstyles and an awful taste in clothing) is at least worth a bit of praise, regardless of the overall tacky elaboration and the occasional dull moments in the screenplay. Kevin Dillon, Matt's less famous brother, looks and behaves exactly rebellious enough to accidentally stumble upon the aliens' fiendish conspiracy and to take on the battle. He works in a video store where the video, also called "Remote Control" is a tremendous success and together with his co-worker and a stereotypical 80's beauty they go after the distributors. The movie doesn't really offer quality material, but at least it's spirited and writer/director Jeff Lieberman surely always knows where to put the emphasis. Speaking of which, Lieberman undeniably was (is, in fact) one of the most peculiar contributors to the genre of horror during the 70's and 80's. I'm a big fan of his work, but he's still sadly under-appreciated and too often neglected. He didn't make that many films, but the premises were always strikingly original and refreshing. He served killer worms in "Squirm", bald and murderous LSD-trippers in "Blue Sunshine", backwoods rednecks in "Just Before Dawn" (admittedly not that innovating) and now ladies and gentleman the only horror movie ever to feature VCR-aliens! "Remote Control" flopped big-time during its initial release (I even read in an interview that the failure resulted in Lieberman's aversion to directing) and it's still incredibly obscure these days. Ironically enough, if "Remote Control" actually were an extraterrestrial project to take over our planet, it severely would have failed as hardly anyone bothered to rent it.
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