5.6/10
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19 user 9 critic

Remote Control (1988)

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Jeff Lieberman

Writer:

Jeff Lieberman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Dillon ... Cosmo
Deborah Goodrich ... Belinda Watson
Christopher Wynne Christopher Wynne ... Georgie
Frank Beddor ... Victor
Jennifer Tilly ... Allegra James
Kaaren Lee ... Patricia
Bert Remsen ... Bill Denver
Jamie McEnnan Jamie McEnnan ... Matthew (as Jaime McEnnan)
Jerold Pearson Jerold Pearson ... Alan Bard
Jennifer Buchanan Jennifer Buchanan ... Julia Bard
Deborah Downey Deborah Downey ... Eva
Will Nye ... Milo
Marilyn Adams Marilyn Adams ... Neighbor #1
Dick Warlock ... Mr. James (as Richard Warlock)
Ann Walker Ann Walker ... Mrs. James
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Storyline

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 and their only weapon is a special remote control. Written by Andy Bogursky <bogursky@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your future is in their hands. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Control remoto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vista Organization See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Lieberman slept in the director's trailer during the shooting of all the scenes at the video rental outlet. See more »

Connections

References Terminal Choice (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Raw
Written by David Kitay
Published by Tyrell-Mann Music Corp.
Performed by David Kitay
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lieberman does sci-fi and it's 80s to the max!
7 July 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

A cold-war-era style tale of alien invaders brainwashing the masses via VHS, Remote Control stars Kevin Dillon (younger brother of Matt) as video store clerk Cosmo, who discovers a plot by extraterrestrials to destroy mankind by altering an old sci-fi movie so that it causes uncontrollable violence when viewed. With the help of his best pal Georgie (Christopher Wynne) and babe Belinda Watson (Deborah Goodrich), Cosmo sets out to destroy all the copies of the film on video before they can be shipped nationwide, but can they succeed without being exposed to the deadly movie themselves?

How '80s do you like your films? I only ask because this quirky little sci-fi flick from director Jeff Lieberman (Just Before Dawn/Satan's Little Helper) takes everything already tacky about the decade of day-glo and back-combing and pushes them to the limits, with exaggerated fashion disasters and bizarre hairstyles that make Cyndi Lauper and A Flock of Seagulls look positively reserved by comparison. If you find the idea of metallic lame blouson jackets at all upsetting, then you would probably be better off giving this one a miss. If, however, you appreciate absurd low budget obscurities and revel in the colourful and kitsch, then dive on in.

In addition to its clever plot device (whereby the '50s film that the aliens use to control their victims has the same narrative as the film we are watching) and all of the gaudy 80s style, Remote Control delivers lots of nostalgia for those who grew up in the video era (check out all of the cool titles and posters in the video stores!), some cheesy fight action, Jennifer Tilly sporting a truly awful hairdo, a surprisingly good explosion, and an impressive full body burn stunt. While not quite as accomplished as Jeff Lieberman's horror movies—a bigger budget would certainly have helped to fully realise its potential—Remote Control is still a unique experience from a true auteur, and should provide a fun time for those curious enough to seek it out.


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