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Remote Control (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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Remote Control (1988) - Blu-ray

4 beersOut of this world!  Remote Control finally found its HD batteries!

Earth 1987.  The opening shot of Remote Control tells you all you need to know about the range of this marvelous B-movie.  We see a messy shelf of VHS cassette tapes.  Everything from Revenge of the Nerds to Paris, Texas rests there.  Hell, there’s even a copy of Blade Runner on one shelf and Fire & Ice on another.   So, yeah, this is a movie preoccupied with the VHS explosion of the 1980s. 

It is only one VHS tape, though, that is at the center of this release.  And it's a drive-in oldie.  Wanted by all, Remote Control, a much-desired black-and-white film, stretches between the two reels inside each videocassette and it just might take over your life.  It's hypnotizing affect over you will not go unnoticed, though.      

Remote Control is quite hysterical and good-natured in its storytelling.  In the movie, once you load Remote Control into the VCR and press play, you are shit outta luck.  Suddenly, you are in the movie and, as you watch yourself on the screen, the people around you attack.  God help us all!   Our movies are killing us! 

Cheaply made but entertaining nonetheless, Remote Control – starring Matt Dillon and featuring Jennifer Tilly (as Allegra James) – is also a hell of a lot of fun.  The chuckles are plenty and so are the lengths the flick goes to as one guy winds up unexpectedly on a mission to save the earth from an alien invasion.

And, yes, it all revolves around a tape located at Village Video, a local videotape rental shop where the workers take their job very seriously.  Cosmo (Dillon), when he’s not smoking a cigarette in the store, is all about helping his customers find the right movie for their evening entertainment.  Most are satisfied.  On the night of this story, though, it seems way too many people are on the hunt for a cheesy science fiction flick from the 1950s.  Copies of the movie are, as the movie says, like Springsteen tickets: hard to come by.

But why the demand?  Turns out the videotape’s mesmerizing effects upon those who watch it – as they kill, kill, kill those in the room – are all a part of an invading alien’s plan to wipe out humanity for good.  It appears to be working, too. 

That’s right.  Watching Remote Control just might kill you.  There, I said it.  But, here, thanks to the antics of Cosmo’s friend, Georgie (Christopher Wynne) and his perverted attempts to woe Allegra with a copy of War of the Worlds, it is up to Cosmo to stop these invaders once and for all.  That is if the nosey neighbors and cops don’t stop him first.

Written and directed by Jeff Lieberman (Squirm), the cult film has a loyal group of followers.  Count me in as one of them.  The film is more than earnest in its appreciation of the science fiction B-movie.  In the years since its original debut on VHS, the film has become long sought due to its insanity and its expressive love for all things cheap and cheesy. 

While Remote Control never takes itself seriously, there is a fun and engaging spirit shielding this movie from any ill wind sent its way.  People love this cheap and easy title.  It’s little wonder then that the film continues to surface again, stronger than ever, as the decades pass. 

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Remote Control finds itself on high-definition thanks to a 2K transfer from vault elements courtesy of the film’s writer and director himself at http://jeffliebermandirector.com.  With this release, the aliens have digitized their plans to rule us all.  We are screwed.

Remote Control (1988) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
88 mins
Director
: Jeff Lieberman
Writer:
Jeff Lieberman
Cast:
Kevin Dillon, Deborah Goodrich, Christopher Wynne
Genre
: Comedy | Sci-fi
Tagline:
The ultimate power trip
Memorable Movie Quote: "Why does it take home videos to destroy mankind."
 Distributor:
Artisan Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 7, 1988
Synopsis: 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.

Remote Control (1988) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Diabolik
Available on Blu-ray
- March 22, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Remote Control is now available for the first time ever in its original aspect ratio in limited edition, fully re-mastered Blu-ray and DVD.  It is presented with a new 2K HD transfer that is presented with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and an English 2.0 mono track.  While there is an age to the sheen on the film, this is the absolute best the film has ever looked.  Details are crisp – especially the video store – and colors look sharp.  Black levels are deep and solid.  This release is limited to 1000 copies.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Lieberman provides a solid commentary for the movie that gives details on how the cast and the film came to be.

Special Features:

Complete with a new 2K HD transfer and a new commentary from the writer/director himself, the remaining supplemental item is a still gallery.

  • Publicity Still Gallery

Remote Control (1988) - Blu-ray