When your thoughts are not your own
Running Time: 84 minutes
UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
When the Government finally decide to use their top secret mind control technology on each and every one of us, there will be only one way to fight back: the wearing of silly hats. THATS how the people will rise and win the day. Not by developing counter-technology of our own, not by storming the halls of authority and reclaiming power, and certainly not by waiting until the next election and hoping to vote in some folks who are a bit more reasonable. Hats are the answer. Baseball caps, trilbies, bowlers, berets, pirate hats, top hats, my-hat-it-has-three-corners, you name it. Stock up now, because they might just save your life, dammit.
Thats the basic premise behind the gleefully-stupid Control Factor, a film fitting perfectly into the so crap its good category if ever there was one. It stars Adam Baldwin (no relation to all those other Baldwins) as an average insurance-selling everyman who unwittingly becomes the guinea pig for the US governments dastardly new noggin-manipulation programme (serves him right for not wearing a hat if you ask me, but I digress).
Tormented by voices ordering him to bump off his missus Elizabeth Berkley (we all know Showgirls was bad, but is there really any need for that?), he seeks help from cranky-but-clever (hes wearing a hat, you see?) Tony Todd. But will the pair of them be able to make it to Debenhams and stock up on charming summertime headwear before its too late? Ooooh, the suspense is almost too much to bear!
If you fancy a bit of a laugh, I cant recommend Control Factor highly enough. At one point, Todd actually screams the word fiends! at the chief villain (Conrad Dunn) whilst somehow managing to maintain a straight face. Similarly impressive is Baldwins use of the phrase psychotronic brain entrainment frequency bombardment (we have to assume thats the catchy term his characters thought up all by himself, as nobody else ever uses it) without breaking into a giggle. Theres also a great bit where a tramp pesters a perfectly-healthy detective into having a spur-of-the-moment heart attack. Marvellous.
Unfortunately, you cant help but get the feeling this wasnt actually intended to be a comedy. Hammed-up as they are, the actors DO seem to be taking it all remarkably seriously. See, for instance, the scene where our heroes are about to be set upon by a gang of hip-hoppin ghetto hoodlums, until a hurried exchange of headwear saves the day. You just couldnt write comedy that good. Its not possible. So I can only assume its not actually a comedy which is a pity, because in that case its just plain rubbish.
It's Got: Booming trade for the hat business.
It Needs: Turbans, crowns, headscarves and veils to be removed none of them are proper hats and WILL NOT WORK. Youve been warned.
DVD Extras No extras. Not even some emergency hat-making instructions. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10
Mad as a hatter.