New Reviews
Django Unchained
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Les Misérables
Chernobyl Diaries
The Cabin in the Woods

Control Factor (2003)

When your thoughts are not your own

Directed by:

Nelson McCormick

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 84 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


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. THAT’S 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.

That’s the basic premise behind the gleefully-stupid ‘Control Factor’, a film fitting perfectly into the “so crap it’s 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 government’s 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 (he’s 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 it’s too late? Ooooh, the suspense is almost too much to bear!

If you fancy a bit of a laugh, I can’t 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 Baldwin’s use of the phrase “psychotronic brain entrainment frequency bombardment” (we have to assume that’s the catchy term his character’s thought up all by himself, as nobody else ever uses it) without breaking into a giggle. There’s also a great bit where a tramp pesters a perfectly-healthy detective into having a spur-of-the-moment heart attack. Marvellous.

Unfortunately, you can’t help but get the feeling this wasn’t 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 couldn’t write comedy that good. It’s not possible. So I can only assume it’s not actually a comedy – which is a pity, because in that case it’s 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. You’ve been warned.

DVD Extras No extras. Not even some emergency hat-making instructions. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10




Mad as a hatter.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *