2021 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 16: Remote Control (1988)

16. VIDEO STORE DAY: This is the big one. Watch something physically rented or bought from an actual video store. If you don’t have access to one of these sacred archival treasures then watch a movie with a video store scene in it at least. #vivaphysicalmedia

When a video store clerk (Kevin Dillon) has learned a horrible secret. His store is renting a black and white 50s science fiction movie that is brand new, was created by aliens and leads to people being brainwashed. Sure, that could happen.

In the hands of anyone other than director and writer Jeff Lieberman (SquirmBlue Sunshine), this would be a trifle, but this movie gets to the bottom of one of my major issues: sitting in a room all day and watching movies until I can’t stay awake any longer, then watching more movies.

I mean, I wish that Village Video was real, a place where women like Belinda Watson (Deborah Goodrich, April Fool’s Day) would stroll through hoping to find Truffaut’s Stolen Kisses and I guess the only place that would come close is Scarecrow Video, whose challenge this month inspired hunting down this old VHS chestnut that only got a physical release on DVD and blu ray when Liberman got the rights himself and DIY-distributed it.

Man, Kevin Dillon was getting into all kinds of 50s and 60s throwback shenanigans in the 80s, huh? Beyond the fake science fiction alien movie populated by all asian extraterrestrials, he was also in The Blob remake and Heaven Help Us.

So yeah, it’s not all that great — Lieberman claims that the producers ruined it — but any movie that has a murder-causing VHS tape and Jennifer Tilly in it can’t be all that bad.

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