The Agency (1980)

Director: George Kaczender.
Starring. Lee Majors, Robert Mitchum, Valerie Perrine, Saul Rubinek. USA. 1h 34m.

I nearly forgot when subliminal messages were a real hot topic, I remember my mother being freaked out about them but them being used on the TV and in cinemas, from what I remember, being so young, this will be marred, but it all got washed away as being a joke cos it just didn’t affect anyone.. or did it? Either way the idea of messages being slipping into commercials to mind fuck the public into doing anything is a pretty scary notion and The Agency really plays with this fear and it’s potential consequences, and re watching this recently couldn’t have come at a better time with all of the cases of media being used to change public opinion in the run up to the recent USA elections, is this a procurer to such covert control?

Lee Majors heads up the film as Philip Morgan, a womanising, alimony dodgy douchebag with a heart of gold, his top position within a prestigious ad agency is in jeopardy after it’s taken over by a mysterious millionaire who seems to have a lot of covert adverts on the go. The owner, Ted Quinn (Mitchum) is a rough diamond, but has an iron grip on the situation, all until a certain messy, nervous copywriter, Sam Goldstein (Rubinek) between feeding his pet kitty lush fish in his cockroach infested apartment the highly strung eccentric puts the pieces together, he alerts his best friend Philip but dies before he can pass on all the information, this sparks Philip to go into James Bond mode and launch his own investigation into the matter.

On one hand it’s a pretty slick thriller, with a few flighty action scenes, lots of 70’s style Colombo investigations and Lee Majors quirky little smile as he tries to seduce a few beauties along the way, but it’s also a terribly watered down thriller, but it’s only a TV movie so can anyone really be that judgmental about it. Mitchum doesn’t have much screen time but does as always have a lot of presence, he kinda swaggers around like royalty and rightly so.

There are the occasional little chases as the tycoon’s henchmen stalk Philip and his girlfriend and partner in crime Brenda (Perrine) is cornered on an escalator and quick thinking to get free from their grasp, but it’s not the most dangerous action film of the year, but the concept is brilliant, and in the right hands this could have been a daring and vibrant thriller even if it’s hinged on a concept which might not actually work all that effectively but the dangers are still ever present.

Rating 5/10

RHalloween II (1981), Blue Sunshine (1977), Scanners (2091), Prettykill (1987)
L – Mind Control Movies
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