11 August 2008
Agency, dir. George Kaczender (1980)
At work yesterday, we got this delivery of about 200 of the worst and weirdest DVDs ever. Things like Adam and Evil and Concrete Cowboy. Most of them star people you've never heard of, the DVD cover art is so dodgy, and we're selling them for about four bucks.
Obviously, though, even in a pile of trash like that, Steve and I will find something worth watching. In fact, I bought five. One was Agency, a thriller starring Robert Mitchum and Lee Majors about an ad agency's secret plan to place subliminal imagery in soda and snack commercials in order to influence public political opinion. It's a dastardly idea and it's up to ad-man Majors to figure the plot out and get to the bottom of it.
The movie was full-on '70s cheese, but it was earnest and witty, and I actually thought it was quite good. I would have liked to have seen more on the imagery and less of Majors and Valerie Perrine getting chased around, but that's a small issue. It's one of those movies about technology from a time when the world was only just figuring out how to harness and make use of machines in the best and worst ways, and like Alvin Toffler books, I can always get into that.