HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Agency Shock news!  Advertising is evil!
Year: 1980
Director: George Kaczender
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Lee Majors, Valerie Perrine, Alexandra Stewart, Saul Rubinek, George Touliatos, Franz Russell, Michael Kirby, Gary Reineke, Hugh Webster, Anthony Parr, Jonathan Welsh, Donald Davis, Marilyn Gardner, Eric Donkin
Genre: Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Advertising creatives Philip Morgan (Lee Majors) and Sam Goldstein (Saul Rubinek) are uneasy when the agency they work for is purchased by mysterious billionaire Ted Quinn (Robert Mitchum). While Philip is busy salvaging a relationship with girlfriend Brenda Wilcox (Valerie Perrine), Sam does a little investigating into the motivation behind Quinn's top secret new ad campaign. He does not like what he finds. On a visit to Sam's apartment Philip makes a grisly discovery that motivates him to find out just what Quinn and his fellow conspirators are up to.

Based on a novel by Paul Gottlieb, the Canadian produced Agency arrived at the tail end of a decade obsessed with conspiracies. With movies having already scrutinized the government, big business and television among others the advertising industry must have seemed like the next logical step. Specifically subliminal advertising, a practice causing much consternation and debate at the time as to how effectively, if unscrupulously, it could be used to manipulate consumers. Gottlieb's novel took that already unsettling idea one step further pondering how corporations could use it to manipulate the democratic process.

Now, in an era of "deep fakes", fraudulent Facebook ads and relentless manipulation of digital media, such paranoia seems almost quaint. Nevertheless the root concept at the heart of Agency has some weight. It needed a Paddy Chayefsky or even a Michael Crichton to fashion a more incisive and nuanced satire. Instead Hungarian born director George Kaczender, working from a screenplay by Noel Hynd, proves strangely lackadaisical in getting to the core scary idea. Most of the film centres on erstwhile bionic Viking stuntman Lee Majors pottering about the office, trading trite witticisms with Saul Rubinek about the facile nature of the advertising game or whining endlessly about his ex-wife and non-committal girlfriend. Exciting, right? Only towards the very end do the actual ramifications of Quinn's dastardly plan rear their head. Even then the big reveal of his subliminal ad campaign is undercut by laughable psychedelic animation straight out of Yellow Submarine (1968). To be honest as a thriller this proves hard to take seriously from the get-go when it kicks off with a dive into literal disco hell with a montage of dancers in glittery body paint and devil horns shilling deodorant.

Kaczender's fumbled, pedestrian handling of the cod-Hitchcockian plot leaves no room to develop its potentially provocative ideas. It is an ugly looking film with a muddy, washed out colour palette familiar from Canadian-made slasher films that does little to enliven its tacky milieu. Meanwhile the whiny, self-absorbed protagonists are odd and unappealing, laden with insufferably 'sophisticated' dialogue rife with casual misogyny and homophobia. Lee Majors is a solid enough lead but unconvincing as an ad man while Robert Mitchum, in a dry run for his cat-obsessed television executive in Scrooged (1988), has a little more fun with a sardonic turn. It is odd though that Quinn never comes across like the ogre everyone makes him out to be. Eventually Agency bows out with a shrug of an ending that betrays the filmmakers' frustrating disinterest in their own story.



Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 888 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: