Control (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

I thought Sean Young was through with nude scenes after several fully dressed movies, but here she is, up to her old tricks again, and not looking bad at all!

Unfortunately, this movie is dreadful, absolutely one of the worst "thrillers" and or "mysteries" I've seen in a long time.


The police have four unsolved missing persons cases, plus the murder of a young woman. In all four missing persons cases, Sean Young was their psychologist. Therefore, the police are watching her. The brother of one of the missing persons is also trying to get his way into her office by pretending to be a potential patient. As it turns out, he's a very good candidate for treatment, since he has a history of violence against women, and that just happens to be Sean's one and only specialty. How convenient.

Certain details of the cases don't make sense, and with good reason. You know how they always try to introduce clues that point to different people as red herrings? Well in this case, they weren't red herrings. There were jillions of completely separate bad guys. In fact, every single character in this film was trying to kill a second character while blaming it on a third. They apparently chose their victims like one of those holiday office lottery things, where you draw to see whose Christmas present you will buy. That way each person only has to buy one present, or in this case, kill one person.


Sean Young showed her breasts and the side of her hips in a love scene

Will Schaub shows his butt in the same scene.

Sarah Crawford, as part-time sex surrogate and full-time go-go dancer, shows breasts and buns while with a patient

The situations and dialogue were hilariously bad because instead of being true to life, people did and said whatever was necessary to further the plot. Some examples:

1.  Sean Young is a hypnotist, but she only puts people under for a minute each session, interrupting just as they are about to reveal a childhood trauma. How many therapists do you know who make two minute appointments and postpone possible key breakthroughs? Of course, they interrupt the childhood story in order to incorporate the details of that into the missing persons solution, so they couldn't tell it all at once. Sean is also able to hypnotize a guy in about 20 seconds, and is able to return him to that trance any time she wishes, by muttering the magic incantation "it's OK to sleep ". Very economical for plot development.

2. The chief of police is teed off at the brother for interfering with a police investigation, but then he says. "OK, since you're involved, I'm gonna tell you everything", and proceeds to reveal every secret detail of the case. For all he knew, the brother could have been a bad guy (he was, sort of). Of course, the chief of police knew that the brother didn't commit some of the murders because .... yup, you guessed it. The Chief of Police was also one of the bad guys.

3. After spending about ten minutes with the psychologist, the brother blurts out that he's falling in love with her. Hey, the plot needed it, and we needed to see her naked. Best of all, she fell for it.

4. In the end, the psychologist has to figure out a way to poison the brother. (I'll explain that in a bit). He is beating the hell out of her while remembering a childhood trauma, then he snaps back to reality, and says "I'm sorry". How does she pull it off? She says "Oh, that's OK, I just need a drink. Want one?" Guess what happened to him.

5. The police chief says "we have a small town, and when a bunch of people are missing it isn't long before the mayor gets on my butt". Except later, we see them driving through complex cloverleaf expressways and past skyscrapers. We see that it is Kansas City. This is not what you would normally think of as a small town, unless you live in Sao Paolo.

That's only a few of many such examples.

In addition, at least two of the murders are obviously telegraphed.

Telegraph #1: The chief of police is actually only a minor character, but suddenly the honest detective on the case is upset because the chief won't carry a cell phone at certain times of the evening. Why would they mention this detail? A few minutes later, we find out that a key female victim was dating "a married cop".

Telegraph #2: Sean Young practices an obscure and discredited form of psychology based on the rigors of ancient Sparta. In Sparta (according to her speech) they killed off the weak, the old, anybody who was a burden on the society. They believed that you should try to heal the sick. And if they failed? Well, take a guess. Now, what does that tell you about what Sean does with the patients she can't cure? That's why she poisoned the brother late in the movie. Remember, he was beating her up after having been her patient. She obviously hadn't cured him, so ....

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • optionally dubbed in Spanish

I haven't even scratched the surface of the flaws in this cheesy film. The acting is generally poor, every single character is unlikable, the plot advances about as fast as the shifting of tectonic plates, and the director pulls the ol' trick of ending the film three times. Each time you expect the credits to roll, there is an additional scene which provides yet another cheesy twist.

This movie comes very close to "so bad it's good".

Tuna's Thoughts

When Scoop, who enjoys most mystery films, hated this one, I already regretted owning it, as I am much harder to please in this genre. Everything Scoop said is absolutely true. Each plot twist is so badly edited into the film, that it is a podium kicker. Further, normal techniques like long establishing shot, cut to close-up, are done in a way that is jarring. For instance, it is night, and some characters are told to go to a nightclub they have been to before. So we see a helicopter shot, cutting to a close-up of them arriving at the club. Of course, we already knew where the club was, and that it was night. They must have paid a fortune for the helicopter footage, and had to put it somewhere to justify the expense. Insult to injury, they did the same thing to show the exit from the building a few minutes later.

For those who don't know what a podium kicker is, here goes. Military instructors have two tasks. One is to cover all the prescribed subject matter, and the other is to prepare students for the standard tests. They are promoted based on the student success rate on the tests. The students often are either in basic training, or are subject to other of the quaint but exhausting quirks and customs of the military, and have some difficulty staying awake in class. So, when an instructor is about to give information that will be on the test, he kicks the podium to wake the class up.

So, the plot was bad, the script was bad, the editing was terrible, the acting was the pits, and all of the characters were detestable. There are two pluses for the film. First, is decent photography and lighting, and second is nudity. It is always a good sign when I have my first exposure before the opening credits finish, and that was the case here. Sarah Crawford, as part-time sex surrogate and full-time go go dancer, shows breasts and buns while with a patient. Sean Young also shows a breast and buns in a lengthy sex scene. This film is a D, and would be lower except for decent photography.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: not enough votes for a score


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D. I like mysteries. Not this one.

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