In order to deal with a controlling father (or mother for that matter) you must first determine why they are like that. The two main reasons for a controlling parent stem from either Anger or Fear.
ANGER being the focus - it is easy for dad to fall into abusive situations and overall irrational behavior. Frustrated and annoyed, displaced anger in a father can come out in a number of ways - but will always negatively affect those who live with him. No matter if he means for it to or not. Invariably these types of dads, deep down inside, are upset with themselves.
It is important for you to show this dad an abundance of your love for him, even if it is tough for you to imagine loving him. Wait for a 'calm' time to explain your desire to get along and respect him, and ask if you can discuss what ever issues you think should be addressed. Now, that being said, if you are seriously in danger of abuse, then "tough love" is to remove yourself from that place and get him the help he needs to overcome his anger. Let him know at the proper time you are not abandoning him. And then stay at his side through the thick of it. It will be tough for all involved. And worth it in the end.
FEAR being the issue of control is somewhat different. This type of parent can dump truckloads of rules and regulations in massive amounts! Mainly because he is worried that his children will turn out bad, unsuccessful, unruly, poor, lacking, or worst of all - just like him. This father would benefit greatly from your reassurances that you want to do your best in everything you do. And yes be sure to respect him and try to discuss openly any issues that arise. Be patient!
I am a father of 4 children, and having grown up with just one brother, and a somewhat controlling father, I can see my mistakes in this area of parenting. My kids have been the brunt of displaced anger, but even more so the subject of my fear that they will be undisciplined and suffer for it as they grow older. But loving them, and making sure they know it, has made the real difference!
If you are the child dealing with the control issues, be kind, respectful and loving to your dad. But don't live in a place where you have to fear for your life, abuse is wrong and should be dealt with immediately.
And for you fathers - relax, confront the issues you deal with responsibly and refuse to be angry or afraid. Love, Honor, Kindness - these will bring about more desired behavior in everyone you deal with!