Hi all you readers in the interwebs, I’m Kristen, founder of the Journeys in Classic Film blog and I’m hear to discuss a film that holds a place in my heart, whether I like it or not.
I was honored and humbled when I was contacted by the eponymous The Movie Brothers to break down my hatred of the film Mac and Me, a movie they deemed “worthy” of being one of the ten worst movies they’ve ever seen. I seconded that notion heartily as I, too, have seen the utter shit that is Mac and Me. I originally saw this 1988 E.T. rip-off when doing a commentary track for my now defunct film podcast. A listener had said there was no movie worth discussing more than this film. I’ve seen bad movies before but I had never seen anything as bad as this film. Mac and Me will make you question life, love, Hollywood, and your very sanity. The story of a small boy and the bug-eyed dumpster baby (or alien as the box claims) that hang out together is an abomination to film and all that it stands for!
The movie tells the story of Eric (Jade Calegory), a young boy in a wheelchair who recently moves to a new house. Once there he meets an alien running away from NASA and separated from his parents. As Eric and the alien try to find the missing alien parents and escape NASA the audience questions: “Why is McDonalds so prevalent,” “Why does this kid never see the alien standing right in front of him…is he blind, too?” And the biggest query of them all: “Who the bloody hell is Mac?”
Director, screenwriter, best boy; no one can answer the immortal question: Who or what is Mac? IMDb tries to answer the question with the name “Mysterious Alien Creature,” but you can tell whoever’s writing the synopsis isn’t sure because they add (Mac?) into the very synopsis! Yes, the IMDb plotline to this movie has more guesses than a Wikipedia page. The movie was a blatant attempt to rip-off E.T. and is filled to the gills with product placement, predominately for McDonalds. Don’t believe me? Check out the break dancing scene at a McDonalds. I’ve been to many a McDonalds and have never seen anyone break-dance, nor have been inclined to break-dance. Personally, who the hell eats in a McDonald’s anymore? I know, I know, this is 1988 but they still had drive-thrus! It’s not like McDonalds is the go-to place to have a step up dance party…everyone knows you do that at IHOP!
There’s a LOT I could complain about in regards to this film but I doubt my kind editors on this site want me to fill up a book. There’s the whole plotline about the aliens wandering for forty years in the desert (oh they aren’t…they’re just stupid) or the fact that Mac looks like a weird mutant baby out of the Hills Have Eyes, nope my problem is in the main character of little Eric. I do applaud the movie – yes I just said applaud, stop laughing – for hiring a genuinely disabled actor for this film. So many movies put Tom Cruise in a wheelchair and expect you to believe him so it’s refreshing to see a person in a wheelchair truly be in a wheelchair…..but what they do to this poor boy is disgusting.
First of all, I myself am in a wheelchair so I consider myself an “expert” on how to treat a disabled person. I don’t think throwing a kid in a wheelchair off a MOTHER****ING cliff is the way to sell your movie to kids! Seriously, there’s a scene where the kid goes rolling down the world’s biggest hill, off a cliff into a body of water. Let’s break this down. He’s rolling down the smoothest grassy hill in the world. I’ve rolled down many a hill, and there’s always twigs, grass, or you know, a fricking rock to at least slow you down or tip the chair over. Nope, this kid’s going down Lombard Street apparently because it’s a smoothest descent. Next the kid tries to put on his brakes and they snap off like a toothpick. Wheelchairs have metal breaks so if these are snapping off I’d be suing the manufacturer of this chair right off the bat for shoddy merchandise. Then, he falls off a cliff that’s easily a 50 foot drop. Don’t ask how a residential area has a grassy hill that leads to barren, jagged quarry, but hey, must have had good rental rates. The kid falls into a body of water and should be dead. Not sputtering water, not flailing for help. Dead. Joining the choir invisible dead, pushing up the daises dead! He should be an EX-PERSON! But no, Mac saves Eric. Mac sees Eric going down the hill and instead of trying to make any attempt to save him mid-push he waits to save him after Eric has been thrown from his wheelchair to his death.
Okay so we have that fun ride what about the end? Well there’s a big to-doinvolving guns and a convenience store, but it all culminates with Eric wheeling to save Mac and the building blows up! Did this movie just blow up a handicapped child?! Yes, they did. But no, he’s not charred to a crisp, skin flaking off him like ashes. He’s not even bleeding. He’s just limp. So what does Mac do….he wakes him up. Apparently, Mac has the ability to heal people (you know, like E.T.!) and saves Eric. Here’s my problem….Mac has the ability to resurrect the dead, therefore he should be able to fix any damaged cells that person has, including the damaged cells responsible for Eric’s disability! So either Mac either possess crappy alien powers, or he’s just a total dick. If I woke up after being brought back from the dead and was still in a wheelchair I’d be stabbing that bastard alien and asking why he didn’t just let me die! God or whoever wouldn’t have stuck me in this chair for eternity — isn’t that what they say! No, some douchey alien has to bring the poor kid back and say “Sorry, my power only works at 80%…but hey welcome back to Earth!” Mac is a tool and if Eric were smart he’d give the alien to NASA with his well wishes “feel free to torture him till his bug eyes pop out.”
I’ve only touched the surface of why Mac and Me is so heinous! I didn’t even discuss the pro-immigration stance the movie takes at the very end with the naturalization of Mac and his parents. Yes the term “illegal alien” is taken literally. Mac and Me is crap on another level. I love a lot of bad movies but after watching this I wanted to take a shower and sell my soul to the Devil to remove the knowledge of this film from my brain. If you watch it, I urge you to draw up a will, it would honestly not surprise me to hear that this movie kills people like cigarettes. Mac and Me is making Battleship look like Citizen Kane. Thanks again Movie Brothers to letting me unburden myself!
A great commentary on one of the most vile hunks of shit ever to play in a movie theatre. Awesome job!
” I’ve been to many a McDonalds and have never seen anyone break-dance, nor have been inclined to break-dance.” Great quote, and great review.
1988’s Nukie is another E.T. ripoff that is crap on another level.
Nukie? Egads. Great review Kristen. I have never seen this movie and now after reading your manifesto the odds are astronomical that I will ever watch this celluloid bucket of vomit. Thanks.
BTW, why does that alien have a look on his face like he ate something sour? It’s fucking creepy.
Reblogged this on Journeys in Classic Film and commented:
If you didn’t read my earlier post, the fantastic group at The Movie Brothers let me rant and rave about the worst film ever made, the 1988 Mac and Me! Go over to their site and read my vitriol and then read the rest of their site. They write amazing work and actually offered to let me commandeer their site!
I was about to say that nothing, NOTHING could top the awfulness that is Battlefield: Earth or Baby’s Day Out but after watching the McDonald’s dance scene clip and ONLY that clip, I fear that I will have to reassess that position.
There are so many things wrong with this film that I think I can go so far as to suggest that there was a lot of hallucinogenic drug abuse that took place during its writing and production but has no one noticed that the entire purpose of the film was to serve as product placement for McDonald’s?
I believe I just answered those questions. The whole film is nothing but one long viral campaign for Mickey D’s where they retroactively found a way to name the title character MAC and slip it into the title of the film. Oh, and they slipped in an ad for Avia footwear, as well.
Love the propaganda, as well, because in my entire life I have never seen a McDonald’s that had tables and chairs like that and big open spaces where you could just dance in.
To be honest, I’m a little frightened by this film. If Joseph Goebbels worked for the McDonald’s Corp. instead of Hitler, he would have made Mac and Me.
Good review, BTW, Kristen. The ‘Tastic approves.
Reblogged this over at Journey’s. To all those who thought my review was good, thank you! It’s hard to gather one’s thoughts on this film because there is JUST SO MUCH WRONG with it. Thanks again for letting me take over the site and spew hate for this movie!
I think part of my soul just shriveled up and died…There are some things that can just never be unseen. As if that…that…thing wasn’t creepy enough, they had to go and put it in a costume and make it look like the soulless tapdancing lovechild of Stretch Armstrong and an Ewok.
I’m gonna go bang my head against a wall for a few hours and see if I can’t shake that scene loose from my brain.
(Great review though, as always!)
This is one of those films that I have to recommend that everyone see at LEAST once, not only to appreciate its badness, but to appreciate just how downright insane it is, and the (political and social) messages it tries to get across. It’s not just portrayals of the handicapped, but racial and bigoted caricatures, product placements, and a third act that seems totally out of place from the rest of the film. You will either laugh your ass off or cry uncontrollably.
I may just do both. Thanks for reading!
Pingback: Entry #2: MAC AND ME (1988) « Night Train to ¡Mundo Terrible!
I remember this piece of shit. This wasn’t even a movie. Just an hour and a half horror commercial, the real horror being the product placement coming at you from every direction. McDonalds, Coke, Sears, Valvoline, Skittles, etc. etc. And the McDonalds dance sequence is probably one of the worst dance numbers you will ever see on the screen, aside from all the crap dancing you see on the shitty Disney channel. Loved your review of the film, I laughed my ass off reading it!!