Throwback Thirty – Mac and Me (1988)

films, reviews, TBT

220px-Mac_and_me_movie_poster5_Star_Rating_System_0_stars I know that the whole world is madly counting down the days until Christmas because they still have presents to buy and stuff. Me? I’ve got a different countdown in my mind. After today, I’ve only got two more Throwback Thirty posts. That means I’ve only got two more films from 1988 to watch this year. And I already know which ones they’re going to be. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you all. I’m sure the world is on tenterhooks waiting to see which it will be. Instead, I’ll focus on today’s choice. And it’s one I’ve been waiting for all year. This is one of the infamous films currently holding a 0% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  How could I possibly get through this series without reviewing a film that bad? It’s the film that resides on all of the list of worst films in 1988 and tops most of them. At the very least, it might act as some sort of therapy to help me see that something worse than me came out of 1988. Sometimes a gal just needs a boost I guess.

Do you know what I often think when I watch ET? That I really wish I could be watching a much shitter version of the same story that is also a not very well disguised advert for McDonald’s. Luckily for me, that film exists and it’s celebrating its 30th birthday alongside me this year. Meaning I’m not the biggest failure that was released into the world in 1988. Mac and Me has garnered quite the reputation over the years as one of the worst films ever made. It was released 6 years after Steven Spielberg’s hit E.T. and, to make matters super simple, it takes that earlier story as its basis. It destroys it a bit in the process to try to make it harder to spot but the similarities are plain to see.

After accidentally being brought back to Earth, a group of aliens are captured by the government. One of them escapes and befriends a young boy. The young boy, his brother and, his neighbours must hide the alien and get him back to his family. Sound familiar yet? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a slight difference. Eric, the boy in question, is in a wheelchair. Believe me it makes all the difference. Instead of a wholehearted family film, we get to see a handicapped boy get himself into potentially fatal situations like falling off a cliff into a lake. Fun!

Mac and Me is a really weird film. It isn’t very long but it feels like it goes on for years. Despite the fact that nothing happens. There is so much filler. Like the extended dance sequence set in a McDonald’s restaurant. It’s not bad, per se, but it doesn’t make any sense. Not that any of the film makes much sense. The special effects are the dodgiest I’ve seen in a while. It’s kind of impossible to give a shit about someone nearly dying when that person is quite clearly a dummy. The opening scene of a space probe landing is hilariously bad and the aliens are just pathetic. It’s clear to see that whatever this film was made for it wasn’t to entertain people.

This film is nothing more than an in-your-face commercial for McDonald’s, Coke, and Skittles. It’s kind of impressive that nobody even tried to hide it. The aliens are magically revived by drinking cans of coke for fuck’s sake! It’s so stupid. Pretty much every scene has a gratuitous shot of a Coca-Cola can or a McDonald’s logo. The titular alien is called Mac, which is explained away by the acronym Mysterious Alien Creature. But this film is even more stupid than it looks if it thinks it’s getting away with this. The biggest problem with this film is that, no matter how good it ended up being, it was never going to compare with Spielberg and his extra-terrestrial. Mac and Me? I’m not lovin’ it. But I am glad that I finally watched it.

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