Mac and Me (1988)

Oh boy, here we go. We are looking unto the mountain. Behold, a contender for WORST MOVIE EVER MADE!

Or not.

Yeah, Mac and Me happens to be one of those titles tossed around as perhaps the greatest travesty in the history of film. It gets mentioned in the same sentence as Plan 9 from Outer Space, Robot Monster, and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. You know what? I’m gonna disagree, both in that Mac and Me and Plan 9 from Outer Space don’t deserve to be in the conversation.

Plan 9 from Outer Space was a labor of love with no budget and no chance, hence why I’m throwing it out. I love a movie with heart. Don’t disparage the good name of Ed Wood around me. Mac and Me…well, it commits some heinous sins, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever watched, not by a long shot.

Let’s face it, Mac and Me is a movie dedicated to the most heinous and exploitative attempt at advertising junk food and soda to kids you could come up with. That’s the sole purpose of the movie: to sell McDonald’s and Coca-Cola to 10-year-olds. Yes, that’s something folks are gonna rail against. It also has a story which blatantly rips off E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in an attempt to callously cash in on its success. Plus, the aliens look hideously bad, and some of the movie’s attempts at humor involve an alien baby getting hit by a car and a kid in a wheelchair going off a cliff. At least, I hope that scene was an attempt at humor, because I laughed my ass off. And let’s not forget the dance break in the middle of a McDonald’s. Hell, that scene is worth watching the whole movie over, and yes, it is every bit as cringe-inducing as a dance scene with a bunch of kids and Ronald McDonald in the 1980s can be.

Despite this, I’m not going to rip into this film too much more, for one reason: Jade Calegory. He’s the young child lead, and he’s confined to a wheelchair throughout the film because the actor actually has spina bifida. This was also his first movie. You know what? He’s actually a good actor. Holy crap, this movie gets saved by having a child actor who doesn’t make me want to gouge out my ear drums with a spoon! Sure, he’s not Drew Barrymore, but on watching the film I found myself shocked to learn he hadn’t ever done this before. As problematic as the film can be, I was impressed with this guy.

And that stunt scene with him going off the cliff in a wheelchair? Yeah, that wasn’t him. That was the director, Stewart Raffill, who was hired and told to start filming despite not having a script. I gotta hand it to Raffill too, as the plot is cohesive even if it makes me want to vomit. Dude, hat’s off.

Look, if you want to throw producer R.J. Louis under the bus, since all of this intentional aiming at kids was his idea, go ahead. He’s like the guy from Thank You for Smoking. But I won’t knock the folks who actually worked in the trenches on this movie. They did an admirable job considering the conditions they were given.

Besides, the worst movie I’ve ever seen is still the Korean film Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine. That movie…that movie just hurts.

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