Friday 28 October 2022
Some movies are so important, so incredible, so... thirsty that they deserve special attention. Which is why I'm skipping ahead in my regularly scheduled reviews to cover
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial a movie featuring a Mysterious Alien Creature:
141/2150. Mac and Me (1988)
If, like me, you're only familiar with this movie from Paul Rudd's long-running gag with Conan O'Brien, here's what you need to know about this delightful movie for children:
A family of four aliens living peacefully on a planet where Coca-Cola naturally bubbles up from the ground is accidentally captured by an automated probe and returned to Earth. Frightened by the NASA scientists, the family flees, and the smallest is thrown by the downwash of a helicopter into speeding traffic, where it splatters on a car windshield. It gets better and stows away with a mother and her two sons relocating to Los Angeles where mom has a new job at Sears.
The younger, wheelchair-bound son, Eric, discovers the alien and is attacked by drills and circular saws. After being diagnosed with schiziprehnia and drugged, Eric traps the alien in an Electrolux vaccum cleaner and earns its trust via Coca-Cola and Skittles. To protect his new "friend" from the pursuing scientists, Eric puts it inside his teddy bear and takes it to meet Ronald McDonald at a culturally-diverse football dance party.
Joined by their new next-door neighbors, the brothers take the alien to the desert in search of its family who they find in an abandoned California gold mine behind a Wickes furniture billboard. The family looks dead, but Fortunately for everyone, the kids brought two cans of Coca-Cola to revive them!
The alien family, desparate for more Coke, enter a grocery story where security guards start shooting at them, killing Eric in the crossfire.
Actual Quote: "It's like what they drink on their own planet!"
I won't spoil the ending, but it involves a United States Citizenship Oath Ceremony, a pink Cadillac, and bubble gum.
It's not overstating anything to call this is a work of genius. Obviously created with the intent of promoting the rampant consumerism of the 80s — I really don't think there's a single scene without a Coke in it — it works equally well (probably better) as an ironic take-down of American Capitalism's worst excesses. I wish I could make something like this up, and I encourage you to watch it yourself, preferably with a Coke in one hand and a Big Mac in the other.
You can thank me later.