One of the great reoccurring bits in Hollywood is one very few people know about. Virtually every time Paul Rudd is on Conan promoting a new movie, he teases a clip from said film and instead plays the same clip from the legendary 1988 film Mac and Me. The clip features a boy in a wheelchair, uncontrollably flying down a hill until he flies off a cliff into a lake. If that sounds insensitive, yes, it is. AND to top it off, the clip ends with an poor excuse for the 1980s animatronic alien popping frame. This is not a joke.
At work, Karen and I carry the Paul Rudd/Mac and Me torch, but one day it was revealed that neither of us had actually seen the movie. In a perfectly executed call back, she got me the movie for my birthday. As promised, here is the running diary of the first time I watched Mac and Me
Sunday December 28
00:00:00 – Look at this menu page. Just glorious. How can you not be excited to press play. This is the Manifest Destiny of menu pages. The unknown lies before us, but it can only hold great things. Side Note: Based on the abundance of dogs in the background of that picture, I’m going to say that is a bit of subliminal foreshadowing.
Here we go.
00:00:25 – An Orion Pictures Release. I feel like some of my favorite movies were Orion pictures as a kid. I defintely got excited and nostalgic seeing that.
Notable Orion Movies: Hoosiers, Bull Durham, Silence of the Lambs, Caddyshack, Terminator, Three Amigos, Robocop, Eight Men Out, Bill & Ted, UHF, Navy SEALs, Addams Family, Clifford.
00:01:00 – Opening scene. Alien planet. Saturn in the background
00:01:38 – These aliens live in a barren wasteland, with nothing around, and the only innovation they seem to have as a civilization is a straw which this alien uses to drink water from the ground as if it was a Capri Sun
00:02:30 – An American Rover has landed on the planet. The aliens are confused of course. They are poking it with their straws.
00:04:30 – The Rover just vacuumed up the baby alien and his whole family and immediately took off into space. Damn you dirty NASA. It was our planet!!!
00:06:12 – What will be more captivating, this movie or the 4th Quarter of the SNF game this week (CIN @ PIT)
00:06:45 – The guys in Outbreak suits are examining the Rover. The examination is being overseen by the Professor, the Major, and a young Karl Ravech. Also, Professor, your tie is way too short
00:07:45 – There is a gross weight discrepancy. One guy jokes “you think there are little green monsters in there?”
00:08:15 – For the second time in 30 seconds, and this time in another room, the same scientist is worried about the gross weight discrepancy
00:08:45 – The Rover explodes as Mac and his family get out of the Rover. One scientist clumsily trips over his own feet like a Chelsea attacker. The government will surely give Mac a red card for that and claim he is dangerous
00:09:15 – Mac runs out of the facility like a crazy person, while his (my assumption here) Dad, Mom, and sister awkwardly stumble around trying to figure out what the hell is going on
00:10:40 – Within a matter of seconds, they have firetrucks, police cars, tanks, and air support over the facility. Surprisingly, everyone is convinced to hold their fire. Somethings do change
00:10:51 – I honestly don’t know if Mac is a little kid in a suit or a full puppet. Good for them?
00:11:03 – After getting fried by an electric fence, Mac gets hit by a car and this is the result. Chaos on the road.
00:11:54 – I’m pretty sure the Ginger kid in the passenger seat of the car that hit Mac is going to grow up to be Budnick from Salute Your Shorts. (Ed Note: I looked it up afterwards, and it was indeed Budnick. This is his IMDB page picture)
00:12:54 – In another car, Me’s brother makes a joke about an ADUI (Alien driving under the influence) causing the accident. Why so many alien jokes in the 80s
00:13:12 – Big reveal AND product placement. Me puts his Coke down by his feet and you see he is in a wheelchair
00:14:01 – Mac’s family is wandering through a desert that looks exactly like their home planet except now they seem miserable and wind burnt. Dad has resorted to carrying sister. I guess those straws were really important
00:15:20 – Me and his family are in the process of moving to California
Me’s Brother: Great hills for the wheels Eric
Me’s Mom: No, you are not going down any hills until we check them out
00:15:21 – Me = Eric. Real name: Jade Calegory. Here are a few things that rhyme with Calegory: Corey, Gory, Story, Allegory, Montessori <Lisa Swoons>
00:15:45 – Eric’s mom is selling his brother so they can afford this new house in California
00:16:21 – Crazy girl across the street dressed as a native American is communing with the Earth spirits. She is the first person to see Mac
00:17:45 – Eric has moved into the first ADA approved house. Low counters, no stairs, low windows. Progressive as hell this movie.
00:18:22 – Eric’s brother sees Mac for the first time, but thinks he is hallucinating.
00:19:05 – More product placement. This time, Skittles. Maybe this is Marshawn Lynch’s favorite movie
00:20:10 – Mac has been standing behind Eric for 2 minutes and has gone undetected, even after he super charged his R/C Car just by touching it.
00:20:55 – Eric’s Mom’s cooking specialty a TOW. Tuna on whole wheat.
00:22:15 – Eric is onto Mac. Footprints all over the house. Causing a mess everywhere
00:23:10 – Eric wheels outside, and the native American girl pushes him towards the edge. I’m so excited I haven’t spoken
NAG – Are you looking for your friend?
Eric – Yea
NAG – He went down the hill
(Ed. Note: oh boy, oh boy, oh boy)
NAG – He’s cute
Eric – Nah, he’s just my brother?
NAG – Brother?! Where are you from?
Eric – Illinois
00:23:39 – NAG = Debbie. She also has a sister named Courtney. Boy, Eric’s brother is going to be in love when he sees her. 80s Perm. Check. Too tight in random places ankle length sweats. Check. Laissez Faire attitude. Check.
00:24:12 – Eric’s Brother = Mike. He is literally taking boxes of junk and dumping it all over the back yard. Extension cords. Basketballs. A hose. Eric is now getting grief about breaking the lamp.
00:24:35 – And scene. God damn. I thought we were going to get a hill chase there
00:25:30 – Mac is now gazing longingly into the house as Mike uses a power saw for some unknown reason. Meanwhile, Eric can’t get to sleep. He is worried about the monsters. His mom thinks there is a rational explanation
00:26:55 – Mac is creeping over Eric and crying. He starts whistling and his family can hear him while wondering through the desert in what I guess is New Mexico.
00:27:39 – For the record, Me is handicap in real life. He was also on Kids Incorporated.
00:28:08 – Me is woken up by the R/C Car which he presumes is being controlled by Mike. In the hallway, he encounters Mac who is using a massive drill bit to put holes in the wall. On top of that, he apparently spent all night bringing rocks into the living room, building a fake deer (who is wearing a hat) and fake trees. Me is going to be in so much trouble
00:29:36 – Me is in so much trouble.
00:30:24 – Not to sound insensitive, but how could anyone assume Eric did all this overnight? He is in a god damn wheel chair.
00:31:20 – Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Introspective music playing. Eric has slowly wheeled his way out of the backyard onto the top of the hill. Here comes Debbie, sneaking out of her house. This music playing is very uplifting now. Eric hears a whistle. Dramatic music starts. AND YES! There he goes!
<Wheelchair brake brakes>
That fall was at least 60 feet
00:32:15 – I say “Oh My God” at the same time as Debbie. Our cadences are at complete opposite sides of the spectrum
00:33:15 – Eric’s mom and brother run out to the edge of the cliff as Mac saves Eric. No one sees Mac. Eric’s mom thinks that Eric tried to commit suicide. This is dark
00:35:42 – Debbie says she doesn’t back up Eric because people will think they both have “schizofreakia”
00:36:04 – Courtney comes to check on Eric. She enters the room like a mix Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science and Kate Upton in a Carl’s Jr. Ad. 80s sultry, but wearing her McDonalds Uniform.
00:36:15 – Mike and Courtney meet and as expected the sparks fly. Mike comments on the McDonalds outfit. Deb mocks the slack jawed Mike by saying “why don’t you stop by for a Big Mac” This movie is really ahead of it’s time when it comes to placement. This leads me to the google machine where I find this video. The caption is really all you need to see. I quickly click off to avoid spoilers.
00:36:44 – God I really hate 80s high waisted mom pants. You are better than that Courtney.
00:37:45 – Holy Crap. Courtney was the original Kelly Bundy in the unaired Married with Children pilot
00:37:55 – I get back to the movie just in time to see Mike and Eric drop their mom off at work and say “hey you know what I could go for? A Big Mac.” Jesus.
00:39:07 – Mike is flirting with someone on the phone, saying that he can tutor them in math. Meanwhile, Eric is trying to set a trap to catch Mac. Debbie just broke into Eric’s room wanting to help. So far, the trap is working. Mac followed a line of straws into Eric’s room. They ultimately suck him up in yet another vacuum. I’m surprised it isn’t a Hoover vacuum.
00:43:02 – Mac = Mysterious Alien Creature. After they get him out of the vacuum, they give him a Coke to revive him
00:48:01 – Mac cleaned the house. Just when you think Mac couldn’t sink any lower, he goes and does something like this. And completely redeems himself.
00:49:10 – Mac’s family is dying in the desert. This is like a snuff film. Real messed up Orion.
00:50:52 – Eric and his mom are going for “a run.” It is all downhill. His mom has been such a bitch so far I can picture her not even pushing him back up the hill.
00:50:59 – Deb drives by in the car. She calls out to Eric, but he doesn’t hear. That was literally the same sound bite from when he started rolling down the hill
00:51:27 – Mac is chasing after Eric in a Power Wheels Jeep. Dogs are chasing after Mac. Finally, payoff from the menu page. Mac crashes the car and gets stuck in a tree as the dogs try to jump and eat him. This leads to an awkward song number. Take Me I’ll Follow You by Bobby Caldwell. It is like a montage of sadness. Just terrible.
00:54:53 – Faux Karl Ravech just showed up in California. Oh snap. Things are getting real. By the way, his radio codename is “100 X Ray”
00:56:00 – Mac is back. Just sitting in a lazy boy watching TV. So does he like teleport or something?
00:56:51 – Deb is real pissed that Eric isn’t telling her his plan to conceal Mac. Eric then proceeds to some how mimic the Mac Family hand gesture and have a revelation
00:57:43 – In order to hide Mac, Eric dressed him up as a Teddy Bear. Deb’s mom is driving the three of them to a birthday party. Hijinks have to be right around the corner. Faux Karl Ravech is on their tail. Mac is not playing the part
01:00:12 – This birthday party is in a McDonald’s parking lot and a break dancing crew is the entertainment
01:00:42 – Houston. We have a Ronald McDonald sighting. They must have rented out the whole McDonald’s for this party
01:01:02 – Random guys dressed as Washington Redskins in a California McDonald’s during a kids party. Nothing else can be said.
01:01:41 – Everyone thinks Mac is a Teddy Bear.
01:02:21 – Oh Jeez. Spontaneous dance contest started by the Redskins players. My god. I feel like a teenage girl. I can’t even right now
01:02:40 – Faux Karl Ravech and the other NASA guys just walked into McDs and are also blown away.
01:03:39 – Mac just flew to the McDonald’s counter and is now dancing in front of everyone. Also, Mac is now about a foot and a half taller than he has been the entire movie. Good god. Karen – You owe me.
01:04:10 – Thank god this whole scene is on YouTube. I wouldn’t believe it if I were you otherwise
01:04:36 – NASA is storming the building with cages. Mike is holding them off and gaining huge points with Courtney.
01:05:21 – Eric’s hill skills are coming in handy as this entire town is on a hill. NASA is chasing him on foot through traffic, with Mac on his lap. But he is winning. He has also caused about 15 car accidents so far. Eric grabs onto the back of a truck and skitches into the Sears where his mom works. In a weird moment, his mom is seen riding up the escalator with a creepy, greasy salesman and she is heard asking him “so how long have you been in lingerie”
01:08:40 – Eric is a whiny bitch. The kids are regrouping after evading NASA (Mom finally believes them now by the way). Courtney initially thinks they should turn Mac in.
Eric: We can’t do that, don’t you like him?
Courtney: Of Course I like him
(Mac grabs Courtney’s Hand. Mike is insanely jealous. Imagines ripping Mac’s head off)
01:08:50 – Mac’s making face is creepy as hell. I think he really thinks he has a shot with Courtney
01:09:31 – Business is picking up for Mike. As the group is heading out to find Mac’s family, Courtey is feeding him ice cream while he is driving. In the back seat, Mac is still sucking down Coke and Skittles
01:10:51 – I don’t understand how Mac and his family are communicating, but there are now Wild Horses running around the van. This of course means the alien family is close
01:11:35 – Mike and Courtney are now holding hands.
01:11:15 – The van is now stopped in either the desert from the end scene of Seven or the middle scene of The Hangover. Let’s hope this is the desert from the end scene of Mac and Me
01:13:15 – Mac has a Badonkadonk.
01:14:10 – Mike puts Mac on his back and walks into an abandoned mine alone. Courtney wants to give him a kiss so bad. She is worried
01:14:51 – Mac’s Family is near death in the mine. This is super depressing.
01:16:18 – I don’t know how Eric got into the mine. Apparently this is the first ADA accessible abandoned mine shaft. This is another bad thought. Was the movie originally written for a kid in a wheelchair? Or was that a late script change
01:17:13 – This movie was nominated for four Razzies and won two. Worst Director & Worst New Star (Ronald McDonald). That is an amazing fun fact. Related note: Ronald McDonald was created by Willard Scott?!
01:21:07 – Mac’s Dad sees a girl drinking Sprite and he steals it from her. PS they love Soda. It saved their lives
01:22:55 – The aliens are now in a supermarket surrounded by cops with guns. Mike tries to tell the cops they are not dangerous but he is forcibly removed. They walk out of the supermarket with full bags of groceries. They proceed to walk to the van like nothing is happening. Eric sneaks out to try to talk to them but everyone starts to open fire leading to a massive explosion of something. Everyone is concerned for the Rag Doll that is a stand in for Eric
01:24:54 – Eric is going to be ok.
01:25:16 – Wait. A mysterious Doctor just appeared out of nowhere just pronounced Eric dead.
01:27:29 – Fire can’t kill aliens. They walk over in full view of NASA and Eric’s mom and give Eric a Coke to bring him back to life. Just kidding, even the guys from Atlanta couldn’t buy that. Mac and his family do some weird Santeria and revive Eric.
01:32:19 – My god. Just when this movie couldn’t get any weirder, the aliens were just given citizenship
01:33:33 – And the aliens now drive a Pink Caddy
01:34:39 – The movie ends with Mac blowing a bubble out of gum that says “We’ll Be Back”
Spoiler Alert: The sequel was cancelled.
If I never see that movie ever again, it will be too soon.
I think I’m going to go to McDonalds to get a Coke.
Day After Post Script: I woke up this morning still in awe that the aliens were granted citizenship. Best ending ever.