Mac and Me (1988)

They should have called this one “Product Placement and Me.”

Seriously.  I have never seen so many product placements in one film in all my life.  I mean, how many films have you seen where they discover that Coca-Cola is the alien’s natural diet?

While you are contemplating the oddness of a planet where the alien denizens suck Coke out of the ground with convenient straws (about the only technology they seem to have) and that lingering full-screen shot of a bag of Skittles (not to mention an awful lot of really nice furniture and woodwork from Wickes Furniture), you might also want to ask yourself how many films have a credit “Ronald McDonald as Himself”

In fact, McDonald’s is all over this film.  Not only does one of the characters work there, but there is an endless kid’s party, complete with a truckload of professional dancers (who must outnumber the actual guests as far as I can tell), dancing servers, and the “real” Ronald himself entertaining the kids.  Just an ordinary day at the local Mickie D’s, right?  I wonder how much a party like that would cost, even without the dancing alien?

Now, in case you missed it, this one is a shameless copy of E.T.  Most of the plot points are the same, and we even have a “cute” alien creature whose nickname is based on an acronym:  “Mysterious Alien Creature.”

Not “Extra Terrestrial.”  Oh no.

And no, he wasn’t named after a Big Mac.  Well, we all know he was, but we do get that acronym waved in our face.  Once.

This one was directed by Stewart Raffill, who also directed one of the worst SF films ever made, The Ice Pirates.  Mind you, he also directed the reasonably good The Philadelphia Experiment, which is harder to explain.

Of course, you can’t steal so much from one film (I mean, honestly Steven, where were your lawyers on this one?) without stealing from a few other places, like Back to the Future.  But why do the shots of the aliens living the good life back home on their planet look so much like they came from Nicholas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth?

That’s just strange.

But then so are aliens that can get sucked down a vacuum cleaner.  As is the way in which they come to Earth, and that final scene when we learn what happens to aliens in this country.

Oh, well.

At least it isn’t The Ice Pirates.

(The absolutely unbelievable product placement trailer!)

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