Tag Archives: scary movie

“Mac and Me” – A Manifesto

Hi all you readers in the interwebs, I’m Kristen, founder of the Journeys in Classic Film blog and I’m hear to discuss a film that holds a place in my heart, whether I like it or not.

I was honored and humbled when I was contacted by the eponymous The Movie Brothers to break down my hatred of the film Mac and Me, a movie they deemed “worthy” of being one of the ten worst movies they’ve ever seen.  I seconded that notion heartily as I, too, have seen the utter shit that is Mac and Me.  I originally saw this 1988 E.T. rip-off when doing a commentary track for my now defunct film podcast.  A listener had said there was no movie worth discussing more than this film.  I’ve seen bad movies before but I had never seen anything as bad as this film.  Mac and Me will make you question life, love, Hollywood, and your very sanity.  The story of a small boy and the bug-eyed dumpster baby (or alien as the box claims) that hang out together is an abomination to film and all that it stands for!

The movie tells the story of Eric (Jade Calegory), a young boy in a wheelchair who recently moves to a new house.  Once there he meets an alien running away from NASA and separated from his parents.  As Eric and the alien try to find the missing alien parents and escape NASA the audience questions: “Why is McDonalds so prevalent,” “Why does this kid never see the alien standing right in front of him…is he blind, too?”  And the biggest query of them all: “Who the bloody hell is Mac?”

Director, screenwriter, best boy; no one can answer the immortal question: Who or what is Mac?  IMDb tries to answer the question with the name “Mysterious Alien Creature,” but you can tell whoever’s writing the synopsis isn’t sure because they add (Mac?) into the very synopsis!  Yes, the IMDb plotline to this movie has more guesses than a Wikipedia page.  The movie was a blatant attempt to rip-off E.T. and is filled to the gills with product placement, predominately for McDonalds.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the break dancing scene at a McDonalds.  I’ve been to many a McDonalds and have never seen anyone break-dance, nor have been inclined to break-dance.  Personally, who the hell eats in a McDonald’s anymore?  I know, I know, this is 1988 but they still had drive-thrus!  It’s not like McDonalds is the go-to place to have a step up dance party…everyone knows you do that at IHOP!

There’s a LOT I could complain about in regards to this film but I doubt my kind editors on this site want me to fill up a book.  There’s the whole plotline about the aliens wandering for forty years in the desert (oh they aren’t…they’re just stupid) or the fact that Mac looks like a weird mutant baby out of the Hills Have Eyes, nope my problem is in the main character of little Eric.  I do applaud the movie – yes I just said applaud, stop laughing – for hiring a genuinely disabled actor for this film.  So many movies put Tom Cruise in a wheelchair and expect you to believe him so it’s refreshing to see a person in a wheelchair truly be in a wheelchair…..but what they do to this poor boy is disgusting.

First of all, I myself am in a wheelchair so I consider myself an “expert” on how to treat a disabled person.  I don’t think throwing a kid in a wheelchair off a MOTHER****ING cliff is the way to sell your movie to kids!  Seriously, there’s a scene where the kid goes rolling down the world’s biggest hill, off a cliff into a body of water.  Let’s break this down.  He’s rolling down the smoothest grassy hill in the world.  I’ve rolled down many a hill, and there’s always twigs, grass, or you know, a fricking rock to at least slow you down or tip the chair over.  Nope, this kid’s going down Lombard Street apparently because it’s a smoothest descent.  Next the kid tries to put on his brakes and they snap off like a toothpick.  Wheelchairs have metal breaks so if these are snapping off I’d be suing the manufacturer of this chair right off the bat for shoddy merchandise.  Then, he falls off a cliff that’s easily a 50 foot drop.  Don’t ask how a residential area has a grassy hill that leads to barren, jagged quarry, but hey, must have had good rental rates.  The kid falls into a body of water and should be dead.  Not sputtering water, not flailing for help. Dead.  Joining the choir invisible dead, pushing up the daises dead!  He should be an EX-PERSON!  But no, Mac saves Eric.  Mac sees Eric going down the hill and instead of trying to make any attempt to save him mid-push he waits to save him after Eric has been thrown from his wheelchair to his death.

Okay so we have that fun ride what about the end?  Well there’s a big to-doinvolving guns and a convenience store, but it all culminates with Eric wheeling to save Mac and the building blows up!  Did this movie just blow up a handicapped child?!  Yes, they did.  But no, he’s not charred to a crisp, skin flaking off him like ashes.  He’s not even bleeding.  He’s just limp.  So what does Mac do….he wakes him up.  Apparently, Mac has the ability to heal people (you know, like E.T.!) and saves Eric.  Here’s my problem….Mac has the ability to resurrect the dead, therefore he should be able to fix any damaged cells that person has, including the damaged cells responsible for Eric’s disability!  So either Mac either possess crappy alien powers, or he’s just a total dick.  If I woke up after being brought back from the dead and was still in a wheelchair I’d be stabbing that bastard alien and asking why he didn’t just let me die!  God or whoever wouldn’t have stuck me in this chair for eternity — isn’t that what they say!  No, some douchey alien has to bring the poor kid back and say “Sorry, my power only works at 80%…but hey welcome back to Earth!”  Mac is a tool and if Eric were smart he’d give the alien to NASA with his well wishes “feel free to torture him till his bug eyes pop out.”

I’ve only touched the surface of why Mac and Me is so heinous!  I didn’t even discuss the pro-immigration stance the movie takes at the very end with the naturalization of Mac and his parents.  Yes the term “illegal alien” is taken literally.  Mac and Me is crap on another level.  I love a lot of bad movies but after watching this I wanted to take a shower and sell my soul to the Devil to remove the knowledge of this film from my brain.  If you watch it, I urge you to draw up a will, it would honestly not surprise me to hear that this movie kills people like cigarettes.  Mac and Me is making Battleship look like Citizen Kane.  Thanks again Movie Brothers to letting me unburden myself!

The Ten Worst Movies We’ve Ever Seen

Our two-year anniversary has passed. It’s hard to believe it’s gone by so quickly, and it’s even harder to fathom how quickly our site has grown. We never thought when we started that we’d be getting thousands upon thousands of readers and listeners. We humbly thank you all for reading.

And with that said, here’s the crappiest list of movies we could conjure! We’ve been cutting movies from our original list of 45 of the Worst Movies Ever Made until we came down to to these ten prize-winning pigs. Here are the movies that didn’t make the grade… or did? We’re not sure. They all suck so much that we’re not even ranking them. Instead, we’re simply naming these The Ten Worst Movies Ever Made:

Troll 2: There’s a great documentary based on this film called “Best Worst Movie.” This is a cult favorite, because it’s so horrendously bad, but I don’t see the appeal movies of similar ilk, like “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” This is pure crap, with no redeeming qualities in a movie packed with… nothing?

Pearl Harbor: In this reviewer’s humble opinion, the worst film ever made. It takes every possible misstep that a bad movie could possibly make. A stupid and pointless story? Yup! A boring and incomprehensible love triangle? You bet! A huge budget wasted by rudderless direction and bad acting? Of course! If there is one movie I wish I could bleach from my brain so that I couldn’t remember the horrible experience, this would be it!
Jaws: The Revenge: I can’t think of a series that nose dived more sequel to sequel than the Jaws series. The original Jaws is in our top 10 films of all time and its last sequel is in our top 10 worst. This film should never have been made. I can’t even imagine what morons were at the original pitch meeting that green lit this fucking mess. “Ok, we’re going to have a killer shark that is pissed at the Brody family and wants revenge.” What?!?! A vengeful shark that targets a specific family?!?! What were they thinking????

Batman & Robin
Only a film this horrible could have shut down what was, up until then, one of the biggest and profitable franchises in film history. Its visual look could be described as Gotham City if the entire area was one big gay nightclub. It contains the worst dialogue in film history, the worst acting in a comic book film ever, and the dumbest script ever! I would have said this was the worst film I’ve ever seen except that Pearl Harbor tries to recreate a pivotal point in history. This hunk of crap is at least an isolated work of fiction.
 
The Garbage Pail Kids MovieOffensive in every meaning of the word. It’s disgusting, full of awful acting, voiceover work, special effects, terrible, horrible awful writing that makes you angry when you watch it. Some bad movies are laughable, but this is just in bad taste. I know, it’s a movie about Garbage Pail Kids. What would you expect? Well, maybe something resembling a movie. 

Battlefield Earth: If this is where becoming a scientologist leads you, give back the $240 initiation fee that their church charges to join (if you don’t believe me, click here). John Travolta’s dedication to one of L.Ron Hubbard’s stupid and shitty novels led him to make this horrendous piece of crap. It’s one of those movies that is so horrible that you actually feel nauseous while you’re watching it even when nothing gross is on screen. 

RampageAn embarrassment to human decency. If you’re going to make a film about a psycho who goes on a bombastic murder spree gunning down innocents, shouldn’t the characters’ motivations and psychological well being be the centerpieces of the film? Well, according to schlock director Uwe Boll, no! His idea is to have the violence be the center. Why? Cause it’s just so bad ass to see a guy in full body armor walk into public places and murder innocent civilians. What a disgustingly stupid waste of time. 

Mannequin 2: On The Move: I have no idea what they were thinking when they wrote this movie. The first one had some campy charm, but this lacks all soul, brevity and whit the first one had. There’s some story about a wizard and a princess frozen in time… blah blah. It’s just a movie that falls flat on it’s face. Wooden in more ways than one.
 
Show GirlsThis movie almost made us hate boobs… Almost. There are so many horrible moments, but I think the worst is the fish flopping sex scene. It’s just mind-boggling how someone could put this to celluloid and think it was good. This movie takes itself seriously. It thinks it’s a real movie, which is what makes it bad. If it was just a campy booby movie, it wouldn’t be on the list. But they actually thought they were making a real movie.
 

Mac and Me: As film critic Chris Hicks of The Desert News said: “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie that is as crass a 90-minute commercial as Mac and Me.” This is a movie that rips off E.T., with a homesick alien and a boy trying to get him home, but with more product placements than you can shake a stick at. The alien needs Coca-Cola to stay alive, and Ronald McDonald is a supporting cast member. Horrendously unoriginal and lacks any artistic integrity.

The Ten Worst Movies We’ve Ever Seen Part 4

Every day we’re cutting ten movies from our original list of 45 of the Worst Movies Ever Made until we’re down to ten. Brian and Matt will each chop five from the list.

Here are the movies that didn’t make the grade… or did? We’re not sure. They all suck, but they’re not going to make it to the ten worst ever.

Brian’s Vetoes

Transformers: Revenge of the FallenThis movie blows, plain and simple.  But, it mainly blows because of Michael Bay’s mechanical and emotionless direction.  The technical elements are quite good and the sound engineers were terrfic.  I know these are lame reasons but have you seen the other films left on the list?

DreamcatcherOne of the worst Stephen King adaptations ever but not the absolute worst.  That prestigious dishonor goes to Maximum Overdrive.  So, since that movie isn’t here, I’m removing Dreamcatcher.

The A-Team: This movie is god damn stupid.  It reminded me of those horrible Charlie’s Angels movies.  This was a simple process of elimination vote but I’m thrilled it made it this far.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:The Secret of the Ooze: I almost eliminated this last round except I remembered that ninja rap song that Vanilla Ice performed near the end.  That was, in my opinion, the worst movie musical moment that has ever been printed to filom and that includes From justin to Kelly.  However, the movie is fairly faithful to its source material.

Leprechaun 4: In Space: It’s so stupid that it’s actually semi-amusing.  They didn’t take the material seriously and they got a shitty movie out of it.  The rest of flicks are worse.

Matt’s Vetoes

Leonard Part 6: Mind-numbingly bad. Bill Cosby is a talent, but he never made a good movie, and this is an example why. A futuristic time cop called from retirement? Ugh… terrible production. In TV land, he’s amazing and among the best, but here in Movie World, he’s the pits. Pudding pop, anyone?

Catwoman: There have been some bad comic book movies I think are worse, like “The Punisher” with Dolf Lundgren or “Daredevil” with Ben Affleck. This one is bad, but it slips by.

Cool As Ice: This movie was an insult to “Rebel Without a Cause.” I mean, a hip-hop version of the classic movie starring Vanilla Ice? I couldn’t have come up with that if I tried. But alas, there are worse movies on the list.

Weekend at Bernie’s II: The original was actually kind of funny, if you could separate yourself from the idea that two bumbling guys need to pretend their evil boss isn’t dead and use him in all kinds of goofy ways so they don’t get blamed for his death. But by the sequel, after the body has been through the ocean, dropped and stuffed in luggage, wouldn’t the corpse start to smell? Plus, the story just sucked this time around.

The Day After Tomorrow: Ugh, what a turd. But there are other epic disaster movies that are worse, including one left on this list.

MOVIES REMAINING ON OUR LIST:

Rampage
Mannequin 2: On The Move
Munchies
 Pearl Harbor
Jaws: The Revenge
Battlefield Earth
Batman & Robin
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
Super Mario Bros.
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Caddy Shack 2
Troll 2
Mac and Me
Show Girls

Insidious

After moving into a new home, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) confront terrifying tribulations when their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma and his body starts to attract malevolent forces from a mysterious netherworld. But when the family decides to move again, hoping to leave the evil spirits behind, they realize that their problems are just beginning. James Wan (Saw) directs.

Matt
Rating: 5 out of 10

The first hour of this movie was outstanding. One of the best horror films to come out in years. It had me jumping and nervous, and was a great date night movie that was intriguing, smart, well-paced with great performances and sharp direction.

The last act of the movie, however, took a huge nosedive. We are given the impression that a demon is after a little boy’s soul. We get narrow glimpses of him throughout the movie but never see him. It’s the Alfred Hitchcock theory that what the audience doesn’t see is what scares them the most. And it’s true.

In the last act, however, we get so much over-the-top demon, it just gets downright silly. It really stopped my viewing pleasure and made the whole thing seem silly. The ending is strong, and has a nice twist, but I was disinterested by the time it got there. It’s a shame, because this movie was so close to being amazing. Hard to say it’s anything better than average, though.

Paranormal Activity 2

People hovering over beds for hours while asleep, moving shadows across the floor — the unexplained, terrifyingly real supernatural forces are back, and this time, a baby and a dog become part of the nightmare as the camera rolls. Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor) directs and Michael R. Perry (“Persons Unknown”) writes this spine-chilling sequel to the wildly popular 2009 flick. Gabriel Liotta and Katie Featherston star.

Matt
Rating: 8 out of 10

This could arguably be the best sequel to any horror movie ever.

It’s seldom a sequel outdoes the original, but this one does. The original was pretty average, as I previously reviewed. But this one builds on the story as a prequel that includes the original characters, a young man and woman whose house was haunted in the original. This time around we see what happened to the  family of the woman’s sister. The family in this film is haunted by the same demon as the first and we learn a little more about why.

This movie is subtle and patient. It’s the patience that makes it work so well. We wait and wait on the edge of our seats and are often rewarded with some shocking and creepy moments that truly scared me. The acting is sharp, believable and the use of security and hand-held cameras are very effective. The special effects are chilling and the storyline is sharp, knowing when to take some pressure off with moments of humor. Horror fans will eat this movie up.

Top 5 Scariest Movies of All Time

Horror, suspense and thrillers are some of the most fun movies to experience, but some films break new ground with shocking stories, visuals and memorable characters that stay with us. Here are our Top 5 scariest movies of all time — not necessarily horror. That’s a whole different debate. These are judged on quality of the filmmaker, writing, and, of course, how scary they are.

Matt

5. Wolf Creek: This movie is great because it breaks the mold of many horror movies — it actually develops the characters. When things start going wrong for three college students after a frightening bushman in the Australian outback starts torturing and hunting them, you actually care about them. The villain is wicked and cruel and the victims actually react how people really would. They don’t go into the dark room where they just saw the killer go. They run away, and the bad man chases them. A great horror movie.

4. The Ring: This feels like an urban legend coming to life. You watch a video. Right after you watch it, the phone rings. When you answer, you will die in the next 24 hours after the girl from the video comes out of the TV and kills you. Sounds simple, but with great acting by Naomi Watts, and a chilling story that leads her into the life and death of the girl in the video.

3. The Silence of the Lambs: Anthony Hopkins is dark, funny, and insightful in his portrayal of the serial killer Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. Jodie Foster plays a complex role of a strong-willed but fragile FBI agent hunting down Buffalo Bill, a serial killer on the lose who skins his victims to make clothing with it. This movie plays with your mind and keeps you on the edge of your seat and never makes an easy choice for the story line. There’s never been a movie with such quality actors with a director who weaves the audience through a chilling and suspenseful movie. On a side note, this movie goes wonderfully with Chianti and fave beans.

2. Se7en: This is a brilliant script with fantastic acting from Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey. The story weaves around Pitt and Freeman, two detectives tracking down a killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. The film takes some shockingly dark turns that make the hair on your body stand erect. It’s a bold, daring movie that pulls no punches. Whatever you do, don’t open the box.

1. The Exorcist: I saw this movie when I was 8 — not recommended. My older sister rented it when she was babysitting us, but she didn’t really know what she was getting into. The next morning I asked my Catholic mother over breakfast if the movie was real. “Yes dear, it is,” she said in a somber tone. It only frightened me worse. This movie was shocking –  a villain that can’t be seen in any way other than the face of a twisted child. The acting is superb, as is the directing from William Friedkind, an Academy Award-winning director for “The French Connection.”

Brian

5. Silence of the Lambs:
Jonathon Demme crafted a scare masterpiece with this film.  Anthony Hopkins is absolutely unforgettable as Hannibal Lecter in a role that defined his career and earned him an Oscar.  But, it’s Jodie Foster, also in an oscar winning performance, that is the glue that holds our attention and provides the greatest scares.  We walk the movie side by side with her and because she’s a rookie FBI agent, the audience and Clarice Starling are discovering the most macabre and disgusting behavior that humans are capable of for the first time together.  It will leave chills up your spine! See it!
4.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
A super low budget gem from director Tobe Hooper that is still just as terrifying as it was 35 years ago.  After a slow start, this film turns into a 1 hour adrenaline rush where the lead heroine is put through a torture machine with the most disgusting “family” in cinema history.  Years later, its documentary style and raw energy have yet to be recreated.
3.  The Shining:
I’m not going to shy away from saying this.  Stanley Kubrick is the greatest director in the history of cinema.  I say that not only because the craft of his films are absolutely spellbinding but the diversity of his work.  He worked within almost every genre and his turn at horror is a masterpiece.  The tension through Kubrick’s use of sound is amazing.  Heartbeats, droning music, and harsh dialogue raise the adrenaline level to a very satisfying conclusion.
2.  Jaws:
I saw this movie when I was 8 years old and to this day I will not swim in natural bodies of water.  I don’t care if it’s a pond in North Dakota, I’m not going into anything that I don’t know what’s in there with me.  Never mind that the acting is brilliant, the direction superb, and the pace perfect, this film will frighten you to whits end when you realize you’re not alone in the water.
1.  The Exorcist:
I’m 34 years old now and this film still scares me.  It’s a deep, dark, and disturbing tale.  I suppose my fear is drawn from Friedkin’s amazing ability to treat this as completely believable.  This IS what pure evil must be like.  The demon’s psychological attacks are far more powerful than any gory film could ever dream to be.  And, for that, it is my pick as the most frightening film of all time.