I found this little treasure of awfulness and decided to investigate further. It got missed on my first pass through childhood, so here we are, over 25 years later and it demands to be resurfaced.
If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the synopsis:
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world.
If you’re wondering why I cut and paste the movie synopsis from E.T.’s IMDB page, its because this movie is a total ripoff of that. And that’s all you need to know.
E.T. had the capacity to be loveable. These aliens are straight out of someone’s drug induced feverish nightmare.
GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME.
A NASA probe came and sucked them up. That’s how they came to Earth. Trust me, its just as stupid as it sounds.
Even these scientists are like, “Wait, what?”
Based on the family photo next to Eric, it seems Dad’s probably just hiding out in Latin America until whatever ugly incident that he caused blows over.
Probably the most horrifying thing that happens in this movie is watching this kid helplessly roll down the mountain…
…and off a cliff.
Unfortunately, that’s not the most offensive thing in this movie. That honor goes to non stop product placement.
E.T. at least made Reese’s Pieces into a “sometimes food”. Mac pretty much just starts freebasing Coke.
The action of the scene is all background. Coke would like to politely remind you that its accepting new followers daily.
Should you have a fear of clowns, the sound of Ronald McDonalds’ laughter will grip your soul and take you to a deep dark place.
And then the product placements just got weird….
Well done Clearblue. Well done.
Eric and Mac, now disguised as a bear go to the world’s most choreographed birthday party, sponsored of course by McDonald’s. Tons of people turned out for this party….
…and practiced for hours before hand.
Eric came, sat in his wheelchair as usual and got to watch his new buddy show off his working legs in front of him.
Anytime you see an alien ravenously reading the LA Times, know that they are out to destroy us all.
Tell me, does this scene remind you of anything?
Nope, I got nothin’. If someone could enlighten me, I’d really appreciate it.
There’s a scene where the kids try to escape from the law with Mac and his alien family and end up in a grocery store. Its disturbing and upsetting for a number of reasons. First of all, as much as they try to pass this up as comedy, these aliens just look like deformed humans that are naked.
Secondly, people have two reactions upon seeing them. Casual observance and hysteria….
Queue the security guard with an actual gun. The alien responds by taking the gun and discharging it in a store full of adults and children, putting the whole “good natured and often funny romp” claim into question.
The conflict gets taken outside where, logically, more shots are fired which causes the supermarket and a nearby gas station to explode. Eric is caught int he explosion and dies.
That’s right. Our hero, already dealt a crappy hand in life, is killed by a freak accident where the aliens he was trying to help, blew up a supermarket that he was in close vicinity to.
All is not entirely lost – they come and raise him from the dead. Your move, E.T.
Not that our immigration system wasn’t broken enough as it is, Mac’s alien family is granted citizenship in exchange for bringing a American boy back from the dead. There’s no way the thousands of immigrants who are trying to legally get citizenship aren’t feeling the slightest bit of rage.
Also, Eric may be revived from the dead, but that doesn’t mean he gets his legs back.
E.T. probably would have healed his legs. Just sayin’.
Here’s what I imagine the last page of the script reads:
“Our family drives off, looking all American (1950s) and ready to move on with the next phase – everyone will no doubt accept them and not even question what lurks under their weirdly fitting clothes.”
And then they leave us with this threat, which thankfully never came to fruition.
You’re welcome, America.
Oh, Starship Troopers. You knew the audience thirsted for more and yet you held out until your budget was slashed by nearly $100 million, and made your fans look for your desperately on the shelves of their local Blockbuster as you craftily snuck past the theaters and went straight to DVD. You knew your story was too good for big name distractions like Neil Patrick Harris and Casper Van Diem, but you did allow the girl from Nip/Tuck to be a part.
If you saw the first Starship Troopers, you’ll recall this propagandist romp through the future ended happily with a massive bug captured and Neil Patrick Harris happily prancing through an alien world in a suspiciously Nazi-ist uniform, then blazed into the credits in a fit of glory.
The sequel is a more thoughtful affair. There’s some soldiers trapped in a underground bunker where they intermittently fight bugs and shout a lot. There’s a girl infected with an alien who is brought in and immediately set loose so she can infect the rest of the staff with sexiness…also murder.
Basically, its Invasion of the Body Snatchers. One by one, everyone gets infected except for the doe eyed recruit who happens to be pregnant….and a little bit psychic. Her words.
Beyond this, there was a lot of blood, a lot of shouting, people getting hit over the head with blunt objects and a monologue about how its funny we’re all born insane.
There’s also a real darkness to this film. There’s only two places it was shot – a open quarry in the dead of night and the basement of a cheese factory that hasn’t paid their electric bill. You can’t see a thing.
We open our story with a recruitment video and this terrifying face beckoning us all to fulfill our citizen’s duty…
Which moves us into battle….
There’s bugs and its dark….
Like, really dark….
And no one talks. Just shouts.
Its at this point, roughly 15 minutes into the film, this shot blows the entire budget.
Even the bugs are like, “Wait, we can’t afford craft services?”
When the fighting just becomes too much, they go back into their quarantine/abandoned Hostess factory where they tend to a sick girl they found out in the field.
She’s fine. In no time she’s up and around, seducing all the men on the ship….
Its always sad when you see someone trying just waaaaay too hard….
This is our heroine (I think. The movie wasn’t super clear on it…). She’s quiet, has no backstory and prefers to wear her serious face at all times.
Don’t bother trying to joke around with her. Its just not going to happen….
And never corner her. Never, never corner her.
Thank God this movie wasn’t shown in 3D. That nerve might have popped out and hit me in the face.
They found a grizzled poor man’s version of Gerard Butler in a closet. Immediately, he springs into a serious face off with our heroine.
Our heroine is pregnant, therefore….
….she’s kind of psychic. Kind of, so don’t get any ideas or start treating her like a novelty act. What that does entail is that she closes her eyes and sees bugs and her coworkers. Not necessarily doing anything, just visions.
You guys! Her superior is psychic too! Kind of….
And so begins the alien infestation. This happens. None of the psychics called it, but apparently, that’s not part of their skills. Also, that’s disgusting.
Meanwhile, this cool drink of water doesn’t realize he’s about to die. Otherwise, he would have put more clothes on.
This is the last thing you want to see when you realize you left your pants in the other room.
When will these people realize that its not the invasion we’re fighting, but its ourselves?!?!?! They’re all infected so its going to be awhile.
You’d think with the amount of times our heroine was given a big gun, she’d do some damage. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
In another darkened room and to save money in the budget, this scene was lit from a atomic powered flashlight.
Behold the mannish captain of the abandoned factory. This is a hard face. This is a face that challenges you.
Espescially when she’s holding your head up just to get a good look at it. On a side note, its just so….dark in here.
Maybe if we move outside it’ll be better….
Even outside, its just so dark.
The movie ends, with our heroine being the last one standing. We’re left with a poignant image of her walking away, child in hand, from the institution that she spent so much time with. We’re left wondering the meaning of life, the meaning of violence and the meaning of this movie, that seemed to be clueless in everything it attempted.
For all of those unanswered questions, the filmmakers have no intention of leaving you behind. That’s why they created this….
…Which was not enough to tell the whole story…