1988’s E.T. rip-off Mac And Me may have been lost to the ages somewhat if it weren’t for Paul Rudd. The Ant-Man star has been playing the same prank on most of his Conan appearances ever since he popped up as Phoebe’s piano playing boyfriend, Mike, in Friends. If you haven’t seen one of Rudd’s interviews on the talk show, the actor often answers a few fun questions before introducing an “exclusive” preview of his new project, only to present the exact same clip from Mac And Me over and over again. Said clip shows one of the main characters from the film going over a cliff in a wheelchair.
Apart from these regular Rudd ribs, Mac And Me only tends to be referenced as a product placement-stuffed 80s cash-in, an oddity about a Mysterious Alien Creature (ah?) who escapes from a brutal gang of NASA agents and makes friends with a little disabled boy called Eric. Together, they try and reunite little Mac with his alien family. Unlike most bonkers ’80s movies that boast rubber-suited hi-jinx, Mac And Me has never really been embraced as a cult classic, nor has the proposed sequel – which was set up at the end of the film – ever come to fruition.
Way too many Troll 2-esque bizarre things happen in Mac And Me for it to have attained latter day critical acclaim (as well as a coveted spot as an object of scorn on Mystery Science Theater 3000 season 12). It’s supposed to be aimed at young audiences, but not only does young Eric go over the cliff in his wheelchair in the now-infamous Conan clip, he’s later also killed in an explosion, only to be revived by the jovial alien family.
It turns out that the alternate ending for the film was even worse, though, as Fantastic Fest film curator Peter Kuplowsky finally found “our generation’s Zapruder Film” back in August in the form of an oft-rumored alternate ending that somehow made it into the Japanese version, where Eric is actually shot and killed in his wheelchair.
Later, Ballyhoo’s Daniel Griffin joined the conversation, remarking that this ending was likely originally cut for Western audiences after a bad test screening, but it still somehow made it into the final film when it arrived on Japanese soil.
Mac And Me may be over 30 years old, but it still seems to have some (completely bonkers) secrets to tell.
Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!