This movie is infamous for being a transparent E.T. rip off that, for some reason, came out six years after its inspiration. But it’s a lot more than that. Because, I’d like to think that, even if this wasn’t so clearly a rip-off of one of the most famous movies of the 1980s, we’d still realize it sucked.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen E.T. but it sure feels like nearly every aspect of this plot is lifted straight from that film, with one notable exception. That exception is Mac’s family, who are also here to look just as goofy as Mac does. Honestly, one reason for this film’s reputation as one of the Worst Movies of All Time is likely the way the aliens look, they look ridiculous.
Of course it’s not one of the Worst Movies of All Time, it’s just bad. A huge part of why it’s bad is the film doesn’t know who its main character is: who is “Me”? Is it Eric or Michael? Because it’s Eric for a while and then it’s Michael and the audience isn’t really sure why the film just switches part way through. (Well, Eric is played by a terrible actor whereas Michael isn’t. That likely had something to do with it.)
If you can put aside the bad alien costumes, the bad child actors and the fact that it’s a rip-off, you’re left with a fairly workmanlike film with a couple of real actors trying to actually do their jobs.
Like many of the legendary bombs out there, this one is only truly terrible if you don’t watch a lot of bad movies. My standards for Worst All Time are pretty damn low, and this one just doesn’t get there. It’s just a run-of-the-mill bad movie that happens to have stolen its plot from a very famous one.