By the mid-1980s, everyone wanted to ape Steven Spielberg's suburbia-centric "sense of wonder" shtick; you can see it in movies as diverse as Explorers (1985), The Gate (1987), and Pulse (1988), which, minus Spielberg's suffocating influence, would almost certainly have been a disposable children's film, an R-rated horror flick, and unproduced, respectively. Of all the late-1980s Spielberg wannabes though, the most wildly unhinged has to be Making Contact, created by Roland Emmerich, the guy who would go on to bury movie theaters in a deluge of liquid shit including but not limited to Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998), Eight-Legged Freaks (2002), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 10,000 BC (2008), and so, so many more. Seriously, it's a wonder every movie fan on the planet hasn't killed themselves. Anyway, this flick concerns a kid with ESP who regularly talks to his dead pop on a toy telephone, owns a toy robot sporting the most sophisticated A.I. I've ever seen, and spends most of the running time being terrorized by the ugliest, dirtiest, smelliest (probably) ventriloquist's dummy you've ever seen.
|Still waiting on that Magic, Part 2 callback.|
On a scene-by-scene basis it's an awkward, clumsy disaster, full of sequences that make no real sense and that seem to have been included simply because "I dunno, magic". The end result is completely batshit retarded and plays out like a deranged alternate reality version of Poltergeist (one where Steven Spielberg ate a lot of paint chips as a child) crossed with bottom-barrel E.T. ripoff and all-time Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorite Pod People (1983), with elements from The Goonies, The Monster Squad, Poltergeist II, and Labyrinth randomly tossed into the salad for no apparent reason other than to make the end result as mind-fuckingly incomprehensible as possible. Oh, and Star Wars too, literally in this case: copyright be damned there's a scene in this movie where several kids are menaced by honest-to-fuck Darth Vader, who's sporting a lightsaber and everything. It's unbelievable. So if you've ever wondered what Steven Spielberg's early-1980s output would look like if you edited them all together into one mega movie and then let a schizophrenic person cut the result down to 75 minutes while huffing ether, well, here's your goddamned answer you fucking lunatic. The fact that the person responsible for this fuckgoggle went on to become one of the most successful people in Hollywood just goes to show that anything, and I mean anything, is possible. As long as you're a gibbering maniac.
A Chronology on Elm Street will return next week.