Sweatin’ to the Oldies: “Dr. Christina of Sweden” (1970)

In this feature, I navigate vintage pornography. It’s 6/9 and management is riding my ass, so what better time for the second installment? Today we have an American production filmed partly in France. To Western swine like myself, France is known for its artwork, elegance, fashion, and relaxed attitude toward nudity. Its “romance language” is seen as innately seductive and its people are said to be skilled lovers. It seems like a natural to cast them in sex films, especially when you’ve already flown there to make one. A natural to anyone besides the director, a favorite around here, whose every move baffles me. The incomparable Nick Millard!

“I must have been turning into a faggy, lesbian bull dyke, because I was certainly growing excited at the sight of the gorgeous, enormous tits.” Many profound things have been written and said throughout history. This tops them all. Let’s examine who says it and why.

A young blonde steps off a plane onto a tram, then pushes a cart through an airport. I feel like most of Millard’s movies start this way. “Dr. Christina of Sweden was the pretentious name under which I wrote sex articles for a Stockholm tabloid.” the blonde explains. “I was in Paris to do an article about the sex scene.”

Already the title has gone out the window. To me, it suggests the focus will be an insatiable Swedish physician. However, the unknown main actress never disrobes or joins in the “fun”, is likely American, and plays a newspaper columnist. The exteriors were shot on location in Paris, whereas all posteriors were filmed in the Bay Area. Confused? Me too! Uschi Digard (Supervixens, Kentucky Fried Movie) shows up at the end, but as we’ll find out, her connection to Europe’s fifth largest country is tenuous at best.

This exercise in dishonesty was filmed without sound. The only audio is jazzy stock music relieved by occasional first-person narration. I watched it online, though I’ve read the After Hours Retro DVD available from Alternative Cinema (Dot Com) contains a five-minute interview with Millard in which he reveals that Dr. Christina of Sweden was an aborted softcore feature he reworked to be hardcore. If Christina’s outfits are anything to go by, principle photography lasted two days. The bottom right corner of the image is watermarked with a Retro Seduction Cinema logo.

There are quick shots from a car of the Place de la Concorde, an 18th Century execution site home to magnificent twin fountains, an ancient Egyptian Obelisk, and a colonnaded, Roman-style temple. Christina proceeds to explore the French capital. There isn’t much of a story beyond that. Famous attractions, street markets, back alleys. They all leave her awestruck. At times, this feels like a tourism commercial, especially when Christina says “Stop whatever you’re doing and come to Paris right away. You won’t be sorry.” Interested in seeing what the City of Love was like fifty-odd years ago at the height of the sexual revolution? Millard has you covered. I wonder if he travelled to shoot these movies, or planned them around his vacations.

Credit: Encyclopaedia Britannica

During her stay, Christina witnesses three couples do it, in the process discovering she is a bisexual voyeur. Her first experience is by accident. The second she dreams about. The third she goes looking for. Since these sex scenes were filmed separately at a later date, Christina simply reacts to them and it’s edited to make it seem like she’s there.

“[Paris] was just as I’d imagined it to be. Colorful, vibrant, exciting!” Christina marvels while struggling to carry her suitcase past a cigarette stand. She appears on a balcony overlooking a busy street, stating she could have afforded a better hotel, but wanted to see the “real” Paris. The narrator sounds like Priscilla Alden (Criminally Insane), yet I can hear this in Nick Millard’s voice. He always spun his cost-cutting measures as basic filmmaking techniques employed the greats. The man rode a fine line between artistry and economy. His actors weren’t pretty? Neither were Roberto Rossellini’s. It’s called neorealism! He cast the same ones over and over? Well, so do repertory theatres! He basically only used one set (his house)? First of all, it’s a sound stage. And guess what? The major studios do that as well!

“This place was absolutely charming.” Christina continues. “It filled me with a delight that I hadn’t known in many, many months.” Two people stack cans in front of a restaurant. An old woman wrings out a rag. Discarded plastic blocks a storm drain. The camera zooms into a patch of road that’s been torn up for repair. Charming indeed. A regular Xanadu. Every blemish, every imperfection, impresses Christina. Watching her is like watching myself watch a Z-movie. Do shiny objects catch her eye too? I’ll admit, she has an infectious joie de vivre. I kinda wanna go here now. Oh god, it’s folie à deux! Double reverse Paris Syndrome! A theatre marquee advertises, among other films, Luis Buñuel’s Tristana, which I pulled up on Tubi to expand my knowledge of world cinema.

“I breathed the air of kings.” Christina exclaims. “Please bear with me, as I tend to lean toward the melodramatic.”

Again, I can hear this in Nick Millard’s voice. He constantly romanticized France. At sixteen, he dropped out of high school and got a job at the Stage Door Theater. “[It] was my new classroom.” he wrote on Facebook. “And no kid ever had a better one. This was the beginning of a sophisticated, cultured, daring Nick Millard. I saw a French film entitled And God Created Woman starring the magnificent Brigitte Bardot. The scene took place in St. Tropez. Bardot was lying naked in a garden, her exquisite derriere in full view. That is the day I fell in love with France, the Côte d’Azur, French red wine, and most of all, Bardot.”

But destiny had different plans for Millard. He found real love with a German named Irmgard who shared his passion for movies. They married in May of 1966 and spent their honeymoon at the Cannes Film Festival. Later, they purchased a home in the village of Mandelieu, where they made friends with an ex-Nazi who’d faked his death because he too was enthralled by France (!).

Millard’s favorite part may have been how the women sunbathed without their bikini tops. He was a horndog who credited Irmgard with keeping him on the straight and narrow. He also wrote that he wanted his ashes scattered at the Folies Bergère and Crazy Horse Saloon, the latter because they had the best strippers. He even went so far as to say that everything else besides France was boring.

After ambling around a bit more, Christina tells us she was given the names of two college students to interview. They’re not important people or experts on anything. Why her employer has their contact information is unclear. She might as well pick a random couple off the street. What do you think she’s going to ask them about? The preconceptions I listed above? Their passionate style of kissing or fondness for urine-soaked bread? Au contraire, mon frere! She wants their opinions on “free love, promiscuity, pussy… Stock questions that would no doubt render stock answers.” She flew a thousand miles to conduct this interview, and that’s the best she came up with? Some journalist!

When Christina finds the apartment, the front door is ajar and the couple is fooling around on their couch. Christina decides to spare them the embarrassment of interrupting and watches their entire twelve-and-a-half-minute encounter from the doorway. This laissez-faire approach awakens her inner scopophiliac. The woman is wearing blue stockings, a garter belt, and a horse riding cap. Her partner is naked except for his glasses. The woman drags her boobs across his squishy penis.

Credit: The Simpsons, Disney

The man uses one hand to fumble around the woman’s externals and his other to jab fingers inside her. He leans in close like a scientist examining a rare specimen. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Aren’t Parisians supposed to be great in the sack?

“Hot, moist, demanding pussy fulfilled by hard, young manhood.” Christina commentates. Whose dick is she looking at? This drugged-out hippie has yet to enter a state of tumescence, let alone a vagina. The exhibitionists 69 for a while. “So imaginative!” Christina remarks as the woman bites the tip of the man’s penis. That’s one word for it! “La bite” is actually a French term for “penis”. Something was lost in translation! As soon as Monsieur Flaccid is ready, he sits with his head draped over the back of the couch and his partner mounts him. He never moves again. Time of death: 16:50.

“Better to make love than to kill and maim on a battlefield.” Christina muses. I agree, but I’m not sure where that came from. Oh, wait, this was 1970. Vietnam was still heavy on everyone’s mind. End the war before it ends you!

Christina is shown sitting down taking notes. I thought she’d made herself at home and was disappointed to hear she was at her hotel. She heads back outside for more sightseeing. A leisurely stroll down a famous street called the Boulevard Saint Michel leads her to the Eiffel Tower. She later visits the Arc de Triomphe. Ten to twenty kids ride atop a car and are pulled behind it on skateboards. Christina walks through a fountain. She tops off her morning by eating an ice cream cone along the Seine. She strikes up a conversation with a local Maoist on the cement banks of the river. Christina tells us the Maoist is a fan of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (which I also watched) and wishes to recreate the ending by setting off an explosion. She flirts with him, smiling and playfully squeezing his cheeks. As she walks away up the steps, though, her attitude changes. “Goodbye, freak!” she says tauntingly, satisfaction gripping her voice. “No pussy for you today! Not with those weird ideas. You’re probably too sick to enjoy it anyway.”

Such wanton destruction. I nearly spit out my drink. 9-1-1? Yes, I’d like to report a murder. What did the poor guy do to deserve this? I doubt Millard told him what would be said. I choose to believe he was nothing but kind and respectful, humbly bragged about the small role to his family and friends, unaware of the fact that he’s actually in a porno, eventually saw it by chance, and went “Hey, that’s me!… Aww, sonuva bitch!” That’s assuming he found Christina attractive. He could have been gay, or just not that into her.

Afterward, Christina wanders around some more, saying she wants to get wasted and celebrate life. It skips that part, cutting straight to her lying in bed. “I’d drunk perhaps a bit too much wine.” she explains, cueing the second sex scene. “I was having rather bizarre dreams. Dreams of a lesbian nature.” We saw this plot contrivance in Fräulein Leather. You’ll notice the same actresses, props, and sex toys as well.

Two women in leather boots are going at. Their burning desire is symbolized by what looks like a fire on a beach. The submissive one, Suzanne, plays with herself while the dominant one, Alida, licks her footwear. Alida then fingers, tongues, and nipples Suzanne’s cooter, spreading her ass for the camera can see. Millard captures every glistening detail. Alida has on the black, zippered underwear worn by the man in Wendy’s Naughty Night, Mac-10, and Dracula in Vegas. Channeling the awesome power of the unisex panties, she tickles Suzanne’s asshole with a feather.

Is it true that French women don’t use deodorant? If so, between their BO and secretions, the smell in this room must be crazy. Through his writing, Millard refers to the women as sinful, subhuman creatures. As a Catholic, were these his beliefs? No, I think he was trying to make the scene hotter and more provocative by portraying same-sex, uhh, sex, as wrong. Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest, they say. Alida is now wearing a strap-on. She and her partner gyrate against each other in slow-motion. This scene lasts forever. Highlight: Suzanne treats Alida’s nipple like a radio dial.

The next morning, it rains, limiting what Christina can do. She writes under an awning at a sidewalk cafe, drinking coffee, watching women walking by. After making prolonged eye contact with a giant bust of an African man, she enters a nightclub of sorts where Uschi Digard and a blonde wearing a headband are performing a stage act on a set resembling a living room that was likely just a living room. Christina seats herself at a table and watches. Digard’s titanic naturals swing low like sweet chariots coming for to carry me home. According to Boobpedia, which I take to be an extremely reputable source of information, her bra size is 44F.

“I can tell you about the first time I ever saw her, because I will never forget it.” Millard told Search My Trash, circa 2012. “It was in March of 1970, at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California (very close to Beverly Hills). One word can describe Uschi — magnificent. I had never seen anything like her breasts in my life (and I was raised around a burlesque theater, the Moulin Rouge theatre in Oakland, California). She also had a very pretty face and a nice derriere. She was from Switzerland, she spoke German with Irmi… sometimes they write that she was from Sweden, perhaps they are thinking of Anita Ekberg.”

Christina echoes Millard’s sentiments. “What a pair of tits. This voluptuous darling possessed the Taj Mahal of bosoms.”

Digard’s Wikipedia page includes a quote that starts “I was born in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, a little town outside Stockholm, Sweden, and am of Swedish/Swiss heritage.” attributed to “The Big Book of Breasts”, which sounds like another legit publication. It probably comes from a nudie mag. The bios in those are often fabricated.

During a rare interview given to Ashley West of the Rialto Report, Digard clarified that she’s Swiss, is of French heritage, and spent three years in Sweden as an adult. Her story is quite fascinating — she had a strict, religious upbringing/education, became multilingual to read foreign books, and travelled the world for years before landing in California.

Hold on, there’s a little more plot left. The performers make out with and tease each other. Digard pretends to finger bang Headband. Headband pretends to eat Digard’s ass. Digard repeatedly smashes a boob into Headband’s vulva, then presses just her nipple against Headband’s roast beef. They faux-finger bang a bit more. Finally, Digard pretends to eat Headband out. This scene is the least explicit of the three and in my opinion shouldn’t have been last. I get why it was, though. Digard is the closest Millard ever came to having a star. Most sources claim she did softcore exclusively. While she and Headband show quite a bit of restraint here, they do still fondle each other’s va-genitals. At what point that’s hard is up for debate, I suppose. Or should I say up for da bates?

Credit: Quickmeme.com

Christina goes window-shopping for shoes. She walks toward a venue called Lido. Fin. Huh. Ok. Overall, today’s pick is fine, a 2 or 3 out of 5 because so little happens. I’m surprised I was able to crank one out… a review, sicko! The title, premise, and narration provide a few laughs, and the footage of Paris is mildly interesting. Millard’s immense admiration shines through, making me keen to visit someday. Without sound or enthusiasm, the American sex is the least exciting part, supporting Millard’s position that everything else besides France is boring.

I’m setting a “featured image” for this post in hopes of preventing the screenshots below from displaying in the reader 🤞 Again, they’re for purely educational purposes! Enjoying them is a violation of our terms and conditions!

Next time on Sweatin’ to the Oldies: an actual French movie with French performers. Perhaps the most insane porno I’ve seen! Au revoir! Continue reading

Viva Millard!

There’s an old saying that goes “History is written by the victors”. Independent filmmaker Nick Millard was a rebel. A revolutionary. And in this sense, a “loser”. Neither Hollywood or the general public have any idea who he is. For them, his movies constitute cinematic terrorism. Like pipe bombings, they’re homemade, painful to sit through, and cause mass confusion. In my view, they’re some of the best movies ever. Millard’s one regret was never making it big or having a hit. But what if he did? What if his coup d’etats were successful? Suppose he met the right people, received proper funding, and cranked out a masterpiece. Imagine A-list directors Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth running around citing him as an influence. People would be singing a different tune, praising Millard’s work as daring, artistic, and raw. My point is, opinions are very easily influenced by others, especially those at the top. That’s why I’m doing my part to challenge perceptions and spread the word about treasures such as

The Terrorists opens outside US Army McGraw Kaserne, a military installation in Munich, Germany. Half the movie was filmed there, presumably during a vacation Millard and company took to visit his wife’s side of the family. The other half was filmed back home in the San Francisco Bay area. A soldier patrols the perimeter. It’s hard to tell, but it could be Millard’s nephew Royal again. A woman named Ingrid watches him from a car. “Morgan has just come on duty.” she notes. This is for sure the same actress who played Jean in Satan’s Black Wedding. She has an IMDb page for that role as Zarrah Whiting and another for this one as “Christian Kazan”.

Her partner, Albert Eskinazi, loads a shotgun. His defining feature, his chin, is just out of frame. That’s like filming a porno and missing the money shot. Or failing to capture the game-winning touchdown. So far, this setup reminds me of Gunblast. Ingrid pulls up next to the guard. Eskinazi blows him away. The guard throws himself against a gate in a crane stance. I’m so happy Eskinazi survived.

Marland Proctor walks through an airport to a taxi and is driven to the scene of the crime. His chin and mouth are also cut off at times. Millard’s wife Irmgard Millard is reporting on the events. She tells us a group of radicals calling itself La Guerra Del Puebla — the People’s War — claimed responsibility for the drive-by shooting. This “group” has only two members, the ones we just saw. Here’s where Millard’s trademark anti-American sentiment creeps in. The seemingly platonic pair opposes US support of South American dictators, which of course was a thing in the 60s and 70s. Their Spanish moniker signifies solidarity with the peoples of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, etc. Millard considered the US the greatest country on Earth because he was able to follow his dream, but wasn’t afraid to criticize it and call shit like he saw it.

Proctor meets with a Colonel played by Barrett Cooper. Their conversation is staged exactly the same as their scenes together in Alcatraz Breakout. Cooper berates Proctor from a desk in front of a blank wall and flag while Proctor smarts off. There is no mention of cacti. Cooper is the spitting image of Sam the Eagle from The Muppets. We learn that Proctor is Captain James Luke of the Army Criminal Investigation Unit and the slain guard was no ordinary soldier, but the son of a congressman. Cooper is displeased that Luke was assigned to his command because he often leaves a path of destruction. Luke’s arm is in a sling for some reason. Since it doesn’t really factor into the story, I’m going to assume Proctor broke it for real. This instantly made me think of Millard’s One-armed Warrior, about which nothing is known. Chances are high it stars Proctor in a sling. Luke asks Cooper if the guard had a history of drug use or homosexurality, with an “r”. At least it sounds like he says it that way.

Credit: Disney

Inspector Paul Steger (Millard’s brother-in-law Hans Grabinger), Munich Police, is on the case too. This guy is so bad he had to have been a relative. Steger goes door to door asking people if they heard or saw anything in his thick German accent, mumbling like his mouth is sewn shut. He’d make an excellent ventriloquist. The second apartment he comes to just so happens to house a wanted bank robber. The bank robber grabs a revolver and approaches his front door. There’s a shower curtain behind him. What kind of apartment opens into a bathroom? He asks who it is. Police, Steger replies. The bank robber fires through his mail slot. Steger shoots the knob and gains entry. They each take a doorway, popping out to fire on each other until the bank robber is hit.

Meanwhile, Eskinazi’s character, going by the super-secret codename “The Professor”, wraps up a lecture on political revolution, stating it’s possible to overthrow oppressive regimes. Huh, he’s an actual professor. As Bert AKA Sandcooler wrote in his awesome review, “Talk about hiding in plain sight!” The insurgent’s black turtleneck against the blackboard makes him look like a floating head. He exits the university where he teaches, gets in the orange coupe he drives in The Cemetery Sisters, and zips to a rural location. A weapons dealer named Helmut is waiting. Helmut strongly resembles Irmgard’s nephew Maximillian Grabinger (star of Dracula in Vegas), so I proclaim him Maximillian’s dad. The Professor buys some plastic explosives and says next time he needs a rifle with a telescopic sight.

Back in the ugly apartment, Irmgard is talking with Steger. Look how much of her face is missing below! We’re all the way up to her nose. Pretty soon, there won’t be anything left of these characters. Irmgard reminds Steger this is the third person he’s killed in the line of duty and urges him to give his side of the story to the press. He refuses. The “acting” here is hilarious.

Credit: The Jerk, YouTube

“Will you let me interview you on camera?”

“No.”

“You know that I will report this as it happened, but the other networks and the newspapers will only dwell on the fact that this is the third man you’ve killed.”

“I had no uzzer choice.”

“Then say that in front of the camera. Let the public see that you’re not some kind of monster.”

(slightly annoyed) “I said no.”

“You’re im-PAH-ssible.”

And so we’re given a subplot about Steger being maligned in the media and his girlfriend leaving him for a woman that I think is supposed to earn sympathy from us.

Ingrid types up her manifesto in Millard’s living room. “I’m going to send this to every newspaper in Munich.” she declares. “The United States government and its citizens will no longer be allowed to escape the consequences of their fascist acts. By arming numerous dictators around the world, they have caused millions to suffer oppression, torture, and death. American property and lives will be destroyed in retaliation for such acts, until… these crimes against humanity cease.”

Zarrah Whiting in Satan’s Black Wedding

The Professor tells her the only way to bring about change is to blow shit up and hands her the plastic explosives. She plants them at the post exchange store. If you’ve seen even one Millard movie, you know he lacked the resources to pull off an explosion, so what did he do? Skipped over it completely and had his wife report on it. “Eight people are dead, including two children.” Irmgard informs us, from a building showing no signs of damage.

Luke pays a visit to an old friend (Ray Myles), a Russian intelligence officer named Sergei Goncharoff after an exploitation/porn movie editor. Luke pronounces it “Sir Gay”, pausing between the two syllables. If anyone knows about homosexurality, it’s gotta be Sir Gay. I’ve now seen Myles play an Italian, a Mexican, and a Russian in back to back movies. The range. The versatility. He has that Heinz 57 look. I’d believe any ethnicity. The men are such good friends that when Sergei’s family was killed in a car bombing, Luke tracked down the bath turds responsible (I say “bath turd” instead of bastard because what’s worse, a boy born out of wedlock or poop in your bathwater?). As it turns out, that’s how Luke lost the use of his arm. His wife left him shortly thereafter. His backstory parallels Steger’s.

Luke asks Sergei if he knows who the terrorists are. Sergei says Helmut just asked him for a sniper rifle. Luke wonders why he would need such a thing. Sergei theorizes that La Guerra Del Puebla wants to assassinate President Jimmy Carter, who is due to arrive in Munich next week on his way to Berlin. It appears this movie was made sometime between 1977 and 1980. Nick & Irmgard Millard, Hans Grabinger, and Marland Proctor were photographed together in Munich in 1977 (bottom). Luke compares the assassination to one that occurred fifteen years earlier, obviously referring to JFK’s murder in 1963. That would be 1978. Later, a gravestone reads “1940-1980”. The release year of the movie is commonly given as 1988. However, the back of the World Video Pictures clamshell VHS reads 1983. Either way, Carter was long out of office by the time people saw this!

Luke barges through Helmut’s front door, demanding answers. He slaps him repeatedly, though Proctor’s hand never touches his face. More and more blood just accumulates on it. Luke gives Helmut til the count of ten to tell him who his buyer is. At the last second, Helmut blurts “The Professor!” A third man interrupts the interrogation. They play another game of peekaboo. Luke somehow wins, despite being outnumbered and crippled.

Such fruity wallpaper for a weapons dealer. Does he live with his grandmother?

Luke drops by Sergei’s again with the new information. Sergei says the Professor might be a brilliant “intelligence analyst” he worked with, whatever that means. Sergei agrees to give the man’s name only after verifying that he is in fact a terrorist. His plan is to ask him, unarmed, in private. What could go wrong?

Irmgard runs into Luke at a Wassily Kandinsky exhibit. They head to a cafe with outdoor seating. Thank you Millard for the fascinating shot of the espresso machine filling their cups. Irmgard hits on Luke, asking where he lives and if he has a family. Luke assumes she’s fishing for details about the case. Irmgard is offended. She insists that her only concern is getting to know him. Luke apologizes. Don’t admit mistakes. Maintain dominance. There is a quick montage of them enjoying each other’s company set to some shitty flute music. It sounds like a joker wandered into a recording studio and messed around with the first instrument he saw. The rest of the soundtrack is basic, repetitive snare drumming, which gives the proceedings a military feel.

The Professor arrives at Sergei’s house. Sergei advises him not to assassinate President Carter. The Professor tells Sergei to mind his own business. Sergei is like aha, you’re not denying it! Nothing slips past this guy! He informs the Professor that he’s giving his name to authorities. The Professor pulls out a gun. Sergei turns his back and is shot six times. Did he really expect the Professor to surrender?

Luke is awakened by a call notifying him of Sergei’s demise. He answers the phone the wrong way, twisting his arm upside-down. Irmgard is lying next to him in bed. Sheesh, Proctor got more tail in these movies than any of us could ever hope to, combined, and made it look easy. It’s just something we have to deal with. As I mentioned last time, it’s a shame Proctor died so young. I’m really starting to like him as an actor. I was not surprised in the least to read his official cause of death was drowning in pussy.

Dr. Loomis would be proud.

Who does this?

Meanwhile, the Professor tests out a sniper rifle supplied by Helmut’s brother Karl (Millard himself). If Karl already had a sniper rifle, why did Helmut have to procure one from Russian intelligence? And why is Russian intelligence in the business of selling weapons to random German civilians? Who ate the fourth plate of dog food in Criminally Insane II? Were MacReady and Blair infected at the end of The Thing? We’ll never know.

Karl then phones Luke, offering key information. It comes at a high price — $50,000. He instructs Luke to go to a church, alone. Luke takes a tram there. It’s an ambush! Karl fires at Luke from a grassy knoll (the famous hillside from all of Millard’s movies). These actors were clearly in different locations. They probably weren’t even on the same continent! The enemies play a third game of peekaboo. Predictably, Karl is killed. Steger walks up. Luke suggests they get drunk. There is another quick montage of them chugging steins of beer.

They stumble into a place with a sign reading “Naked Nude”. Cue unrelated footage of a juicy little “tomato” as Nick Millard called them performing the ultimate courtship display. First, she snips a hole in the front of her underwear, exposing her pubes. Then, she carefully pulls a few tufts through and gyrates. How seductive. Keep thrusting, baby! After a moment, she takes her panties off anyway. What a waste! They’re ruined now! Finally, she squats over three bottles. Vaginal shenanigans are left to the imagination. When a woman does this for you, you’re legally obligated to gift her parents a cow. Pack a lunch, cos this scene lasts for six minutes. My favorite part? The cameraman exhaling creepily!

Can our horny, hungover heroes stop the Professor? I won’t spoil everything, but I will say the movie ends quite abruptly before President Carter shows up, in the nexus of the universe, Nick Millard’s house. According to the major Abrahamic religions, our souls go there when we die to act out “Gunnel Kjellin” scenarios for eternity. Many people who have had near-death experiences report entering a salmon-colored light and glimpsing various ghouls, gluttons, and gunmen.

To borrow another line from Bert, “This thing just flies by,” leaving me wanting more. It reuses the credits from Alcatraz Breakout, or vice-versa, which are full of European pseudonyms for nonexistent people. They list a screenwriter, electrician, wardrobist, script supervisor, and production administrator. I doubt Millard even bothered to perform these duties, there’s no way he paid others to! He’d be the first to admit he couldn’t afford it.

When it comes to these kinds of movies, I usually just ask myself, was I entertained? If yes, the movie was good. That makes The Terrorists great. What my friends’ wives insist is “not real”, I call endearing, hilarious, fun! It’s an absolute treat. One of Millard’s best. It amuses me how I can write that and a fellow fan will rank it among the worst. Millard’s movies tend to provoke strong reactions. It’s rarely a “meh”. Personally, I don’t see how anyone could sit down with this and not get up with a smile on their face. I give it 5 underwear holes out of 5. If I was connected, I would have funded a million Millard movies, cos right now the world needs to laugh. In my book, Millard was a winner. He had a loving family and had a blast pursuing his dream.

Cheers 🍻 Stay happy, stay healthy, stay winning ✌️

Credit: Nick Millard

The Terrorists was uploaded to YouTube a few months ago by the channel Obscurity. Its full frontal nudity makes me nervous. I used a browser extension to download it before it disappears and advise you to do the same. Until then, enjoy. As always, comments are welcome.

If you see a bunch of ads below here, they’re from WordPress, not me. I was horrified when I recently viewed my site without adblock.

Mac and Me and Me

I think I lost progress on my Gunblast review at some point because I noticed a handful of typos/repeated words I swore I took care of. Oh well, it happens. I fixed a few things, but I’m not gonna go crazy revising that shiz. Maybe one day I’ll publish a Special Edition.

UFOs, or UAPs as they’re now commonly known, are making headlines again, with many armchair enthusiasts convinced that disclosure is imminent. It’s been an eventful five or so years, that’s for sure. To recap, the Pentagon leaked videos of UFOs outmaneuvering Navy fighter jets to the media, Blink-182 started researching the phenomenon, and a Mad TV cast member made a movie about it. Who would have predicted that back in the 90s? Last month, three mysterious objects were shot down over US airspace, excluding that spy balloon. Now, the Pentagon is saying it’s possible alien motherships are stationed around our solar system. I’m glad the veil of secrecy and stigma surrounding the subject are lifting. It’s not a laughing matter anymore. Witnesses are no longer discredited en masse as hoaxers and kooks. For the most part, they’re free to discuss their sightings without fear of ridicule.

But what are those strange lights in the sky? People want to know. The way I see it, if even one of the countless UFOs described throughout history was an extraterrestrial craft, aliens exist, and that doesn’t bode well for our species. The implications are frightening. We’re fairly certain there’s no other planet-bound life in our solar system. Therefore, it originates elsewhere. I’ve read that it would take tens of thousands of years to reach the next closest star using current technology. We’d be dust by the time we arrived. Visitors capable of completing the voyage no doubt possess weaponry so advanced they could wipe us out in the blink of an eye.

Credit: The Ren & Stimpy Show

On the bright side, such a death would be painless. The fact that we’re still kickin’ suggests these hypothetical aliens (Who am I kidding? They’re real) are nonviolent. To quote former Arizona governor Fife Symington, “If they wanted to do us in, they coulda done us in a long time ago.” Accounts of UFOs disabling nuclear missiles and environmentalist warnings reported by contactees further suggest they’re more than just passive observers, they’re actively working to ensure our survival. Unless they have some evil, ulterior motive, they’re basically guardian angels protecting us from ourselves, guiding our development, leading us into a brighter tomorrow. It sounds good on paper. But living up to their lofty expectations is stressing me out. Ditto the constant nocturnal probings. I’d rather chill with the dopey, carefree aliens in Mac and Me.

By now, you’ve probably all heard of Mac and Me (1988). It was a box office bomb and has since gained a reputation as one of the worst movies ever. It was kept alive as a running joke by Paul Rudd, star of Halloween 6, who played a clip from it whenever he guested on Conan O’Brien. I finally caught up with Mac and Me last year, or maybe the year before that and had fun. It’s a wonderful, magical movie I would have loved even more as a kid. Disregard the hate spewed by Mystery Science Theater 3000 wannabes trying to sound cool.

Yes, it ripped off E.T., the highest-grossing movie of all time at that juncture. Its title is one word away from “E.T. and Me”, an early title for Steven Spielberg’s film sewn on hats worn by crew members. A portion of John Williams’ score bears the name, as does a junior novelization. In both movies, an alien stranded on Earth befriends a young boy. Anybody with two eyes and half a brain can see the similarities. Presenting them as proof of Mac and Me being awful is like smugly pointing out wrestling is fake. It’s just not a good argument. Everything is influenced by something. E.T. itself is said to resemble an unproduced screenplay by Satyajit Ray. As Richie Tozier and Ray’s lawyers would say, “Get some new material, champ.”

And yeah, Mac and Me includes product placement for Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and to a lesser extent, Skittles. So what? If the goal was to replicate E.T., the job would have been incomplete without enough in-your-face advertising to make Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar question their integrity. Let’s not forget, the beloved summer ’82 blockbuster is somewhat notorious in its own right for shilling Reese’s Pieces, among other crap. All major Hollywood productions are in it for the money. Entertainment is a business. Stop pretending your favorites have the moral high ground.

Credit: Entertainment Tonight

Producer R.J. Louis (The Karate Kid series) “came up with” the premise of Mac and Me and brokered its sponsorship deals. Co-writer/director Stewart Raffill was hired to fill in the blanks. He was given little time to prepare, putting him in a tough position. So, he only deserves partial blame from the haters. He displays an aware sense of humor about the whole thing in a special feature produced for the Shout! Factory Blu-ray. “I was trying to entertain children…” he smiles. “I had to do something that 5, 6, 7, 8, 10-year-old kids would be watching. So, it gets a little corny… for adults, but it’s fun to make fun of.”

Raffill captained another movie I also recommend called Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) AKA Tanny and the Teenage T-Rex. In that one, Paul Walker is dumped in a drive-thru safari by girlfriend Denise Richards’ ex, where he’s mauled by a lion. A mad doctor then implants his brain in a robotic dinosaur. Walker bites back at those who contributed to his death while Richards and her gay bestie race to find him a new body. The cheesy comedy was filmed with explicit gore scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor and were finally restored for the twenty-fifth anniversary Blu-ray. Keep an eye out for John Franklin (Isaac, Children of the Corn) as the mad doctor’s assistant.

Today, I want to talk about two overlooked moments within Raffill’s largely plagiarized family sci-fi adventure flick that stuck with me more than all the rest. They’re so insignificant you could miss them if you’re not paying extremely close attention. First, I’ll run through the plot. Spoilers ahead.

Shouldn’t it be Mac and I?
Credit: Tubi TV

Mac and Me opens on a rocky planet or moon. Saturn looms in the background. Four humanoid aliens (the hip terminology these days is “EBEs” — extraterrestrial biological entities) stumble across our field of view. I say “stumble” because they move like they’re drunk, especially the tall one. He jabs a straw in the ground and sucks out what I’m assuming is alcohol. The smallest of them is dubbed Mac. Though it officially stands for “Mysterious Alien Creature”, it’s no coincidence “Mac” is the first syllable of McDonald’s, as well as the name of their signature sandwich. Mac is later shown wearing McKids clothing. It’s all a bit much. Ronald McDonald, who appears in the movie (and earned a Razzie for it!), introduced the trailer in at least one instance. Even the celestial object from the artwork looks suspiciously like a hamburger bun.

Mac’s homeworld goes unnamed in the movie. However, his family members are listed as Mars Father, Mars Mother, and Mars Sister in the credits. They were portrayed by mimes in costumes whereas Mac is a puppet. The freaky part? Skittles are manufactured by Mars, Inc.

On the subject of theme music, Mac and Me was scored by Alan Silvestri, award-winning composer of Cast Away, The Polar Express, and Gerard Damiano’s Let My Puppets Come. It wasn’t a cheap, direct-to-video production. Per IMDb, Mac and Me had a bigger budget than Star Wars, E.T., and Poltergeist. I can see a fraction of the $13 million on screen. My question is, where did the money go? It certainly wasn’t to recognizable actors. Sure, the mom was in Amadeus, the older brother played the middle child in Season 1 of Charles in Charge, and a few of the characters who barely speak had respectable résumés, but by and large the cast was unknown. Perhaps if there had been a big star, they would have used their sway to say “Let’s change X ” or “How bout Y?”, resulting in a “better” movie. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I wouldn’t change a thing about Mac and Me.

Well, maybe just one. The Martian designs are honestly pretty ugly. I get we’d look weird to them too, but this was made for kids, so I feel like they should have been cuter. They have gangly, tan bodies, big, bulging eyes, pug noses, tiny mouths, puffy jowls, elf ears, and little giraffe nubbies on top of their heads. They communicate by pressing the heels of their hands together and whistling.

I guess Mac is ok. His family makes my skin crawl.
Credit: Tubi TV

A NASA research probe lands next to the Martians. Intrigued, they examine it. A camera short-circuits when touched. A claw collects several rock samples. Then, a suction tube activates, inadvertently sucking the family inside. Their bodies stretch like cartoons. As the father is pulled in, he grabs the hand of the mother, who’s holding the sister. What an asshole. If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me! The probe ascends back to Earth, having spent less than four minutes on Mars, or wherever they were. Great use of a billion dollars!

In a control room at what might be an Air Force base, scientists, military personnel, and federal agents watch as technicians in hazmat suits dismantle the probe. A scientist keeps telling his boss about a discrepancy. Nobody mentions seeing lifeforms on the video feed before the camera malfunctioned. One of the technicians removes a panel. Mac hops out and runs off. The rest of the Martians just slowly wander away. Lights flicker and spark wherever they go. The father taps his hands on a rolling steeling door. Ka-boom! It explodes! Into boards! The Martians exit a hangar. Armed soldiers surround them, however, an officer orders the soldiers to hold their fire. The Martians keep going.

Mac grabs onto a fence. I can’t tell if he’s zapped or blown away by a helicopter hovering overhead, but one way or another he rolls into traffic, causing a pile-up. A truck jumps an identical truck and smashes into a car. The driver of the car catches fire. He has to be extinguished by his fellow motorists. Amidst the confusion, Mac sneaks into a van occupied by wheelchair user Eric (Jade Calegory), his older brother Michael (Jonathan Ward), and their single mom (Christine Ebersole) who works for Sears and has somehow afforded to move them from Illinois to the mountains of California, where houses start at a million dollars. She could have stayed in the Midwest and bought the same house for a fourth of the price. I suspect the only reason she works for Sears is because they carried the McKids clothing line. The family’s last name is Cruise, which I pray was a wheelchair joke!

A motorist walks past the family’s driver-side door. “Anybody hurt?” Eric’s mom asks.

“Oh, nothing serious, lady.” the motorist responds. A man nearly burned to death. What does it take to concern to this guy?

The van is searched at a checkpoint. Mac avoids detection by sitting in back sipping Coke. From beginning to end, he subsists entirely on the soft drink. I’m more of a Pepsi guy myself.

Meanwhile, Mac’s family ventures into a desert. Presumably, it reminds them of home. The women clothe themselves in brown fabric, even though we’ve already seen them naked and Earth is on average 140° F hotter than Mars.

Eric wakes up the next morning and says California looks nice because there are cars on the interstate. Don’t they have cars where he’s from? I see plenty in Illinois. And I prefer having less where I live. Soon, the family arrives at their new house. Neighbor girl Debbie sees Mac exit the van. Her older sister Courtney, Michael’s eventual love interest, is a proud McDonald’s employee. As the family unpacks, Mac reveals himself to Michael, but Michael attributes it to a trick of the sunglasses he’s wearing. Mac then manipulates Eric’s electronics. Eric is puzzled when his unplugged TV works. He investigates sopping wet footprints leading from his shower to his backyard. Debbie is on her deck. She asks who his friend is.

“He’s my brother.” Eric blurts.

“Your brother?! Where are you from?”

“Illinois.”

Credit: The Simpsons, Disney

The first night, Mac turns the living room into a greenhouse. He also drills holes in a wall and saws through the front door. Strangely, Eric is blamed for the botany/damage instead of the son who can walk. Eric goes outside to cry over being yelled at. If you haven’t seen this before, what happens next will catch you off guard. While following Mac’s construction worker-esque whistling, Eric loses control of his wheelchair, rolls down a hill, and plummets off a cliff into a lake. An obvious dummy free-falls for what seems like a mile before hitting the water. It’s ok to laugh. Mac jumps in and saves Eric. It’s the least he can do after luring the poor boy to his doom. Debbie watches in horror. I love how Mac swims without moving a muscle. He can also elongate his limbs and revive the dead. Is there anything he can’t do?

The second night, Eric and Debbie bait Eric’s house with cups of Coke and catch Mac by sucking him into a vacuum. It’s basically the scene in E.T. where Elliot leaves a trail of candy. If getting sucked is Mac’s weakness, keep him away from your mom. Mac is so powerful, his capture causes a blackout, attracting the attention of those pesky federal agents from earlier. Mac is too homesick to keep sowing chaos. He leaves an ad for a furniture store and some pictures of horses on a table. He also puts flowers in straws. These turn out to be clues as to where his family is located — past a billboard where a herd of wild horses roams, by a bunch of windmills. The kids find him sitting in a chair looking sad. Their bright idea is to bring Mac to a birthday party at the McDonald’s where Courtney works, dressed as a teddy bear. What follows is the most shameless promotional scene in the movie.

There have to be a hundred people inside and outside the restaurant. Ronald McDonald is there doing lame magic tricks. So is a football team. Jennifer Aniston makes her film debut as an uncredited extra sitting on a curb. I always thought her debut was Leprechaun. Now I feel lied to. Some asshole announces a dance contest over the loudspeaker. Half the partygoers break out into a synchronized dance routine. How is that a contest? Mac flips through the air in slow-motion, defying all laws of physics, then busts a move on the service counter (this part was clearly performed by a child). The crowd eats it up. The employees in the kitchen snap along. Who cares why that toy is alive?!

He’s floating, Ronald!
You’ll float too!
Credit: Tubi TV

The festivities are interrupted by feds. They never state their intentions, but are assumed to have Mac’s worst interest in mind. They serve as obstacles for our heroes to overcome in the absence of a true villain. Was the Hamburglar unavailable? Eric puts Mac in his lap and leads the feds on a foot chase through traffic reminiscent of the bicycle scene in ET. By some stroke of luck, he hits downward hills at every turn, giving him the advantage. He’s pursued through his mom’s Sears, where Mac helps by tripping the feds with RC cars. Michael, Courtney, and Debbie drive up in a van and grab Eric (and Mac) off the street.

Michael heads toward the furniture store from the ad. Mac points a different direction. The heroes are like Oh my god, wow, he’s bringing us to his family. How do they know? He could be leading them into a trap. He already tried to kill Eric. The heroes locate Mac’s family in a mine. The moribund Martians are quickly revived by — what else? — the sweet elixir of life, Coca-Cola. Please tell me I don’t have to explain Coke’s medicinal properties to you. All eight of the babyfaces pile into the van. Michael stops at a gas station. The Martians wander over to “Thompson’s Groceries”.

“Daaaaad.” a boy whines offscreen.

“It’s alright, son.” a man’s voice assures him. “It’s just a promotional gag.”

You’re telling me!

This is where the movie really gets crazy. The first moment I want to talk about is when Mac’s mom and sister walk by a woman holding her daughter, shopping a pallet of cat litter. The Earth mom gives Mac’s mom a skeptical look and moves on. The girl in her arms is wearing nothing but underwear. The fact that it’s not a diaper means the girl is at least three or four. Actually, she’s roughly the size of my five-year-old son. That’s beside the point, though. Her age is irrelevant. No child except maybe an overheated baby having a meltdown should ever be undressed in public. It’s plain trashy. Mac has more clothes on than she does! If I ran this store, I’d enforce a strict “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy to prevent this from happening again. I mean, what if someone took a picture, or, God forbid, filmed a movie? That would be embarrassing.

Credit: Tubi TV

I usually refrain from judging people on their appearance. That said, I get the feeling this mother wasn’t an actress. She looks like a small-town simpleton who’d think this is fine. I have so many questions. Was Thompson’s real? If so, was this woman a shopper who was asked to serve as an extra? Was her daughter already naked, or was that a request? In either case, why? One day, I hope to have answers.

The cashier pages customer service to the checkouts. A manager walks up in time to see Mac’s mom accidentally knock over a Coke can display. Mac’s dad rounds a corner holding a watermelon. The manager yells for security. While the camera is fixed on two n00bs, Mac’s dad lets go of the fruit. You can hear the splut of it breaking open. The cashier makes another page for Buck the security guard, played by George “Buck” Flower. Flower had bit parts in everything from Nick Millard’s Criminally Insane to Back to the Future.

Credit: Tubi TV

Moment #2: Buck points a gun at Mac’s dad. “Alright, alright, now you put that down right now!” he commands.

Put what down? Mac’s dad isn’t holding anything. Is this in reference to the watermelon? It’s on the floor in the chemical aisle, behind his feet. He dropped it before Buck even responded.

Now, now, put it down!” Buck repeats.

Again, what the Hell is he talking about?

Y’all gonna make me lose my rind.
Credit: Tubi TV

Michael begs the dumb son of a bitch not to hurt his weird friends. I’ve come this far. I might as well finish the movie. Mac’s dad grabs the gun out of curiosity. Police swarm the building. While evacuating the bystanders, they order Mac’s dad to drop his weapon. He and his family casually exit the supermarket with boxes of groceries in hand. Where they go is kind of confusing. They walk in a seemingly straight line across the parking lot, but wind up at the gas station, perpendicular to their trajectory. I know it’s the gas station because the van is still at the pump and the neon Coors sign in the window is the same. Eric rolls after the Martians. A clumsy cops trips over his own cruiser, license plate IKRE855 (the only way to interpret this is that Raffill’s creations are 5s out of 5 — I agree!). As he hits the ground, he accidentally discharges his gun. The rest of the cops open fire, setting off a massive, multi-burst explosion. The entire building goes up in flames.

Credit: Tubi TV

Obviously, it’s unsafe to have actors, especially children, near unpredictable pyrotechnic displays, so what they did here was drew a silhouette of Eric’s slumped-over body on the film. I love it. Somebody should have taught John Landis this method. Eric dies, which doesn’t really make sense to me. Does the force of the blast stop his heart? The original version, released in Japan, found on YouTube, is even more disturbing. The stray bullet hits Eric, killing him. How anyone thought a cop fatally shooting a boy in a wheelchair was a good idea for a kids movie amazes me. A doctor pronounces Eric dead at the scene. Quick, give him a Coke! Eric’s mom arrives via helicopter (!). Sensing she might be of some relation to the corpse on the pavement, a Sheriff’s Deputy informs her “A boy has been hurt!”, shirking all responsibility. There is lots of crying until the Martians emerge unscathed from the blazing inferno and resurrect Eric. Add invincibility and necromancy to their list of talents. I was expecting Eric to walk. That would have been corny. His disability is handled well overall. On the other hand, it’s fucked up of the Martians not to fix Eric’s legs while they’re at it.

The tears in the crowd turn to tears of joy. The doctor’s expression screams “Welp, I’m out of a job.” Officer Oopsy-Daisy breathes a sigh of relief. Not so fast, you buffoon. There were six cars besides the van parked in front of that building, one with its hatch open. They were clearly being used. Many people are dead. That’s a problem. I think Raffill or whoever tried to address this by recording the lines “Get those people outta that building!” and “Leave this building now!”, the latter in a comical German accent, but let’s be honest, there wasn’t enough time for that. Mere seconds later, kablooey. Goddamn this is dark. Serious question, what kids movie has a higher body count?

Nobody gives a fuckture about this structure or its occupants.
Credit: Tubi TV

The ending is a blatant commentary on immigration. The “aliens”, who entered our country illegally, couldn’t speak English, and took whatever they wanted, are granted American citizenship, just like Johnny the robot in Short Circuit 2, released the month prior. The message is one of acceptance. Those intolerant MAGA fucks could learn a thing or two from it. They always seem to forget their ancestors were immigrants too. If humans evolved in Africa, technically anyone who’s not a native African is an immigrant. The word is meaningless. People are people. And apparently so are Martians. They drive away in a pink Cadillac wearing their Sunday best. The mom has a pillbox hat on. A pillbox hat, for God’s sake! A preposterously large gum bubble blown by Mac promises “We’ll be back!” Unfairly, there is no sequel.

What do you think? Have you seen Mac and Me? Did you notice these things? What are your favorite parts? Let me know in the comments section below. Whether you’re bowing to corporate sponsors or alien overlords, Mac and Me is a welcome distraction. It turns thirty-five this year. Time to show it some love!