It’s too bad we didn’t snap up that $1 Japanese VHS copy of Mac and Me from the video store liquidation bin back when we had the chance. Instead, we’re left wanting to get our own eyes on a legitimate copy, because we really want to see if Japanese viewers really got to see Eric Cruise meet a shockingly grisly fate on camera in a purported alternate ending American audiences may have been denied.
Horror buff and Toronto Fantastic Fest film curator Peter Kuplowski just tweeted out a video of what he says is the alternate Japanese ending taken straight off the TV screen, and compared to the American version — already the inspiration for a thousand bad-movie jokes — it’s gnarly. Kuplowski’s tweet shows Eric wheeling across the street near the movie’s end, when he’s stopped dead cold... by a bullet right to the chest.
It’s a moment that rivals even the infamously campy wheelchair-over-a-cliff scene — the very same one fans of Conan O’Brien can’t get out of their heads thanks to Paul Rudd’s ongoing video-swap gag every time he shows up to promote a movie:
Eric dies in a shoot-out in the U.S. version, but it’s an off-camera moment that’s implied rather than shown. Mac revives his human pal in that version, although no one who may have seen the Japanese cut has (so far) come out of the woodwork on social media to reveal whether Eric is alive or dead by the movie’s end.
Mac and Me, which contemporary audiences found hilariously guilty of countless sins against good taste even at the time of its release three decades ago, may have negotiated the weightier aspects of varying cultural sensibilities differently from one release region to the next — but we’re holding out hope to get our own hands on a Japanese copy of Orion Pictures’ anti-masterpiece so we can confirm Eric’s alternate fateful moment for ourselves.