The 80s were rife with feel good movies with out-of-this-world characters, and this film is no exception:
*batteries not included has a charm that a lot of films these days don’t possess. It was one of those aforementioned films of 80s wonder with quirky and lovable characters. It also boasts one of the most unconventional cast of characters a family-friendly film could employ. Its main characters are an old couple, (one of which has a mild form of dementia), a struggling artist, a hispanic mother-to-be with a deadbeat, always gone boyfriend, and a silent former prize fighter the size of a Mack Truck.
The five folks are the remaining tenants of a building set to be demolished in order to make way for new skyscrapers.
The company who is in charge of the new construction has hired a local group of thugs to push the tenants out, first with money, then by force. Carlos, the leader of this ragtag group personally destroys the old diner at the base of the building with a baseball bat.
After all seems lost, the old couple is visited by small, living alien machines who rebuild all of the devastation.
The group watches as the two machines “give birth” to three more living children by consuming more metal and using these pieces to assemble their bodies.
Together, the five aliens (along with some friends) save the building (and its tenants) from demolition.
Where/ when did I first see it?
Once again, *batteries not included was a film that I had viewed at my babysitter, Gigi’s place. She had myriad films of the 80s and early 90s and this was one of the many I first watched here.
How does it hold up?
So I feel like a broken record again, but the effects are dated, clearly. But the film’s charm and antithetical lead actors are what keep this film vibrant.
What did I like about it and why?
The film took “real people” in real dire situations, and spun a fantastical yarn from those humble beginnings. I liked that the main character wasn’t some little kid, but a near-dementia elderly woman and her quick-tempered husband whose son died young; that’s super interesting.
I do wish they had some explanation for their sudden appearance as a Deus Ex Machina, but in reality, it wasn’t necessary. It’s no wonder the film is called Miracle on 8th Street in other countries.
- Aliens come in all shapes and sizes.
- Life isn’t as easy as when you were a child.
- Real world problems can be solved with fantasy.
Where can you see it?
Check out *batteries not included on CanIStream.It?