Super Mario Bros.

Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz!

I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Movies Based on Videogames” with a minor in “Getting Drunk on Set”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!

From July of 2013, it’s the long lost speech for Super Mario Bros!

Super Mario Bros. Poster

The Mario brothers, Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, are two Italian American plumbers struggling to make a living in Manhattan until Luigi falls head over heels for Daisy, an archeology student excavating dinosaur bones under the Brooklyn Bridge. When the mafia-like Scapelli Construction Company tries to sabotage Daisy’s dig site Daisy winds up kidnapped and whisked away to Dinohattan by a race of dinosaur-descended reptilian creatures ruled by the villainous King Koopa! Can Mario and Luigi save their princess and get back the New York? And what’s the deal with Daisy’s meteorite necklace? This ain’t no game…it’s Super Mario Bros!

The huge success of the video games featuring animated Italian plumbers the Mario Brothers led to the very first Hollywood film directly based on a specific video game property in 1993. Starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi, Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy, and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, the movie spares no expense with its use of animated monsters and high-tech special effects. However, this 104 minute genre defining disaster will make you wonder why Nintendo allowed the small production companies ‘Allied Filmmakers’ and ‘Lightmotive’ temporary control of their characters in order to make the movie. Super Mario Brothers was so bad, that the two directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton have only recently recovered from it. There is a twelve-year gap in their directing history on IMDB between Super Mario Brothers and their next projects in 2004 and 5.

"Yeah, no, we're too busy ruining a new genre of film to talk to you right now..."-Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton

“Yeah, no, we’re MUCH too busy ruining a new genre of film to talk to you right now…”-Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton

In a 2007 interview with The Guardian, Bob Hoskins has spoken critically of Super Mario Bros., saying that it was “the worst thing I ever did” and that “the whole experience was a nightmare”. In another interview with The Guardian, Hoskins answered Super Mario Bros. to three of the questions he was asked, “What is the worst job you’ve done,” “What has been your biggest disappointment,” and “If you could edit your past, what would you change?”

John Leguizamo also admitted in 2007 that he too disliked his role as Luigi in the film, and expressed dissatisfaction with the film’s direction. He also said in his biography that both he and Bob Hoskins did not enjoy working on the film, frequently getting drunk to go through it, knowing that it would turn out bad.

Dennis Hopper was also disparaging of the production, “It was a nightmare, very honestly, that movie. It was a husband-and-wife directing team who were both control freaks and wouldn’t talk before they made decisions. Anyway, I was supposed to go down there for five weeks, and I was there for 17. It was so over budget.”

Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s creator stated, “[In] the end, it was a very fun project that they put a lot of effort into,” but also said, “The one thing that I still have some regrets about is that the movie may have tried to get a little too close to what the Mario Bros. video games were. And in that sense, it became a movie that was about a video game, rather than being an entertaining movie in and of itself.”

The film appeared in second place on Gametrailers countdown of the worst video game movies ever behind Blood Rayne the movie and reviewers said that the film “left a dark stain on the genre that mars it to this day.”

Some trivia for the movie:

  • Not once does Mario ever mention Daisy by name.
  • The “Devolution” guns seen at the end of the film are simply repainted versions of the Super Nintendo light gun accessory, the “Super Scope”.
  • Bob Hoskins didn’t know that the film he was making was based on a game, until his son asked him what he was working on. When Hoskins mentioned the film’s title, his son immediately recognized it and showed Hoskins the game on his own Nintendo.
  • Video game characters and objects from the Mario universe litter the movie including: Bomb-Ombs, Thwomps, the Koopahari Desert, Yoshi, Goombas, Big Bertha, and Bullet Bills. There are even some sound effects from the games that are re-used for the movie.
  • Kevin Costner and Arnold Swarzenegger both turned down the role of King Koopa.
  • Peter Levy, who’s work includes Predator 2, Broken Arrow, and the TV show 24, was the original director of photography, but was fired after the directors and producer were unhappy with his work. Dean Semler, who’s work includes Apocalypto, and Bruce Almighty, and Dances with Wolves was called in to replace him, and within less than a week of joining, Semler contacted Levy and said that he regretted signing onto the movie.
  • And finally, watch for a scene at the end of the credits!

The Super Mario Bros. has a 4.0 on IMDB and a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes and only brought in 20 million of its 42 million dollar budget. But despite being a critical as well as commercial failure even going so far as to end up on Siskel and Ebert’s list of the worst films of 1993, it should be noted that the fact that the film was even made at all shows how much the video game industry had impacted popular culture to date.

It’s the original sin of videogame films! It’s been called baffling, boring, depressing, and derivative! But the only thing I call it today is ‘Supercult Worthy!’Grab a plunger, put your arms around the nearest prince or princess and take a ride with us to a whole new dimension of so-bad-it’s-good!

The Supercult show is proud to present: Super Mario Bros!



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