Awfully Good Movies: Super Mario Bros. (1993)

We take a deep dive into the disastrous, but well-loved 1993 movie version of the Super Mario Bros on Awfully Good Movies.

Hey Paisanos! It’s almost time for Mario and Luigi to finally hit the big screen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, so Awfully Good Movies is finally blowing into the cartridge after 30 years and discussing Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the original live action Super Mario Bros!

In 1993, Nintendo licensed their iconic mascots out to Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffe so he could produce what would be the very first American movie to be based off a video game, only for the film’s subsequent failure to set the mood for the Street Fighter‘s, Max Payne‘s and several Uwe Boll movies to later come down the (green) pipe. How could they have gone wrong with Oscar nominated acting legend Bob Hoskins and rising comedian John Leguizamo as our titular plumbers who attempt to rescue Luigi’s lady love Daisy from the slimy cornrows of Dennis Hopper as our King Koopa?

Well, thanks to the married directing duo that created the cyberpunk dystopia of Max Headroom, what should have been a bright and cheerful adventure became a weird and gross hybrid of Mad Max, Blade Runner, Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies, and maybe just the slightest hint of anything from the actual Mario games. And thanks to the constant rewrites ordered from the distributors at Disney and the egomaniacal abuse of the directors whom Bob Hoskins would deem to be “a cu*t and a cow” and “f*cking idiots” (his words, not mine!), what we get instead of a real MARIO BROS. movie is one of the most uniquely beautiful failures of 90s cinema.

From Hopper’s hammy acting as a T-rex turned tyrannical dictator of “Dino-hattan”, to Hoskins and Leguizamo sharing some genuine chemistry (and plenty of alcohol on set) with each other, it’s a movie that’s designed to be more divisive with the young Mario fanbase than the release of MARIO’S TIME MACHINE on the SNES that same year. In fact, the film’s ardent fanbase at the SMB Archive have even put together a two-hour “Morton-Jankel Cut” that will provide viewers with a little more info about what the hell is even going on, so put on your overalls and trust the fungus to talk about one of the best bad movies in Awfully Good history. HERE WE GOOOOOOO!!!

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