The Original Super Mario Bros. Movie
Super Mario Bros : Directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel were best known for their work on the visually appealing cult TV series Maximum headroom when they were tasked with translating the story of the world’s most famous plumber to the big screen.
Their vision was about as far from the world of the Super Mario video game franchise as you could get; is set in a parallel universe where the dinosaurs coexisted with humans and other reptile hybrids as part of a cyberpunk dystopian city called Dinohattan.
The plot saw Mario (Hoskins) and brother Luigi (John Leguizamo) go there, Alice in Wonderlandstyle, to rescue Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis) after she is kidnapped by Iggy and Spike (Fisher Stevens and Sonic Youth’s Richard Edson, respectively), the henchman of Dinohattan’s president, King Koopa (Dennis Hopper).
That might have sounded simple enough on paper, but in practice it was anything but studio interference, constant script rewrites, problems on set, and the firing of Morton and Jankel during production all of which contributed to making the film something of a rubbish.
Critics and the public agreed, with Super Mario Bros. garnering bad reviews and a poor box office return that meant “game over” for the franchise and the prospects of any further Nintendo live-action movies – the next would come 26 years later with Detective Pikachu.
But nearly three decades later, the film has become a bona fide cult classic, known for its innovative computer-generated effects, dazzling animatronics, biting satire, and remarkably unique take on the source material.
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