The Film: Super Mario Bros.
The Guests: George Dean, Elbee Bargeron
From the desk of: George Dean, the great benefactor and mad genius behind OME
The Super Mario franchise is ubiquitous, and for a time, was the gateway to every other video game. At the release of the movie Super Mario Bros. the Movie (1993), the following games were most likely played by the American Audience: Super Mario Bros. (NES 1985), Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES 1987), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES 1990), Super Mario Land (Gameboy 1989), Super Mario World (SNES 1991), and finally, Super Mario Kart (SNES 1992). That said, there are at least a dozen other games which feature Mario – ranging from Mario Bros Arcade, Donkey Kong, Tennis, Pinball, Kart, and so many others.
There are a lot of sources the movie could have borrowed from; perhaps the movie itself is an amalgamation of those sources as well. In the movie, we have Yoshi from Super Mario World (SNES), Daisy, who is exclusively from the Super Mario Land games (Gameboy), King Koopa (aka Bowser), Iggy, and Spike from Super Mario World (SNES), and Big Bertha from Super Mario 2 (NES). There’s also a short scene where the Mario Bros. and the Koopa Bros. are chasing each other in KARTS.
It seems the directors just took characters from several games, and tried to do a service to everyone by unifying the quite large universe of Super Mario timelines, adding some dystopian alternate reality for good measure.
From the Mystifying Mind of Andrew Gimetzco!
That’s enough from Mr. Moneybags, on with my oh-so-insightful essay: I confess, I’ve never been much of a gamer. My parents didn’t spring for home arcade consoles like the NES or Sega Genesis. Instead, we had a Commodore 128/64 with a yellow monochrome monitor. What few games we had were Lode Runner, California Games, Weird Dreams, and Aliens. And as fun as they were, they were just minor blips in my childhood.
In my later teens, I would play a game or two of Dr. Mario or Super Mario Bros. on a friend’s Game Boy, and, though familiar with these games and their iconic status, they meant very little to me.
In 1993, a year after I became an ‘adult’ (you know, legal voting age), a film adaptation was produced of Super Mario Bros., and it flew right by me. It wasn’t until it aired on television some years later that I bothered watching it. It left me relatively unfazed, but I’m not sure why, as this film is flat out BONKERS.
My two guests were kids that ate, slept and breathed MARIO!!! And as such, they bring insight to this strange version of the Mario Bros. saga. And me, I finally get it: in spite of the messy production and on-set squabbles, in spite of the run-amok egos of both the directors and actors (namely Dennis Hopper), the end product is a sublime oddity that is both a product of (and yet ahead of) its time.
Follow George, Andrew, and Elbee down the pipe, and see what happens when Hollywood tries its hardest to cash in on the video game craze, creating this harrowing story of a man, his younger and much more handsome brother, and a strange princess in a strange land. Click the link below, and enjoy this week’s show as we chew on the mealy fungus that is Super Mario Bros. the movie.
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