Super Mario Bros. Recap

Jamie

Mario and Luigi are just a couple of plumbers trying to make ends meet in Brooklyn. When Luigi meets the love of his life, Daisy, only to have her taken through an interdimensional portal to Dinohattan the bros follow after her. Can they stop King Koopa from merging the dinosaur and human worlds (and find love) before it’s too late? Find out in… Super Mario Bros.

How?! In the midst of a string of kidnappings of women, two Brooklyn plumbers, Mario and Luigi, are just trying to get by. When a beautiful researcher, Daisy, who is excavating some strange fossils in a local construction site catches Luigi’s eye things seem like they are looking up. That is until she is becomes the next victim of the kidnappers. Even weirder is that Mario and Luigi witness Daisy getting dragged through what looks like a solid rock wall, but in actuality is a portal to another dimension (oooooooo). Luckily they grab Daisy’s necklace before she is dragged through because it turns out to be the key to everything (more on that later). Refusing to lose his chance at totally smooching this pretty lady, Luigi jumps in right after and Mario is not far behind. They find themselves in Dinohattan, an alternate dimension where the dinosaurs never went extinct, but instead evolved into intelligent humanoids themselves. This realm is ruled by the eeevil King Koopa, who needs Daisy’s necklace in order to make complete the meteorite that split the dimensions millions of years ago. By completing the meteorite he will merge the two dimensions and he can use his advanced deevolution technology to take over the world (bwawawawa). Hearing that the plumbers have the necklace, Koopa puts out an APB. Before they can be arrested, though, they are mugged and the necklace is taken. Once arrested, they are told the entire intricate MacGuffin-centric plan but totes escape before Koopa can do anything about it. Ending up in the wasteland they are helped by some of Koopa’s toadies (and now defectors) to get back into the city and locate the necklace. Almost immediately after getting it back, though, Koopa’s lady love Lena gets the necklace and decides that actually she wants to rule the world and goes off to use it on the meteorite. Mario and Luigi decide it’s time to rescue Daisy (and all the other kidnapped girls) and infiltrate Koopa’s building and take everyone out like the Super Mario Bros that they are. Once outside Mario confronts Koopa, while Luigi and Daisy confront Lena, who immediately is killed when she attempts to merge the dimensions. While the dimensions are briefly merged Koopa deevolves Mario’s biggest rival into a chimpanzee before Luigi and Daisy remove the necklace and Koopa is dispatched. Dinohattan rejoices, Daisy’s dad is reevolved from a fungus into a humanoid by unknown means, and Luigi and Mario return to their own dimension. Luigi is real bummed because he doesn’t get to smooch Daisy, but is surprised when she returns to let them know about their next great adventure in the sequel. THE END… or is it? (it is). Believe it or not this is me being brief… the plot is a disaster.

Why?! Major MacGuffin Alert over here. In fact, I’m going to call it right now. This is the best MacGuffin in the history of BMT. I’d have to go back through all our films to confirm it, but the Meteorite Necklace is kind of a perfect level of stupidity. You see, King Koopa really wants this Meteorite Necklace that Princess Daisy has. Why? Because it’s part of the meteorite that sent the dinosaurs into an alternate dimension. By putting the meteorite back together he’ll be able to merge dimensions because… why not. Obviously that would be the case. But that’s not all. Even if he had the piece of the meteorite he wouldn’t be able to merge the dimensions. Why? Because only Princess Daisy would be able to do that and survive the power surge (?). Again… why? I literally have no idea. Because it was laid down in an ancient scroll probably. Or maybe… like Princess Daisy’s mom was actually human and so she’s the offspring of both dimensions and thus can bridge the gap… I just made that up, but good enough for me. Everyone else is motivated by love (awwwww).

Who?! Weird musician-turned-actor in this as Toad was played by a guy by the name of Mojo Nixon, a psychobilly musician who’s heyday was in the early 90’s. He appeared a few films around this time… in fact this isn’t the first film we’ve seen him in. He was also in Car 54, Where Are You? I should also mention that Lance Henriksen has a very brief cameo as the Mushroom King after he is reevolved back into a… mushroom human, I guess. Never a real explanation why he even reevolves either. It just kinda happens at the end.

What?! Again, one of the greatest product placements in BMT history. So good that I remember being puzzled by it even when I watched this film as a child. In the climactic scene where the Super Mario Bros take out Koopa with a Bob-omb we get a very clear shot of the bottom of the bomb’s feet… which for no explainable reason are emblazoned with the Reebok logo. Magnifique.

Where?! Brooklyn, baby. In both dimensions Brooklyn/NYC exists and plays a prominent role in the action. The best part is that they actually give some pretty clear details of Dinohattan and the world that it exists in. Apparently it’s a small inhabitable city surrounded on all sides by a wasteland that covers the rest of the planet… which is exactly how Patrick and I describe the Z-Universe in our ongoing Bad Movie Twins saga. Great minds. A-.

When?! My guess is that this is actually identifiable given that there are a number of prop newspapers with news stories regarding the missing Brooklyn girls. I just couldn’t catch a clear glimpse of a date on them, but they exist. I just need to scour the dark web for some of those sweet sweet props. F.

There are moments in my life where I know I’m watching a first ballot HoF film. This was one of them. It is truly the crowning BMT achievement in multiple categories close to our BMT hearts. The MacGuffin is a masterpiece, the product placement is inexplicable, and the stories behind the production may very well be a case study in how arrogance and ego mixed with cynicism and disillusionment mixed with greed comes together into a perfect BMT film. They weren’t trying to make a BMT film, they were trying their damndest to make a hit, and yet they produced something that is so odd and weird and nonsensical that it became beautiful. A beautiful piece of trash. The only good thing about it was how invested it seemed that Bob Hoskins was in an obviously terrible role… and then I learned he was drunk the whole time and didn’t give a shit. Give the man an Oscar. I could not tell. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! For about two years now we’ve allowed ourselves to rewatch movies for BMT. Now, I thought Batman & Robin was going to be the quintessential example of why this is a good thing. Apparently I forgot about Super Mario Bros. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – Everything I remember about the film and everything I heard about it subsequently kind of focuses on the set design of Dinohattan. All of the cast hated the two directors, and part of why the two directors were being insufferable was because they were being limited in their vision of a surreal alternate dimension Mushroom Kingdom. I noted during the Double Dragon recap that these two movies are kind of the same: let’s adapt this video game, but since we are a bit light on story … uh, it is also post-apocalyptic. I was intrigued and very very excited due to all three prospects.

The Good – In an alternate dimension this film is fantastic and ushers in a wave of bizarre metaphorical adaptations of video games. There is something just so bold and brash in the vision. The leads are solid I think, at least as good as you would hope given the material. Dinohattan in all of its misguided glory is kind of amazing, and tells you a lot about how films were being made in that sweet spot of the late 80s / early 90s. Finally, Yoshi is a very very impressive puppet, right before Jurassic Park killed the need for cinematic puppets once and for all.

The Bad – The story makes no sense. The fan service is off the chain. It is completely operating on the level of “well we have this script that is just a sci-fi post-apocalyptic film … how much Super Mario shit do we need to add to it to make it a Super Mario film again?”. Hopper is awful, just awful in the King Koopa role. It is clear the directors were out of their depth, the script was re-written daily, and Nintendo was offering no guidance. It is awful … even if it is incredibly fun to watch.

The BMT – The film is somehow one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, and a cinematic achievement. I absolutely expect to watch this film many more times in my life. I will show my children this film. They will watch it with me. And guess what? When they are like 30 years old they’ll say “What was that weird Mario film we watched with dad those twelve times when we were kids? Jesus, you want to watch that again in our holo-cinema, Robo-Butler?”. This is the first film in a while that might make the Hall of Fame simply on bad movie merits alone. It will endure for BMT.

Roast-radamus – Last week we had evil Laurel & Hardy, and this week let’s go with Evil Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Who?) because this film is somehow almost definitely a rip off of Hamlet, and the two cousins of King Koopa play R and G for sure. One of the best Produce Placements (What?) we’ve had in a while with Reebok sponsoring the grand finale bom-bomb. Naturally a small Setting as a Character (Where?) for Brooklyn and alternate reality Brooklyn (Dinohattan) which is pretty great. It actually literally is a character, as the Mushroom Kingdom is covered in Princess Daisy’s father who was de-evolved into a fungus. We have a fantastic MacGuffin (Why?) in the meteorite shard which will somehow merge the two dimensions back together. And finally I think this has a good shot at both the BMT award this year, and also an eventual Hall of Fame in the future, but we’ll see. That’s five years away. Very impressive award potential though.

StreetCreditReport.com – Obviously Siskel and Ebert put this in their worst of list of this year. Normally that would be well and good as far as street cred is concerned. Rifftrax has it on their worst of the 90s list at number 3. Gamestop puts it at number 13 on their worst video games list. And variety put it maybe at number one (but it seems to be in no particular order) as a top 7 worst video game films list as well. This has the cred. Up the wazoo as they say.

You Just Got Schooled – Another video game film, another speedrun. Well, not precisely. In this case it is Mario 64 TAS (tool-assisted super-run) involving not pressing the A button (at all) in the final level. But how you might wonder, well take a look at the video:

Basically the computer is just pressing B, manipulating its environment, and pausing to eventually get all of the red stars and defeat Bowser. Obviously this can only be done via computer, but still pretty impressive. The entire game can in theory be done with a single half-A press, which I understand to be that you come into the game with A pressed down and merely release it at a single point in the game to achieve the only jump currently required in the entire game. If that video intrigued you I would suggest watching the previous video he uploaded (it is in the description), and reading that description. It explains a bunch about how the B jump works. Other videos explain the pausing mechanisms, and other junk. And Games Done Quick (summer event is June 23rd to 30th) does a few TAS breakdowns as well which is the only reason I know anything about this. And there you have it, you’ve been schooled on deeeeeeep Mario 64 super-run knowledge.

And that’s it. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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