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SUPER MARIO BROS. - 1 Slime
Rated PG
Copyright 1993 Allied Filmmakers
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 8 March 2004.

The Characters:  

  • Mario Mario - Bob Hoskins! The finest plumber in all of Brooklyn or the parallel dimension the exists beside Brooklyn.
  • Luigi Mario - Plumber in training. Mostly he just says amazingly idiotic things, usually to Daisy.
  • Princess Daisy - She is not human and takes her fashion tips from either Men Without Hats or the Crocodile Hunter.
  • The King (Daisy's Father) - Having been de-evolved, the monarch looks like a terminal case of jock itch.
  • Bertha - Female bouncer who wears a dress that would make a good chew toy for Clifford.
  • Yoshi - The first patient at the newly renovated abused raptor rescue center.
  • The Goombas - The result of de-evolving somebody's head. Just their head.
  • Iggy & Spike - Henchmen and inept cousins of the main bad guy. Eventually they get smart and get rebellious.
  • King Koopa - Dennis Hopper! Evil ruler of the dinosaur realm. His characterization had the unfortunate effect of reminding me of "Blue Velvet." Actually, that could have been pretty funny at times, if not wholly inappropriate for a PG film. Splattered.
  • Lena - She used to be Koopa's secretary, but moved up in the world. Turned into a fossil.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

People who make video games into movies have it tough. Sometimes the viewers complain that the film tried to follow the game too closely, while the fans will scream about small departures from what are usually threadbare plot lines. The trick is finding a safe middle ground or at least making a movie that preserves the spirit of the game. "Tomb Raider" and "Mortal Kombat" made good attempts, but "Super Mario Bros." barely resembles anything (including a coherent movie).

Sometime in the past, a woman hurries along dark city streets with a bundle held close to her body. She deposits the precious item at a church before returning a an underground tunnel where she runs into Koopa. That is the end of Daisy's mother. Nuns unwrap what the doomed woman left behind and do not find a baby; they find an egg! However, the egg soon hatches, providing the obligatory baby. Everyone say hello to Daisy.

Mario and Luigi are trying hard to make it as plumbers in the cutthroat environment of Brooklyn. That is to say that Luigi barely does anything of use, leaving the highly competent Mario to perform extraordinary acts of wrench magic. Too bad that a major building contractor (Scarpelli) also owns a plumbing business. This means that the two Marios often arrive at a job, only to find a Scarpelli van parked outside.

Meanwhile, across town, Daisy is in charge of a major paleological dig site. Yes, I mean that they found dinosaurs in New York. The group of college students has a court order blocking Scarpelli from resuming construction until the fossils are removed. Too bad that the businessman is a stereotypical Italian businessman (meaning: I think he is a mobster). Daisy jogs to use a phone after Scarpelli drops by to issue a few threats. En route she is tailed by Spike and Iggy, who are visiting the human dimension. The two stupid miscreants are not on vacation; they were sent by Koopa to find and kidnap Daisy. Unfortunately, as might be expected of anyone randomly snatching women in New York, they have grabbed a number women - none of which has been the Princess. Daisy sees the pair following her. Moments later she encounters Luigi, who falls madly in love at first sight. The girl wisely decides to accept Luigi's offer for a ride and the relationship begins.

There is the obligatory dinner date scene, chaperoned by Mario and his girlfriend, before disaster strikes. Scarpelli's goons sabotage pipes near the underground excavation. The rushing water threatens to wash away all of the bones, but Mario saves the day. This scene drove home a point: if your movie requires the actors to carry off action and tension, two guys fixing a water pipe is not the way to go. Lucky for us that Iggy and Spike bonk the Marios over their heads and abduct the Princess.

The plumbing team follows Daisy's screams through a dimensional portal (it sounds more impressive than it looks) and end up in Accident City. I should probably explain that, eons ago, a meteorite struck the Earth and sundered the dinosaur and human realms. In their energy-starved niche, the dinosaurs continued to evolve. They now look a lot like you and me. They are capable of building a machine that will accelerate or reverse evolution, but cannot design a safe automobile. The dinopeople world is pretty much an anarchist's wet dream. It is held apart from Earth by the meteorite, specifically one shard that Daisy wears on a cord around her neck. Koopa wants to reunite the two worlds and conquer the pitiful humans. Thus, he needs Daisy and the meteorite shard.

Got all that?

Which begs me to ask the question: does anyone really think that the Goombas could conquer New York City, let alone the world? Sure, the de-evolution guns are impressive, but they have a miserably slow rate of fire. Compound that with no combined arms and the hairless monkeys' (that would be you and I) numerical advantage. I think that the dinogoons would get their butts royally whipped, by the NYC SWAT forces if nobody else. Somebody could drive a truck, hopefully loaded with common sense, through some of the holes in this plot.

You know what? While we are speaking about idiotic plot holes, how about we ponder Daisy and Luigi's chemistry. Can the two lovebirds even have sex, let alone children? I mean, the girl came from an egg! Truly, all this deserves the attention of someone with more wisdom and intelligence than myself. All I can do is the literary equivalent of pointing and screaming.

Where were we? Oh yes, Mario and Luigi are now in the alternate dinodimension. The world is comprised of one dirty and raucous city surrounded by endless desert. Drop New Orleans into the middle of New Mexico and you get the idea. The metropolis is also infested with a hardy strain of fleshy fungus, which covers just about every exposed surface. (No Greg Bear comments please.) The two plumbers have a rough time adjusting to the city life. One minute they are chasing a big, scary, female bouncer (Bertha steals the meteorite shard from Luigi) and the next they are captured and interrogated by Koopa. All of this is very confusing.

The pair of resourceful plumbers escapes into the desert, but are chased by Iggy and Spike. Good thing that Koopa grew tired of their ignorance and made like the Wizard to the Scarecrow. Yes, he put his cousins into the evolution machine and turned the dial to "make them smarter." Iggy and Spike do emerge more intelligent, though just as inept. However, their new enlightenment means that they realize just how corrupt and evil a man rules their world. Mario and Luigi end up with some new allies; the final battle to save Earth and Daisy has begun.

Lena does, finally, take the shard and merge the two worlds. (No Mystics, Gelflings, nor Skeksis were harmed in the making of this film.) The merging lasts about two minutes before Daisy and Luigi pull the shard back out. The only notable result of the temporary dimensional mixing is that Scarpelli is de-evolved. Dennis Hopper gleefully exclaims, "Monkey!" after blasting Scarpelli with the Darwin Bazooka. Then it is back to the dinodimension, so we can all finally go home.

I cannot say enough about how tedious, poorly organized, and unfortunate I find this movie. This is more the pity, because I think that the quirky idea could have worked if a lot of things had been done differently. Two heroic plumbers saving the world is no problem for me to accept (some say I have watched too many b-movies); the film just needed a different script and direction. Maybe somebody else to play Luigi too - like Robert De Niro. He plays a darn convincing heating and air specialist. That is only a short jump from plumber in my eyes.

I am also not certain that I can forgive the prop department for using Marine Corps Dress Blues chevrons on the Goombas' uniforms. However, the best part has to be all of the Goombas dancing to elevator music. The film's best scene involves elevator music!

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The Lord giveth breakfast, and he taketh it away in a disturbing manner.
  • Plumbers keep their plungers hung up on the wall, just like hunters display their rifles.
  • Reptiles have no concept of ORM.
  • Bungi cord is made from an elastic fungus.
  • It is fortunate that Brooklyners did not invent the bobsled.
  • Being electrocuted will make you look like the Bride of Frankenstein.
  • The primordial ooze looked an awful lot like green-tinted Ultraslime.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 1 mins - What if... ...I had twenty gallons of fettucine in my pants?
  • 15 mins - Look at that, a case of love at first orphaning.
  • 21 mins - If they run into Sean Astin I will die laughing.
  • 41 mins - Is there a big need for a front end loader on a police vehicle?
  • 45 mins - Does he have orange eyeshadow on?
  • 61 mins - I should have known that this song was coming.
  • 66 mins - Mario needs a life, that is why!
  • 92 mins - This is a story about "The Little Bomb That Could."

Quotes: 

  • Koopa: "Without that piece the meteorite lays dormant. I'll not be able to merge the dimensions! Where is it?"
    Iggy & Spike: "The plumbers took it."
  • Koopa: "I'll kill that plumber!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note supermario1.wav Mario: "We went under the river, but this can't be Manhattan! Where is this place?"
Luigi: "I don't know. I ain't been to Manhattan in a couple of weeks."
Green Music Note supermario2.wav Mario: "Stop fiddling with the fungus, and let's get out of here!"
Green Music Note supermario3.wav Daisy: "Well, at least he was my father. He used to be the leader here, until Koopa turned him into all this fungus."
Green Music Note supermario4.wav Koopa: "Muster the Goombas! Hand out the de-evolution guns! Prepare for destiny! Where's my pizza?"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipsupermario1.mpg - 2.5m
Daisy and Luigi are trying to pull the shard back out of the meteorite. Meanwhile, Koopa, some Goombas, and Mario suddenly appear in Brooklyn so a loose end (of the plot - meaning Scarpelli) can be tied off.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 7
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Abbey Normal
While I realize now what a goofy and nonsensical movie it is, when I saw it at age 13 I thought it was great. It's really a kid's movie, so it doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be realistic, it just has to be fun and involving. I don't think Dennis Hopper quite pulled off Koopa, but then he's a guy and not a giant, spiky-shelled turtle so that's understandable.
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Black Fedora
No one's mentioned Mojo Nixon.
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Grimsnipe
Interesting little continunity/plot glitch.  Mario and Lugi and wearing Stompers (the shoes that let you jump real high) when they get in the elevator, but they're back to regular shoes when they come across the large chasm in the building they have to get across (pity huh?  Those shoes would have come in handy...)

Weird what I can remember...

-grim
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by David
I love this movie.  It is so foar, the best movie on this site, Becides Silent night deadly night.

 I don't care if its not like the game, It's Awsome!
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by DA MAN
This movie is crap.  And by crap I don't mean bad.  I mean physically a piece of crap.  The stuff that gets on toilet paper when you wipe your ass.  In fact looking at a piece of crap is more enjoyable than watching this movie.  I can't believe it wasn't used for MST3000.    
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by NC
This movie is crazy because of all of the serious actors in it - Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, Fiona Shaw. When I told my mom this was the first movie I'd seen with Ms. Shaw in it, she thought I was nuts!
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #23. Posted on March 19, 2004, 12:53:03 PM by moviecollector
I got this movie in my collection. Its chessy & fun & that was its intention, I hope. I still prefer MORTAL KOMBAT & STREET FIGHTER over this though.
Super Mario Bros.
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Kooshmeister
I agree with the above two comments that the movie was fun and I was thoroughly entertained, but I must admit that it is still full of flaws. Regardless, like "Sheena" and the 1976 remake of "King Kong," I'm really, really tired of people just mercilessly hounding this poor movie. So it doesn't follow the games and the Goombas aren't mobile mushrooms, so John Leguizamo (sp?) can't act his way out of a wet paper bag. So what? Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and Fisher Stevens were funny and entertaining.

Anyways, I noticed in the main review three fairly important characters were left out: Daniella, Toad, and Sergeant Simon. Daniella is Mario's girlfriend who is first kidnapped by Iggy and Spike, with Toad of course being the harmonica-playing punk who is de-evolved into a harmonica-playing Goomba, and Simon being the leader of all King Koopa's military and police forces (and he also sports a really cool leather necktie! admittedly though it's not as cool as Koopa's). And may I ask, why mention Anthony Scapelli in the main body of the review but not include him in the listing of characters?
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