Looking back on the various film adaptations of video games, it’s easy to excuse some of them. After all, many of them were made years before Hollywood’s CGI technology could accurately create the worlds and effects needed for passable versions of their source material. Practical effects and severe leaps of artistic license were needed in such cases, and so you can chalk films like Mortal Combat and Street Fighter up as amusing attempts by today’s standards.
But there’s one early attempt at a video game movie that relied so heavily on artistic license that it’s a mystery how Nintendo ever signed off on the final cut. I’m talking, of course, about the Super Mario Bros. film.
It had a couple of decent ingredients to start with: Bob Hoskins is a great actor, and while he may not have been right for the part of a character whose primary offensive capability is jumping, he was at least doing his best to mimic the voice performance (given by Lou Albano in the animated Super Mario Bros. Super Show). Uh, did I say a couple of decent ingredients? Okay, I meant one. Thankfully the Screen Junkies team put together this long-overdue Honest Trailer for the movie.
Somehow, in trying to humanize Mario for the big screen, the writers and directors decided that the best approach would be to approach the Mushroom Kingdom not as a wildly colorful and magical land, but rather a dark, dingy, alternate metropolis full of an oozing fungus. Seriously, listening for the word “fungus” in the movie could be turned into a drinking game.
The movie was received so poorly at the box office and by critics that Nintendo has been fiercely protective of licensing any new non-video game depictions of their properties ever since. Almost to their own detriment, in this humble nerd’s opinion. (GIVE US NETFLIX ZELDA.)
HT: Screen Junkies//Honest Trailers