1990s Sci-Fi Comedy Epic Flop Restored And Embraced

By Brian Myers | Published

The Super Mario Bros film that bombed at the box office in 1993 has been digitally restored and is now available for another look, making it better than ever. Fans of the film pay no mind to the critics (who collectively have given it a score of 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and will rejoice at the upgrades and extras that the two-disc set has for followers of the cult classic.

Super Mario Bros. Is A Bizarre Take On The Beloved Game

Loosely based on the popular Nintendo characters Mario and Luigi, the Super Mario Bros film takes everyone’s favorite plumbers into an underworld called Dinohattan, where they embark on a mission to save a princess named Daisy from the evil King Koopa. Fans of the video game get to see familiar characters and creatures brought to life, played by some of the biggest names in Hollywood in the early 1990s.

Plenty Of Bonus Features

The two-disc set of the Super Mario Bros movie includes a digital press kit that is loaded with behind-the-scenes footage and cast interviews. Those who might recall the commercials in 1993 that both teased and promoted the film will be happy to know that these media pieces are all in one spot on the discs, as well as the original U.S. and Japanese trailers for the movie.

Deleted Scenes

The Super Mario Bros set also makes it possible to see the film with multiple audio commentary options from screenwriter Parker Bennett, co-producer Fred Caruso, and other key crew members. For mega-fans, there is also an abundance of deleted scenes to view, which have also been digitally restored to their present 4K glory. It’s also easy to get lost in the number of mini-documentaries available in the set, or in the remastered music videos for the movie that have long since been forgotten.

The Cast

The film appeared to be set up for massive success. The Super Mario Bros stars from that era included Bob Hoskins (Mario), John Leguizamo (Luigi), Dennis Hopper (King Koopa), and Samantha Mathis (Daisy). But the brilliant casting, incredible score, and legendary makeup and costumes (both of which earned the film Saturn Award nominations) couldn’t save it from the critics who panned it and the audiences who missed the film entirely.

One Of The First Video Game Adaptations

Super Mario Bros had an absurdly high production budget for such a gamble in that era. Film adaptations of video games were unheard of in the early 1990s, with the two Italian plumbers being one of the first to ever be the subject of a live-action movie that was based on one. The worldwide gross box office receipts of $38.9 million fell far short of the $48 million budget, with ticket sales in the United States not even covering half of the total revenue.

But Super Mario Bros developed cult status over the years and is regarded by some to be a film that was made far before its time. The acting, makeup, and special effects are masterfully captured on the screen, and there’s also something to be said about seeing two of the most popular Nintendo video game characters come to life on the big screen with real actors portraying them.

Source: Umbrella Home Entertainment