This film brings back some memories. A huge fan of the Super Mario Land games at the time I ordered a copy at the VHS store and waited nearly a week to get a copy, it wasn’t worth the wait. I didn’t understand why everything was so grimy, full of dinosaurs and hardly like Mario at all. It wasn’t till years later that I came to appreciate the film for what it is, something so bad it’s almost good. Glug a glug a glug a!
The makers of this movie seemed to think Super Mario was all about parallel dimensions and dinosaurs running a Blade Runner styled city. Bob Hoskins considers it to be the worst thing he ever did and Dennis Hopper showed equal distaste, but I enjoy watching it despite being so misguided and cack. The cheesy lines are terrible but hilariously so, it formed new insults such as ‘biscuit head’, ‘filthy mammal’ and shrill cries of ‘Bo-bomb!’. The mattress sliding chase scene was a comedy highlight for being so awfully camp and cheap and the special cgi parallel world trip was too much to keep in the tears. Tears of laughter of course.
The film was played almost weekly at my house between me and my friends and we were so inspired by the movie, some scenes were shot into our special home movie tape about coal miners in Oswaldtwistle. It was a tale of two guys playing F-Zero GX on a bed and falling off led back in time to the coal mining days. There the two characters met a canary, an old man and someone playing the keyboard. It was great and deserve a full documented research paper, but unfortunately someone spilt cola on the only copy and it no longer exists. We spliced in the parallel worlds gateway into our footage, and thus the connection to this film is made. It was a whole lot more cohesive and interesting too! Probably.
Finally owning it on DVD years later I could watch the film back once more and see if it still had the same effect. I didn’t laugh at the hammy lines and cartoon dinosaurs this time, I just cringed. I did still love how stupidly chaotic the cyber punk streets of the dino world are, old ladies being thrown off ledges and then getting up to shoot the driver they landed on never gets old, and I admired how pretty Samantha Mathis was playing Princess Daisy. Shame about her performance. Bob Hoskins being Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper playing the crazy King Koopa brought the occasional moment when you could consider it half-decent, but these moments are rare. For every scene of Dennis Hopper being awesome there is a scene of Mario dancing with a huge lady in a spiked red latex dress. And we all know that never happened in the games.