Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Super Mario Bros

US movie (1993). Lightmotive/Allied/Cinergi. Pr Jake Eberts, Roland Joffé. Dir Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton. Vfx Christopher Francis Woods. Screenplay Parker Bennet, Terry Runté, Ed Solomon. Based on concept and characters created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, of Nintendo. Novelization Super Mario Bros. * (1993) by Todd Strasser (1950-    ). Starring Dennis Hopper (Koopa), Bob Hoskins (Mario Mario), John Leguizamo (Luigi Mario), Samantha Mathis (Daisy), Fiona Shaw (Lena). 104 mins. Colour.

A Technofantasy based on the best-selling console game. The meteorite that hit the Earth 65 million years ago did not so much extinguish the Dinosaurs as shift them into a parallel dimension, where they have evolved into humanoid form. 25 years ago tyrant Koopa usurped the throne, devolving the old king into a ubiquitous fungus. However, a loyal subject smuggled an egg of the king's through the interdimensional barrier and left it with a Brooklyn nunnery. The child of that egg is now archaeologist Daisy. But Koopa seeks this princess, for she bears the last fragment of the meteorite; if it is set in place with the rest (like the shard in The Dark Crystal [1982]), the two Realities will be fused and he can conquer ours – besides, the tyrant seeks to make her Daisy Koopa. Two of his hoods drag her back to the Alternate World, and plumbers Mario and Luigi follow. Aided by the sentient fungus, they have a string of adventures reminiscent of a multiple-choice arcade game – collecting Plot Coupons and deliberating over options – all complicated by the desire of Koopa's rejected mistress Lena to use the rock-fragment for her own ends. As Lena struggles to fuse the two realities there are scenes reminiscent of the extraction of the Spike of Power in Cool World (1992) before the villains are thwarted and the triumphant plumbers return to modern Brooklyn. Daisy, however, must be left in the reptilian dimension to sort out her kingdom . . . only then she appears in the plumbers' apartment, gun in hand, to set up an ending differing only in wording from that of Back to the Future (1985).

SMB seems a cynical exercise. [JG]

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.