10 merciless Mario re-imaginings

The 1993 movie

We can’t actually show you the full movie here, and that’s probably for the best. While the Super Mario Bros. movie is, inarguably, a dark, drastic re-imagining of everything that Mario is, it is also fucking horrible.

Above: That’s our Mario!(?) 

Whereas the last few entries dealt with dragging Mario out of his comfortable fantasy life to deal with harsh reality, SMB went the opposite route, taking the brothers out of Brooklyn and sending them to a version of the Mushroom Kingdom where humans evolved from dinosaurs and everyone was bad at slapstick. Less a re-interpretation of the Mario mythos than it is an incoherent sci-fi mess, the SMB movie was reportedly the result of a conflict between its directors and producers over whether to make a “mature” sci-fi movie or a kid’s adventure. Coming up somewhere in between, the film had neither the charm of a kid’s movie or the subversiveness of an adult-oriented reboot, and instead gave us a Mushroom Kingdom that was like New York, if New York had been built inside an abandoned cement factory.

The whole thing’s been ripped to YouTube, if you want to hunt for it, but all you’ll get from us is this awful scene, widely recognized as some of the late Dennis Hopper’s most embarrassing work:

The Brothers Mario

Grand Theft Auto IV-made Machinima is all over YouTube, but rarely is it quite so professional as two-part Brothers Mario series. Created by The Game Station and Country Club Pictures, the shorts feature some impressive directing and music, complete with orchestral versions of familiar Nintendo tunes. Recasting Mario and company as hard-bitten gangsters trying to get up and get rich in the big city, the first short sees the brothers steal a shipment of coins, which draws the anger of crime lord Bowser, who kidnaps Peach by way of retaliation.

After making the first short about a vendetta between Mario and Bowser, the second one introduces Donkey Kong, whose arrival forces the old enemies to work together. It’s also slightly better than the first, if only because it introduces more characters and an original theme song.

There Will Be Brawl

As long as we’re on the topic of Mario and Luigi in gritty crime settings, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up There Will Be Brawl, which is about as dark as Mario (or Smash Bros.) fan films come. Making over seemingly every element of the Mario/Smash mythos into a creepy noir drama, it centers on an especially tired-looking, drug-dealing Luigi and his volatile brother in a corrupt Mushroom Kingdom plagued by crime lords and serial killers. It’s also extremely polished for a web project, and while it’s not exactly funny (unless you can laugh about how ridiculous it is on its face), it’s surprisingly clever. We’ll let the first episode speak for itself:

The People’s Mario

When it comes to grim, severe and brutal, few did it better than Soviet propagandists. So when you’ve got a severe-looking, hammer-swinging Mario against a red background and backed by a patriotic Russian march (Farewell of Slavianka), you know you’re in for either a treat or some of the most tiresome trustafarian horseshit this side of a Che Guevara t-shirt. Luckily, The People’s Mario is the former, as its stylized version of Mario remorselessly crushes the life (and most of the blood) out of the counter-revolutionary lackeys of oppressive monarchist parasite Bowser.


Super Mario Bros.: Jersey Shore

What? You don’t think Mario and his cohorts re-imagined as the cast of Jersey Shore is dark and terrifying? Then we weep for the future.

(All right, we just wanted an excuse to include the work of Dr. Coolsex, a comedy troupe with several other bizarre Mario projects under its belt. This was our favorite.)

May 6, 2011

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  • Meleedragon27 - May 10, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    I gotta agree with that one poster about the Mario Bros. movie; you guys give that flick too much flak. Yeah, it's got essentially very little to do with the games and takes way too many artistic liberties, but it's got it's own bizarre little charm about it. Also, I laughed at the Jersey Shore spoof.
  • Tenfey - May 9, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    People seem to really enjoy the antics of this Mario.
  • BlackElement17 - May 9, 2011 5:28 a.m.

    I remember there will be brawl. It was fun.
  • wulibo - May 9, 2011 1:37 a.m.

    this is awesome! I'd heard mention of TWBB, but never what it even was before. I just watched it, and the ending to episode 9 had me crying more than when *SPOILER ALERT: KID RADD* bogey died near the end of Kid Radd *END SPOILER,* which was so sad that I literally only need to think about it now to begin crying, which is useful for an actor.
  • AndIThoughtHeSmelledLikePizzaOnTheOutside - May 8, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    This was great. The one thing I noticed is not even the gritty remakes (at least the ones featuring dialogue ) could resist a "mario is missing" joke. Wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't watched them back to back. More articles like this please!
  • Biopiate - May 8, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    The original movie was filmed in my town (Wilmington, NC). I wish it didn't suck so hard. The Crow was also filmed here too though.
  • CitizenWolfie - May 8, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    There will be Brawl was pretty damn good (apart from the acting). The references to the other series' characters worked really well. Bit of self promotion here - I did a similar story to TWBB but featuring the Zelda characters. It's free to download from my DeviantArt page if anyone fancies a short read -
  • apeman - May 8, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    Cool stuff but I never saw the appeal of Mario - I ave never even liked the games. Ah well .....
  • jettaboi - May 8, 2011 1:30 a.m.

    How about POWER STAR?!?!?!
  • bidoofking - May 7, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    Everyone gives that movie too much flak. Have you actually watched it recently? It's really not that bad.
  • Spybreak8 - May 7, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    ^ Yeah that one is my fav, so hilarious.
  • Guardian88 - May 7, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    hay waht about the Robot Chicken one with Mario and Luigi going into Vice City
  • IveGotTheGlow - May 7, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    There will be brawl was decent!
  • JLThatshilarious - May 7, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    I agree, Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom should be here.
  • CoryM1134 - May 7, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    The People's Mario was solid gold.
  • mastersworded - May 7, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    Great feature! Have to admit, I'm probably one of the only people who actually liked the 1993 movie. I've probably seen it a hundred times since I was a kid. Lots of stuff I'd never seen before though, nice work!
  • philipshaw - May 7, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    Already knew about some of these but the ones I didn't know about were awesome, great feature
  • Robx - May 7, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    @shawksta Because killing the main character isn't dark enough? Or Yoshies gruesomely dismembering gombas, toads being teared apart and shit? Representation of the war we don't see under all those bright pixels? Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom must be on that list!
  • knightnettie - May 7, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Hooray K-Bo!
  • The_Tingler - May 7, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Excellent, but you missed out Robot Chicken!

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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