Among the annals of really awful video game movies, Super Mario Bros. remains the worst of the worst. The 1993 film was incoherent, dull, and lacked the charm of the content it was based on. But don’t take my word for it; even co-director Rocky Morton thinks the movie is trash.
Speaking to SciFiNow, Morton offered an explanation for why the movie turned out the way it did, calling the experience “harrowing.”
First off, Morton said he hated the first script though he loved the concept. Second, Morton explained why they decided to make the film so different from the game, calling the decision a deliberate choice, rather than something that got lost in translation. Third, Danny De Vito turned down the role of Mario, which, let’s face it, any movie is made better by the presence of Danny De Vito.
Morton also revealed when a new script was drawn up—one he and co-director Annabel Jankel were excited to shoot—the studios rejected it for being too dark. After that, a new writer was brought in and managed to squeeze out a script in just over a week. That’s the one they went with, and nobody on set liked it.
So, basically, the film got off to a bad start and was mired by production setbacks and poor organization. It sounds like Morton and company tried making lemonade out of a very unfortunate situation, but it just did not go their way. According to Morton, the whole endeavor was a struggle, calling the vibe on the set as “angsty and uppity,” which doesn’t make for a very healthy work environment.
As a result, audiences got a movie that’s nothing like the video game. At least it produced scenes like this.