A newly discovered, deleted scene from the Super Mario Bros. movie has debuted online. What’s more, this is just part of a newly discovered extended cut of the 1993 live-action video game adaptation, that is said to include a full 15 minutes of additional footage. Whether or not we’ll ever see that full cut make its way online remains to be seen. However, based on this one scene alone, it would perhaps be a torturous yet fascinating look at a truly baffling footnote in Hollywood history.
First, a little background. This footage came from a VHS tape that was sold at an auction for the estate of producer Roland Joff&é, who worked on the movie. It wound up in the possession of a fansite dedicated to Super Mario Bros. At the beginning of the video, they explain a little bit about the tape and what is included on it, before showcasing the scene they’ve decided to reveal.
“On May 15, 2019, The Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive discovered a tape containing an extended rough cut of the 1993 cult film, Super Mario Bros. The version is about 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, including new and extended scenes that expand the story and character arcs.”
The scene in question takes place in the first act of the movie. Mario and Luigi are called to a job, only to find out that a pair of rival plumbers are already there, which leads to a confrontation. They confront the Scapelli plumbers, Doug and Mike, who are apparently trying to rip off the owner of the restaurant. We come to find out that Mario (who is called “Mario Mario” at one point) knows Mr. Scapelli and they grew up together. Despite his best efforts, the Scapelli plumbers end up keeping the job.
For those who perhaps haven’t seen the movie in its entirety, this scene is, sad to say, a pretty good representation of the crazy tone. This was Hollywood’s first real attempt to bring a video game to the big screen in a meaningful way. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo played Mario and Luigi, respectively. Dennis Hopper played King Koopa, with Samantha Mathis as Daisy. Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton served as directors for what would ultimately be a $48 million production. At the time, that was extremely high, showcasing confidence on the part of the Disney-owned Hollywood Pictures.
Super Mario Bros. was a massive bomb, grossing just $20 million. It was also panned by critics and served as a tough lesson in what not to do in adapting video games to movies. Yet, Hollywood, up until very recently, kept making many of the same mistakes over and over again. It will be interesting if any of the other scenes from the longer cut make it online. Be sure to check out the clip from the SMB Movie YouTube channel for yourself.