There aren't many great movies inspired by video games. But even among of the worst of them, none stand out for their wild ambition quite like 1993's Super Mario Bros., a bizarrely surrealist cyberpunk nightmare with dinosaurs starring Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and John Leguizamo.
So it only makes sense that, nearly 3 decades after the film's release, someone would go back to the original footage and restore, re-master, and re-edit that glorious disaster into something slightly more glorious and slightly less disastrous. Enter: The Moron-Jankel Cut, now available to watch on the Internet Archive — with 20 minutes of additional footage! As GameSpot explains:
This version of the film–dubbed after co-directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel–has been released by The Super Mario Brothers Archive, a group of fans who celebrate the movie and have been involved in the special features on previous home releases of the film. They've teamed with film restorationist and filmmaker Garrett Gilchrist to present a version of the movie that has never been seen by anyone outside of the production team. Their hope is that this cut will resonate more with fans than the theatrical cut of the film, which was panned critically and flopped at the box office.
Slate does a wonderful interview with creators behind these ambitious fan-edit that goes into some great detail about how they got the footage, and what they learned from the directors about the behind-the-scenes struggle of making a grimdark cyberpunk movie adaptation of a video game about Italian plumbers fighting dinosaurs and evil mushrooms, all of which had to be aimed at children. There's also some interesting insight into the lack of recognizable Mario Bros music and sound effects in the original film, and the the fan-editors' insistence on inserting those elements back in where they should have been all along.
Also: Koopa's kids have a rap scene that was bafflingly deleted from the theatrical cut.
Super Mario Bros: The Morton Jankel Cut (VHS Extended Rough Cut 1.0) Movie 1993 [Super Mario Bros Archive]
An Extended Super Mario Bros. Movie Cut Has Been Unearthed, 28 Years After Release [Chris E. Hayner / GameSpot]