Ah, Easy Rider. The film that depicted the rambling adventures of motorbike drug dealers through the American South, Southwest and West. The film’s production and film itself were heavily laced with marijuana and LSD.
Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto says the movie had a “great influence” on him.
Easy Rider helped turn co-star Jack Nicholson, who had been toiling away in Roger Corman b-movies, into a household name. And Dennis Hopper, who had gotten his start in movies like Rebel Without a Cause, became a Cannes Festival award-winning filmmaker – something he would squander on his next film, The Last Movie. The failure of that film caused Hopper’s film work to slow during the 1970s. (Francis Ford Coppola hired Hopper for 1979’s Apocalypse Now.)
“When it comes to the pop culture in general, the movie Easy Rider was kind of a bible for our generation,” Miyamoto told website CVG. “A writer or director like Peter Fonda, who made Easy Rider, must have had a great influence upon myself when I was young.”
Peter Fonda, son of Hollywood superstar Henry Fonda, did not direct Easy Rider. Dennis Hopper did. Peter Fonda “wrote” it, and by “wrote” it, I mean he and Hopper talked about things they were going to riff on before they dropped acid or smoked weed. (The snappy dialogue is courtesy of Dr Strangelove scribe Terry Southern.)
So a movie about two guys that go around and drop hallucinogens had a big impact on a guy who went on to make video games about a character eating mushrooms in a magical word. You don’t say!