The Man Who Played Luigi Recalls The Disastrous Super Mario Bros Movie

Super Mario Bros., the 1993 film, paved the way video game movies for all time to come. Namely, that everyone would expect them to be terrible. It opened 20 years ago on Tuesday, and John Leguizamo, who starred as Luigi, had the grace and good humour to record this message for a Super Mario Bros. film fansite.

“I’m glad people appreciate the movie,” he says. “It was the first, nobody had ever done it before.” By that he means a cinematic video game adaptation and if he’s not right, my memory can’t produce the example where he is wrong. “We made a lot of great things and we made a lot of mistakes.”

Nearly every actor on the project hated it, few more than Bob Hoskins, who starred as Mario, calling it his worst job, biggest disappointment, and the one thing in his past he’d change. Leguizamo, in his biography, expressed dissatisfaction with his role and with the films direction.

It’s nice that, 20 years later, he can put the bad feelings behind him and record this kind message — which gives credit to everyone in the cast — for a fansite devoted to the film. That said, I wouldn’t ask him to sign an autograph using the name Luigi.

John Leguizamo’s 20th Anniversary Message [Super Mario Bros.: The Movie Archive]


    • No, I did too.
      Still think it was a fun movie, not like there is a lot you can do with Mario.

      • Yeah, it didn’t stray from the source material as much as it just tried to make what little source material there was work.

        Honestly though I would have preferred a feature length animated movie.

      • It was stupid, but to me that is what made it fun to watch.

        I have watched it about 4 times this year for some reason hahahahaha

    • You weren’t. The Kotaku US writers just seem to have some deal in their contract that requires them to bag out the movie at any possible moment 😛

      I loved it then, and loved it now.

      It’s pretty cool the stuff the guys at the SMB Movie Archive can manage to get their hands on. Disappointed I never could get myself to write that piece the owner asked me for.

    • Loved it then, love it now. Just remembering some of it puts a smile on my dial, like the dancing Goombahs, the rocket boots, the bob-omb

  • I enjoyed it so much when I was a kid. and i suppose during that time, you’re not really listening to reviews or ratings.

    I don’t think ive seen it since. and a part of me doesnt want to see it again and just hold on to the memory of liking it. I feel like being aware of the general dislike of the film might have poisoned me

    • Exactly the same here, I remember picking it up as an ex-rental for a few dollars years ago and actually didn’t mind it back then. I want to remember liking it so I wouldn’t watch it again.

  • Woohoo! Looks like there are other fellow SMB movie (fans seems a strong word) enjoyers.

    I’ve seen it a bunch of times, including once only a year ago, and it’s just a fun flick.

  • Haha that was hilarious! Loved the ‘incidents’ and funny stories. SMB rocks! May the fungus be amongus!

  • Isn’t this the same guy who played a drag queen in Tu Wong Fu With Love (alongside Patrick Swayze)? And he’s saying Mario Bros was a disastrous movie??

    (Note: I can’t watch the video right now, so I’m basing my information purely on the Kotaku headline. I mean, surely a news headline couldn’t be misleading, could it?)

    • He did ‘The Pest’ which is hands down one of the worst movies ever to excrete from the anus of a movie Gorgon. SMB and To Wong Fu were stellar in comparison.

    • You seem to be implying that “To Wong Fu: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” is a bad movie. I hope you are not because that would mean I would have to break in to your house at night dressed in drag and smash all the eggs in your fridge with a high heeled shoe.

  • I loved the movie! I thought it was awesome. I watched it just a couple of months ago and still enjoyed it. Full of classic 90s actors, cheesey music and more. Watched Hackers for the first time last night too – pretty sure some of the actors cross over (as well as The Crow and Spawn.)

    The 90s was a golden time for movies I think, but it’s all restrospective love. Go watch Tank Girl, Judge Dredd the original movie and the Mortal Kombat movies too. They’re all entertaining as hell!

  • By that he means a cinematic video game adaptation and if he’s not right, my memory can’t produce the example where he is wrong.

    I thought the Mortal Kombat movie came first, but turns out I was wrong as that came out in 1995. So yeah, I guess SMB was the first.

  • The movie was the biggest heap of shite, but I love the atmosphere. Its a bit of fun to watch. Especially the Mario and big lady dance scene.

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