MARIO (V.O.) (sullen): “You ever feel like you were out of joint with the world, Doc? Like you didn’t fit?”
Max Landis, son of famed director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, Coming To America, many more) and director of Chronicle has released a colossal 436-page hypothetical Mario movie script he wrote years ago. That is a big script. As he points out in a fittingly rambly preamble:
“It’s 436 pages. This is not a movie, it’s a manifesto. There has never been a produced film in America with a length of 436 pages.”
I’m only about 30 pages in (I know, I probably need a hobby… more hobbies… better hobbies), but it already really is… something. It opens with kids — one of whom is nicknamed Peach — playing in a forest in the ’80s and then lightning strikes their treehouse and there’s a time skip and it’s littered with overwrought references and sections like this:
“Remember how disgusting the bedroom was? Multiply it by six and you have the bathroom. Mario stands at the mirror and looks at his yellowed teeth in the grey, flickering light. His toothbrush has mould on it and a cobweb.”
“He opens the mirror cabinet, revealing shelves full of prescription anti-depressants. He pours himself a cup of brownish water and retrieves a bunch of pills from their bottles but then the “MISSING CHILDREN” flier suddenly slaps up against the bathroom window (but blows away before he can get a look at it) and startles him into dropping the pills into the sink.”
“He stares at them and then begins carefully lining them up end to end, colour-coding (this being a none-too-subtle reference to fan-favourite Nintendo game Dr. Mario). He looks at his newly formed grid, and then, very slowly, pushes the pills down the sink drain.”
“He runs the water, and watches them go. He grunts, and then looks up into the mirror. He looks awful.”
Then Mario has some pudding and a Heineken, makes sad braying noises at his plumber boss, and eventually gets drunk and stumbles into a magical realism scene involving a giant piranha plant.
And that is only the beginning — or the very beginning of the beginning, more like, because again this thing is 436 pages long. So far it’s totally weird and all-over-the-place and kind of endearingly obsessive. Landis himself says he thinks it’s pretty horrible, but I’m finding it to be entertaining, if nothing else.
I’m gonna read more of it, naturally. If this one’s not your hollowed out turtle shell full of pudding and Heineken, though, Luke wrote about another Mario movie that never was a while back. Alternatively, here’s a great thing Max Landis did a couple years ago about the death of Superman (spoiler: it is very funny and also Superman dies obviously):
Picture: Rob Sheridan