Attendees of a recent Super Mario Bros. screening watched a special recording by John Leguizamo, who shared stories about on-set strippers and how he crushed Bob Hoskins' hand.
It's been popular to mock the Super Mario Bros. movie from time to time, but there are actually several fans who appreciated it quite a bit. Perhaps it's because we saw the movie as impressionable children, or maybe it's the strangeness of Dennis Hopper as Koopa, but we're still watching and discussing it decades later. Two decades, in fact: May 28th marks the 20th Anniversary of the infamous film, which many celebrated last weekend with a midnight screening at the Los Angeles Nuart Theatre. Attendees were also treated to a special recording by John "Luigi Mario" Leguizamo, who shared a few memories of his time on set. All told, Leguizamo seems to view the project fondly, although he has nicer things to say about Hopper and Bob Hoskins than the movie itself.
Other Super Mario Bros. actors have gone on record about why they thought the movie was terrible, but Leguizamo isn't disputing their opinions here. Instead, he expresses pride for his work, appreciation for his fellow cast, and even shares a few behind-the-scenes horror stories. Specifically, he describes the logistics of using multiple strippers as extras, how an electrocution occurred on the meteor set, and the time he accidentally crushed Bob Hoskin's hand in a sliding door. These aren't what one might consider "happy" memories, but since Super Mario Bros. was a breakout role for Leguizamo, it's not surprising that he'd remember the events fondly.
Whatever you loved or despised Super Mario Bros., it's still worth acknowledging as a historic film. It was one of the first videogame movies ever made, generated heated discussions for twenty years, and even had some decent special effects and performances to boot. On reflection, I probably wouldn't have minded the chance to see it on the big screen myself, although I'm not certain how forgiving I'd feel after a deluge of mushroom-related puns.