Extended Cut of ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Discovered and Released
When we compiled a list of every video game movie in history, and ranked them from worst to best, Super Mario Bros. ranked 24th out of 37 titles. But what if the version we saw wasn’t the best possible one? What if there was a superior cut somewhere out there, just waiting to be discovered?
We might now have an answer to that question. In May of 2019, a group of fans say they “discovered a tape containing an extended rough cut of the 1993 cult film Super Mario Bros.” The cut is about 15 minutes longer than the theatrical release; its additions include “previously-unseen deleted scenes include the Mario Bros running afoul of the (probably Mafia-connected) Scapelli plumbing company, Koopa murdering a technician by de-evolving him into slime, and Iggy and Spike rapping about the overthrow of King Koopa at the Boom Boom Bar. There's more of Lena, Daniella and the Brooklyn Girls.” Many scenes that previously existed are now extended as well.
The VHS tape was in understandably bad shape, so the fans brought in filmmaker Garrett Gilchrist to restore it. He used a combination of programs including Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, and EBSynth to produce what they have collectively dubbed “The Morton Jankel Cut” for directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. You can now watch the full results of their efforts at Archive.org.
There’s also a YouTube video where Gilchrist compares the cuts and explains the restoration process:
Is this new version superior to the original? I haven’t watched it yet. I will confess I’ve never thought the problem with the original Super Mario Bros. cut was that it was too short. But I am curious enough about this extended and restored version to check it out before it vanishes down a green pipe, possibly forever.