Monday, May 28, 2018

Love those plumbers! "Super Mario Bros." (1993) turns 25!


Can you believe this wonderful mess even exists? I saw it in theaters as a little boy and I absolutely loved the experience, even if it didn't make much sense to me at the time. As I grew older I noticed there was a huge backlash against this film, but my heart always remained true to it. I thought it was weird, wonderful, and imaginative, even if it just barely reflected the original Nintendo games. It's such a uniquely 1990's experience too, resembling what was popular in visual culture in that time. A mixture of late 1980's aesthetics, an anime/cyberpunk/Blade Runner type of grime to the world of Dinohattan, and a soundtrack of mostly 90's dance music. It's the perfect time capsule of 1993. 

I remember being really hyped for it, and my friends and I would wonder what it would be about. I remember lunch hour at P.S. 20 being filled with discussion about how cool it looked, and how we all couldn't wait to see it once it was out. I even owned a bootlegged VHS copy of the movie! 


I've tried my best to recreate the cover from memory. It had this horribly photocopied pink version of the original poster. My mom and I were on Canal Street, probably buying groceries, and she noticed me looking at it. It was being sold by someone who had a table full of bootlegged VHS tapes and other merchandise. It was $10 I think, and I couldn't be happier. My friends and I rewatched that bootleg until the tape within it was just a pile of dust. And that's no exaggeration, my friends and I watched this cassette until it no longer functioned; that should tell you how much we loved this movie.


I think this film gets too much undeserved hate. I'll agree it's confusing, especially to folks who are really fond of the original Nintendo games and their cartoony style, but as a film it holds up. It has a lot of stuff I like in it. Weird reptilian people, hollow earth and interdimensional travel, and strange religious imagery. There's a lot to take in with this film. And although it's not as deep with it's lore like "Star Wars" or "Dune", there's still a lot to unpack in this film that makes for good fodder for young fans to talk about. There were even a few toys based on the characters who appeared! I still have my Goomba on the shelf somewhere, but to this day I regret there wasn't a figure made of a de-evolved Koopa, or Princess Daisy (with Yoshi). 

The picture below is from the wonderful website Super Mario Bros The Movie Archive. Without question, the work of these archivists is unparalleled and the most extensive ever done on this one niche topic. Seriously, check them out when you get a chance, they've done an amazing job of not only archiving all the elements that made this movie so special, but they've also united fans around the world. 



Do yourself a favor and give this movie another chance. It's a good time. It's stupid, but fun; and that's what we should all aspire to be. And remember, always trust the fungus.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Happy Godzilla-98 Day Everyone!!!


Although I am currently drowning in my studies for my final exams in the coming week, who would I be if I did not acknowledge this profoundly holy day. Today, May 20th, 2018, marks 20 years since the release of the 1998 release of TriStars "Godzilla", starring Matthew Broderick. 


Often regarded as a huge misstep in the entire Godzilla franchise, what with it's radical redesign of the iconic King of the Monsters, and lackluster plot, Godzilla-98 will always hold a particularly special place in my heart. 


I don't usually allow myself to get caught up in the hype surrounding a movie, even now, but the advertising campaign surrounding Godzilla-98 was something spectacular. The commercials, billboards, and secrecy behind the film really got me excited. I didn't know any other Godzilla fans at the time, so it felt like this film was made especially for me. I remember losing my mind when I saw the first teaser trailer. I couldn't wait!


1998 was really beginning to look like the year of Godzilla! I was so stoked. I bathed in the advertising and allowed myself to soak in the hype. 


My opinions on the film though, well; I don't think the film is very good. It's not terrible, it's just kind of middle of the road. Most of my nostalgia for the film, and even Godzilla-98 itself as a character, is more attached to that time period. It really takes me back to my high school days, and to a time where I had to go digging for information on this new thing called "the world wide web". I can appreciate the film for its wanting to be different than any other Godzilla film, and to focus more on current events rather than the nuclear bombing in Japan, but it definitely took itself too seriously in its own ambitions. I think the film would be better regarded now if there was at least another monster in the film, or at the very least, a better ending to the film. 


If I had the time to celebrate today more appropriately, this is how I would do it;
  • Order some food from Taco Bell
  • Watch "Godzilla" (1998)
  • Watch the music video "Come With Me" by Puff Daddy
  • Marathon as much of Fox Kids' "Godzilla the Series" as I could




Ultimately, my own wish is for all the hate for this film to subside in the Godzilla fan community. In recent years there's been a push back by fans of Godzilla-98, and I've joined that small legion.
It's not a great movie, but it also wasn't the worst Godzilla film. It's a mediocre summer blockbuster from the late 1990's that spent more money than it should have, but it was also a really fun ride for Godzilla fans who have the right temperament. 

If you still have hate for this flick, just get over it. It's a 20-year-old movie and we've seen plenty of newer Godzilla movies since then. No need to hold a grudge anymore. 

As for me, I always keep a Godzilla-98 figure on my desk to remind me of better days. 


Friday, May 11, 2018

More Kaiju because I'm too lazy to make an actual post!

So I'm currently in the middle of studying for my finals for the semester. Not entirely confident in my ability to pass any of them, but I'm going to give it my all anyway.

I have plenty of stuff I want to mention and talk about in greater detail, but I'm far too tired to do that at the moment. Instead I decided to share some of the kaiju images I have found on Pinterest. Look at all these cuddly wonderful monsters!

Oh! But I should mention that the official website for The First Church of Dana Scully, Scientist is up and running with some big updates. There are plans in the works, so stay tuned for them. 

In the meantime, here are some monsters!