Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A series of short films gives the dark-and-gritty treatment to Super Mario Bros.

All of modern pop culture exists on a curve that asymptotically approaches the pure ideal of “dark and gritty.” Do not attempt to fight this phenomenon; it is a mathematical certainty. Nintendo probably thought that its experience with "dark and gritty" ended after the outlandishly stupid Super Mario Bros. film left theaters in 1993. After that, the Super Mario Bros. series was free to leave behind its brief dalliance with stubble and grime. The games’ developers embraced sunshine: Koopa Troopas danced to jaunty music, and bricks exploded in spontaneous coin-gasms.

But Nintendo’s reprieve was an impermanent one. The dark came back. The dark always comes back, with gritty trailing right behind. Evan Daugherty, a screenwriter who previously worked on Snow White And The Huntsman and Killing Season, has written and directed a series of four short films that imagine what Super Mario Bros. would be like if Mario drank his power-ups straight out of the blender without a napkin or anything:

The video above, “The Fixer,” is joined by “The Addict,” which depicts the anguished, harshly lit life of another Mario Bros. mainstay.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, videos featuring Princess Peach and Toad are set to go up on the Polaris Network YouTube channel this Friday, at which point the grittification of yet another childhood memory will be complete.


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