This. Script. Sucks.
November 1, 2014 11:50 PM   Subscribe

Max Landis, son of John Landis and screenwriter of Chronicle, has shared a 436 page screenplay that he wrote as a 20-year-old: Super Mario World. Via CHUD.
posted by brundlefly (36 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
I meant to say, Landis prefaces the PDF with an explanation of precisely how this. Script. Sucks.
posted by brundlefly at 11:55 PM on November 1, 2014


BLACK SCREEN
EPIGRAPH: “What if something appears that shouldn't?
You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much
more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is
a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find
many unexpected things.”
            - Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario.

              LUIGI (V.O.)
    This is the story of my brother,
    the greatest hero of a world you
    will never see.

The sound of distant thunder.
Pop some popcorn and start tinkering with those "special parts," 'cause it's movie sign.
posted by JHarris at 12:40 AM on November 2, 2014 [9 favorites]


Someone should MiST this. Although it'd be a pretty huge job.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:08 AM on November 2, 2014


Joakim, what' is MiSTing?
posted by kandinski at 1:00 AM on November 2, 2014


"MiSTing" refers to the show Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I also referred to with my comment above, although more elliptically. It means to heckle or mock a movie by talking over it in real time.
posted by JHarris at 1:14 AM on November 2, 2014


This. Script. Sucks.

Is this post from the future? Because this was my reaction to Chronicle, and I expect the Fantastic Four film.
posted by Mezentian at 1:19 AM on November 2, 2014


JHarris, thanks. I had read about MST3K, but it's the first time I read MiST, either as a noun or a verb.
posted by kandinski at 2:19 AM on November 2, 2014


but it's the first time I read MiST, either as a noun or a verb.

You've only read about MST3K? You haven't shared in the joy?

Now, consider I am not Americian, so my advice is going to be "A Whole New World, A Most Fantastic Place" from Aladdin more like Katie Price and Peter Andre... but if I don't read you wrong.... MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE is s fine place to start.

Booze helps. Or being an "up" person.

Even then, booze helps.
posted by Mezentian at 2:36 AM on November 2, 2014


I'm a Spaniard, and now I live in Australia. When I get films and stuff, it's usually without silhouetted robots on top. But yes, you're reading me right, because MANOS and booze and I think I'll organise a symultaneous viewing with some of my film buff friends back in Spain.
posted by kandinski at 2:42 AM on November 2, 2014


Oh, god. He gave them Cassavettes for a surname. Oh, god. This is gorgeous.
Everybody knows their last name is Brothers, duh
posted by Spatch at 3:19 AM on November 2, 2014


Specifically, a "MiSTing" is (or was, I haven't seen it used much lately) a thing some MST3k fans used to do on Usenet back in the nineties, where they'd do a script for a MST3k episode where instead of a film, they'd mock a text, usually fan fiction. So it was MST3k fan fiction mocking other fan fiction. There used to be a big archive of them, but that site's gone now, and the only thing that's left are some partial archives. The Wikipedia page I just linked has links to some, but here's a link to a MiSTing of well-known horrible story "The Eye of Argon".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:28 AM on November 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Spatch: "Everybody knows their last name is Brothers, duh"

No, it's "Bros". Like the band.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:28 AM on November 2, 2014


What? No, it's Mario. Mario Mario and Luigi Mario. They're the Mario brothers.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 5:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [24 favorites]


True story: I used to work at an ad agency in Quebec, and once in a meeting involving a product which was using some licensed Warner Bros. characters for marketing, one of my bilingual ESL colleagues asked if we had to contact the "Warner Bross" for permission to do something.

"Warner Brothers", I said.

"What?"

"The Warner Brothers. 'Bros.' is short for Brothers, just like 'Mr.' is short for 'Mister'. It's a contraction, but you pronounce it 'Brothers' -- not 'bross'."

There was a long pause and a few people looked around the table, then one ventured:

"But what about the Mario Bross?"

Apparently several folks in the room thought that they had been playing video games chronicling the adventures of Mario Bros and Luigi Bros, two brothers of the Bros clan, since childhood. This was a little bit before "Bro!" became a thing, so I'm not sure what's happened linguistically since then.
posted by Shepherd at 5:40 AM on November 2, 2014 [23 favorites]


I think I'll organise a symultaneous viewing with some of my film buff friends back in Spain.

I am sure some MST3K alumni post here sometimes (I forget who) but it is one of the finest ways to enjoy old crappy movies. Or old, great but creaky movies.

Or, if you are so inclined, modern classics like The Star Wars Holiday Special and The Room via Rifftrax.
posted by Mezentian at 6:53 AM on November 2, 2014


I only read the first ten pages, but if he thinks it sucks, he hasn't read many other people's scripts. Most 20-year old screenwriters can barely string together a sentence. This is some epic shit here, and it reads well.

As far as its viability as a film, I think it's a great exercise to just write something with no regard to whether it could get made. I've written a couple like that and pulled good ideas out of them.
posted by fungible at 7:55 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


WHY IS SAMUS LUIGI'S SECRETARY

I'M AS MAD AS I'VE EVER BEEN
posted by gc at 8:56 AM on November 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


My ex's kid insisted on pronouncing the "Bros." phonetically. He refused to be corrected.
posted by brundlefly at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now, consider I am not Americian, so my advice is going to be "A Whole New World, A Most Fantastic Place" from Aladdin more like Katie Price and Peter Andre... but if I don't read you wrong.... MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE is s fine place to start.

(reads, spits coffee, runs to keyboard)

DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT WATCH MANOS AS YOUR FIRST EPISODE OF MST.

Sheesh, it's almost like you're trying drive people off. Manos is for experts. You have to build up antibodies before you can survive that. It's best to start off with something like Godzilla vs Megalon, Pod People or Master Ninja.
posted by JHarris at 10:25 AM on November 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Honestly, I think MST3K The Movie is the best starting point, but maybe Werewolf or Mitchell or Soultaker too.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:47 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think my personal recommended jumping off point would be Overdrawn at the memory bank. So good.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd say Space Mutiny is a good first episode.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:00 AM on November 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Splint Chesthair!"
posted by brundlefly at 11:19 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Always start with Mitchell. Always.

MITCHELL!
posted by butterstick at 1:37 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mario Bross (sic) is a chain restaurant in Colombia. It's weird.
posted by saul wright at 1:59 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The problem with starting with Mitchell is that, while the movie is great, it's Joel's last episode, and so inductees should probably have some more Joel under their belt before watching it.
posted by JHarris at 3:11 PM on November 2, 2014


I vote for Pod People as a first Joel episode. And maybe Cave Dwellers. Oh, and Gunslinger!
posted by gc at 3:26 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


[Congrats on your 300th FPP, brundlefly. 🎉]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:37 PM on November 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


jason_steakums: The Movie was my first episode, and I don't regret it. It's the only episodeever shown on Australian television (to my knowledge). I'd read about the show online, and the movie blew away all my expectations. Then, because they cut down on the number of jokes in The Movie so the audience wouldn't laugh so much, the actual show blew away THOSE expectations.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:02 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thank you, jcifa! That means a lot, coming from a BAMF like yourself.
posted by brundlefly at 10:11 PM on November 2, 2014


Welp, I read the whole thing.

*coughs*
posted by gc at 10:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


And...? How did it turn out?
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on November 5, 2014


Mezentian: "I am sure some MST3K alumni post here sometimes (I forget who)"

FRANK CONNIFF, REVEAL YOURSELF!
posted by Chrysostom at 2:45 PM on November 5, 2014


One of the RiffTrax people (not a performer, but maybe Conor?) is a member I think.
posted by JHarris at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2014


And...? How did it turn out?
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on November 5 [+] [!]


I mean, a lot of it is things like "Why? Why would you put that in?" Some of this, in my opinion, is part age; he said he was 20 when he wrote the script, some of it is trying to shoehorn a lot of very large universe into one story. Some of it is just silly.

Some stray notes and observations:
  • Some of the shoehorning is interesting. For example, everything being powered by Stars instead of electricity, and that every star they collect has enough power for four years, consistently.
  • But then again: why is music playing everywhere all the time? The mushroom people like music and have speakers everywhere, also they like a lot of trance music (see, a product of age).
  • There's a lot of military hardware in this story. It's explained away on an expository, throw away newscast early on that weapons were missing in the middle east. "We pan up to get another view of Wario’s army, and realize what we saw the first time was less than half; 224. one hundred and twenty tanks and armored vehicles roll over the green plains, leaving greasy black tracks of torn up earth; AMX-30s, MBT 2000s, T-64s, T-72s, T-62s, BMP-23s, Boragh APCs, Type 60 Recoilless Gus, SO-120s, Kader Fahd APCs, BOV-VP APCs, BTR-152s, PLZ45s, ZTS Danas, M1975s, 2S5s and M107s."
  • Because there's military weapons involved, Mario does battle with several Apache helicopters.
  • A couple of times.
  • The mushroom people turning to spores when they die was kind of interesting (complete with a death myth about the spores going up to the Rainbow Road).
  • In fact, everyone not human turns into something when they die (the Kongs turn into leaves).
  • The Shy Guys are made weirdly scary, being the product of a bad reaction to the healing properties of the mushrooms and Leprosy. The Shy Guys are basically, then, zombies of early 1600 New Jersey colonists.
  • No, really.
  • Cameos, cameos, cameos.
  • Like the aforementioned SAMUS IS LUIGI'S SECRETARY. HE FOUND A PLACE FOR FUNKY KONG BUT COULDN'T FIND A PLACE FOR THE MOST BADASS SPACE BOUNTY HUNTER EVER FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE.
  • Other cameos: Kirby, ("MARIO (pondering) Think of Kirby like...Like a fairy- godmother, or an angel. He doesn’t talk, he’s almost never seen, but he’s always there, always present, always watching. And sometimes, if the time is right, and you really really need him...He’s on your side."), Conker, a Virtual Boy, most of Mario RPG, and Kazooie.
  • Kazooie is described as being a "deliberate pandering crowd pleaser."
  • Daisy plays a big part in this story, kind of. Daisy Miyamoto (yes, for real) is a detective in the NYPD and is Luigi's (ex)-girlfriend. Her job is digging up back story to Mario's transformation from zero to hero.
  • That being said, Peach is kind of a badass, and is described as being the brains behind the Mushroom Kingdom, and thus why Bowser was always trying to kidnap her.
  • There is a "Mario Mario, Luigi Mario" joke that's pretty cute.
    LUIGI “Super Mario Brothers.” Now they all think our last name is “Mario.” MARIO (laughs) Oh, come on, nobody’s that stupid.
  • Things you'd expect: The Mushroom Kingdom castle looks like castle from Super Mario 64, the pipes go many places, the power-ups are and do what you expect them too, and we see the range of everything from the cape feather, the fire flower, the leaf, the star, and mushrooms galore.
  • But then again, there's a desert full of missing boats and planes, a la Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It's a slog for sure, and a lot of stuff could be cut (it's 400+ pages long). The story is... too much. In so many meanings of the phrase. And, yeah, it reads like someone's epic fan fiction where they decided they're going to combine all of the Nintendo characters into one epic adventure.

So there, I read that so you don't have to.

The only reason I had those quotes handy is that I was sending them to my friend while I read. Like The Ring, I had to show other people so that I could survive.
posted by gc at 5:10 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would like to mention that a girl I knew vaguely from high school was in the Super Mario Brothers movie.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:00 AM on November 6, 2014


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