The Time Michelle Pfeiffer Healed a Lizard, and Other Ghost Stories from the Filming of Super Mario Bros: The Movie

There's a reason most people remember The Super Mario Bros. Super Show or The Wizard when they think of β€˜90s Hollywood adaptations of Nintendo properties: because if they didn't they'd be left only with Super Mario Bros: The Movie, the 1993 monstrosity starring Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper, a film only vaguely resembling the cartoonish world of the game series.

For some ghoulishly masochistic reason, some Super Mario super fans have created the SMBMovie.com, archiving ephemera from the film as well as circling back to interview actors who starred in the film, such as Richard Edson who played "Spike" to Fisher Stevens' "Iggy", two characters you may know from never having been in Super Mario games at all. Update: I stand corrected. They are Koopa Kids. But still!

While the Edson interview interview is filled with anecdotes of directorial ineptitude and peevish tantrums by Dennis Hopper over his lines in a scene in which he is submerged in a mud bath, this particular aside seems to encapsulate the mescaline and id-fueled fever dream that took over North Carolina during filming.

SA: Do you have any other stories with interactions with the other actors?

Richard Edson: Now that I remember, there is this strange thing. Fisher and Samantha shared a beach house on the beach itself in Wilmington. My house was off of the beach, but on the water on the bay. They preferred to be right on the beach and Fisher had the upstairs and Samantha had the downstairs.

I do remember Fisher was going out with Michelle Pfeiffer at the time and she would come down to visit, but she was a very kind of shy, introverted person. Not very outgoing and one of Fisher's lizards was sick, so that became her "project." She took care of the lizard and took him to town to veterinarians and spent all day finding a veterinarian in the area who specialized in lizards. She took him all over and I was like "Woah, a little obsessive," but she was a sweet girl, but I guess she always had to have something to do and that was her thing, to take care of the lizard. To heal it.

But, I went over there one day and Samantha goes "There's something strange about this house." "What do you mean strange?" "Well, the basement." "What do you mean the basement?" "Well, go down there and tell me what you feel," and I'm like "What are you talking about?"

She points to the door and she goes "There." "Like, that?" "Yeah, go down." So I open the door and take two steps down and I get the creepiest feeling. I still can remember. My skin started to crawl and I go down a couple more stairs and it feels like I'm walking into a freezer or something and I have the feeling or image that something really terrible had happened there. There was the residue of that thing. And I'm like "I'm not going fucking down there," so I run up the stairs and shut the door and go to Samantha "What the fuck was that?" She goes "I told you, right?" I was like "What happened? What is it?"

"Well, the woman who rented the house said something terrible happened down there. Some girl had been imprisoned and raped or something or murdered or something." I was like "Woah." They didn't tell me that before I went down there. I couldn't believe she could actually live in the place knowing that you couldn't even open a door. I don't know. I don't know. Whatever. Maybe it was the power of suggestion, but I do remember that. (laughs)

[SMBMovie.com]