Today's short film is called SUPER MARIO: UNDERWORLD.
This is an older short film. It's been floating around for awhile. You may have seen it already. But it's quick and fun, and I don't think I've ever posted anything about it, so that's changing today. There's some weird stuff going on here, though. Not in the film... well, yeah, in the film, but right now, I'm talking about the people who made it. The folks responsible for creating this film are from a group/team/Production House called Nukazooka.
Beyond that, I don't know anything else about them.
I mean, I'm sure I can look around the Internet more, maybe try some Google tricks, but why bother? A. I don't get paid for this. And B. I don't really give a fuck. And besides, they have a Facebook page, and they have a Youtube page, and they have a barely filled out IMDB page, so it's not like they don't have options to easily provide the information, if they wanted to. They obviously don't.
And like I said, I don't really give a fuck.
So, from what I can tell, Nukazooka makes a lot of short films--A LOT of them--and they're mostly rather broadly jokey, kind of bro-ey, and usually involve some kind of video games in the "real world" and/or "real-life" Nerf gun use. It seems like a lot of them are probably young Dads too. They have that look about them. I bet even more of them wear flip-flops or open-toed Dude-sandals whenever possible. They also have that look. Also, despite this list, their videos are usually pretty well-made.
Here's the synopsis for SUPER MARIO: UNDERWORLD... Mario enters the upside down.
Okay, that's a shit synopsis. For one (Nerd Beef)... it has nothing to do with the Upside Down. It's not even the same concept as the Upside Down. That's just... a flawed, and ridiculously lazy comparison. That kind of half-assed pop culture callback is an unfortunate hallmark of this Nukazooka group. Looking at them, and what they focus on, it's also the least surprising thing ever for them to have this issue. The miracle is that it doesn't ruin their work that often.
Granted, the film is only 3 minutes long, but as the possibly tens of my long-time readers out there are no doubt well aware of by now, a shitty synopsis is usually a pretty bad sign as a predictor of a short film's general and narrative quality. Usually. However, I've already watched the film, so let me assure you all that this time, at least, the short film in question is actually pretty good.
But still... what a crap synopsis.
A better version might be: Ever wondered what happens to Mario when he falls off the screen? One hapless little plumber survives the fall, and learns the horrifying truth.
That was great.
I love it. Short, sweet, imaginative. It doesn't overstay its welcome, or over-estimate the power of its central joke. It manages to be both funny AND kind of creepy. Sure, it's more of an amuse-bouche of a short film than a whole short story, but that's not a problem when it's done right. Besides, this whole thing is an in-joke. The entire premise is based off the idea of the audience being well-versed in the subject, so the point isn't the narrative, it's the tour of a world that twists the familiar elements. It's flash fiction meets the Alternate Universe Trope.
And it's pretty fun.