Thursday, July 11, 2013

Things Promised But Not Delivered by the Poster for the 1989 Film The Wizard

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson about advertising.

  1. A world where all pre-teens wear shorts with long-sleeved, long-tailed shirts on top.
  2. A Far-Off Place style adventure where three white children are stranded in a hostile environment with only a skateboard, a suitcase and winning smiles.
  3. Something that actually might have made me smile, now that I think about it.
  4. An adventure in which only Jenny Lewis thought to bring a change of clothes.
  5. Video game characters magically coming to life, perhaps as a result of a desert heat-induced hallucination.
  6. An inexplicably off-model Mario that’s approximately the size of a fighter jet.
  7. And he can fly.
  8. A fictional pop cultural landscape where the anonymous green cobra enjoys the same level of fame as with Mario.
  9. Fred Savage using the Power Glove to face-punch bad guys he meets in the desert.
  10. No appearance by Christian Slater whatsoever, because who would cast him in a movie of this era and then not put him on the poster?
  11. A movie that takes place somewhere more interesting than Reno.
  12. A young Jenny Lewis incurring an exit wound.
  13. Maybe a story about a blind paraplegic, based on that pose.
  14. More top billing roles for Fred Savage.
  15. An actual wizard.


  1. I don't get #6; the Mario is the same model as the one used on the SMB3 box art, just a lot more pixelated... and minus the Raccoon power-up, since they probably wanted to preserve the surprise(?).

    1. Is it, though? I'm looking at it again and it seems weirdly distorted. Aren't the eyes bugging out too much?

    2. No Racoon ears/tail to explain the flight and they pixelated him, so he does look... deformed...

  2. When I saw this movie at the video rental store as a kid, I thought it would be a movie in which real-life kids go into the video game world, a la Captain N. I was disappointed as a kid when I watched it, but have grown to love it.

    1. Full disclosure: I actually have only seen it once and never looked back. I have little to no recollection about the plot, other than it took place in Reno for at least a brief part.