This week, the most beloved video game of all time, Super Mario Bros., turned 30 years old. Nintendo celebrated with a web video project called "Let's Mario" that took loving tributes from fans all over the internet, and edited them into one big heartwarming montage. I celebrated by digging up a somewhat less-loving tribute to the Mario franchise: Super Hornio Brothers, a porn parody from 1993 starring porn megastar Ron Jeremy.
In the film, Jeremy plays a computer programmer named Squeegie Hornio. He and his brother Ornio Hornio, played by T.T. Boy, are zapped into a computer game during a power surge, a la Tron. Instead of a world of Goombas and puffy clouds, they find themselves in a black void where they meet a very non-dinosaur-ish villain named King Pooper, played by Buck Adams, the director of the film. Pooper kidnaps Princess Perlina, and our heroes, Squeegie and Ornio have to prevent the villain from teleporting himself to the real world with a jizz-powered machine. There are also several prolonged sex acts sprinkled in, because it's a pornographic film intended to be masturbated to.
Though it's not hard terribly hard to find on the internet, any version you come across is likely to be some kind of bootleg: According to Ron Jeremy's website, Nintendo bought the rights to the film to prevent it from being released in any format. I can't imagine why.
"While our kids are drinking beer, and playing video games, Asians are getting high SAT scores." —Ron Jeremy
We got ahold of Ron Jeremy to find out if he remembers the film, and to learn a little more about what happened with Nintendo. He didn't seem to mind that the film was never officially released or that it was now online, but he did tell us that video games are "boring" and making American kids stupid.
VICE: You've done thousands of movies. Do you remember Super Hornio Brothers?
Ron Jeremy: Yeah! Buck Adams did a great job. He wanted to simulate the actual show. I had never seen the video game—I don't play them at all, except when I go to Hugh Hefner's mansion. He has some video games in the back room. Other than that, I never play video games ever. I think they're boring. As a former schoolteacher, Asians are kicking our ass! While our kids are drinking beer, and playing video games, Asians are getting high SAT scores. If you look at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, it's almost all Asian and Scandinavian. [Note: This isn't true.] Not a lot of Americans there, and it's on our soil. It's just weird. Nothing wrong with video games recreationally, but our kids are living on it. You know, not even reading books anymore.
What did you find especially good about the job Buck Adams did?
He tried very hard to simulate the basic show. Buck knew Mario Brothers inside and out. I've been told before that I look like one of the brothers. They've made jokes about it. I even did layouts in magazines where I had to impersonate that, with a plunger in one hand, overalls, a big, big mustache. Pretty funny, you know? He had good attention to detail. It was one of his better videos. He added that noise when I walked, you know? (makes a video-gamey boink-boink-boink sound) Plus it had good sex scenes. Pretty basic thing if you're gonna watch an adult movie. That's gotta be hot too.
It was one of his really, really better gigs. I'm pretty sure it spawned a sequel.
So do you know anything about where the rights to the film went?
The ones keeping films alive nowadays are a company called Hot Movies. Hot Movies own my website RonJeremy.com. My Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram go to a man named Mike Esterman, but Hot Movies has been doing this for me for years. It's a nice relationship, and they're also very good with the industry because they're one of the very few companies left that still pays. Everyone else is going out of business because of the internet.
What does Hot Movies do?
They distribute very old movies. They have a classical section—Super Hornio Brothers? They have films that are even older than that! So that's why they're probably the most logical one doing distribution on these movies.
Let me know if this sounds correct: In the 1990s or 200s, Hot Movies secured the rights to distribute a bunch of your old movies online, but that particular one was probably blacked out on the list, or the master recording was just completely gone. And somebody came and said, "Nope. That one's out because Nintendo bought it."
They bought it to get it off the market. They weren't buying to distribute it. They didn't want that. It probably cost about $20,000 to make it, which to them is lunch. No big deal. So yeah. I've never heard of anyone doing that. It is interesting. Hollywood does that all the time. They buy up options on films just so another studio can't get it.
No other copyright holder that you've parodied has bought the film in order to make it disappear?
This is the first I've heard of this. I've never heard that a major company purchased a satire. It's fascinating.
You still do parodies, right?
I did a really funny version of "Wrecking Ball." You know, Miley Cyrus? I think it had millions and millions of hits. I know from good sources that they're all OK with it—Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Terry Richards[on]—they all thought it was fine. They all got a kick out of it.
Performers typically aren't sensitive about this stuff, right? It would be like getting upset at Weird Al Yankovic for parodying your song.
When I do a parody, the first thing the actor always says is "You better make sure the guy who plays me is hung." You never hear them complain. They know when you're good enough to be satirized by the porn business, you've got a hit show.
But what about when logos and copyrighted characters are involved? That seems like a different issue.
Look up Tron Jeremy. It's amazing. We used the same graphics that Disney used, and had complete copyright and trademark over. But they never had a problem. What I understand is the executives kept things hush-hush, but it's [the equivalent of] a commercial. They don't want some adult actor advertising a Disney product, but under the table, hell, if it gives you publicity...
But people have been sued, right?
A guy named Al Borda got sued [because of his Oreo parody] Whoreos. It's not because of the content. It's because of the titles. Splatman got sued by Batman because of the identical lettering. It actually helped put that company out of business. Most lawsuits are usually helpful. They draw attention. Like with Debbie Does Dallas getting sued [by the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders]—of course they did! "You can't say all of our cheerleaders sucked dick! What are you, nuts?" So they did sue them. But they publicized the lawsuit, and that became one of the biggest-selling films of all time.
Would it bother you if someone pirated Super Hornio Brothers? Because I found it online.
I don't care. It doesn't affect me one bit. We were all paid, and we signed releases. The release I signed didn't include future technology. It's non-union so there's no residuals. My friends get hurt on stuff like that, but it doesn't affect me. I was paid for the job when it happened.
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This interviewed has been edited for length and clarity.