I can still remember shuffling out of the theater doors on Memorial Day weekend in 1993, a sweating Yoshi Slurpee in one hand, a clenched ERTL Goomba action figure in the other.

The projectionist could have shown a Buñuel art house film–with wild ostriches poking their heads in and out of frame, with bottomless dinner guests plopping themselves on toilets around a dining room table, engaging in vivid chatter, en français, on the effects of overpopulation on bodily waste management–and the silent expression on my eight-year-old face would have remained no less stoic.

I grew a little older, a little wiser that summer afternoon. I had the Super Mario Bros. movie to thank.

Love it or hate it, a whole lot of time, money, and effort went into Hollywood’s first video game adaptation. This recently discovered 3-inch Bullet Bill cartridge is physical proof of that. To read more about the prop, and a few other items that were rescued from the production, follow the fungus to today’s article.