RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE – Movie Review

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RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE

  • RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray/DVD Combo (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
  • WRITTEN BY: Tim Skousen, Jeremy Coon
  • DIRECTED BY: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen
  • STARRING: Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, Jayson Lamb

 I don’t know about you creeps, but when I was 12 years old, I could barely get out of my own way, and had about enough ambition to turn on the Nintendo…maybe. For that very reason, the subjects of the new doc RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE absolutely blow my mind; because at around the age of 12 they decided to create a short for shot remake, effects and all, of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK; and over the next 7 years they did just that (minus one crucial scene…but more on that in a bit).

Starting in 1981, three teenage friends; actor/producer Chris Strompolos, director Eric Zala, and special effects wunderkind Jayson Lamb began directing a scene for scene remake of Spielberg’s classic film…from memory. As the project progresses it becomes obvious that our heroes drastically underestimated the amount of time and energy this undertaking would entail. As the making of the film becomes all-encompassing the years pass quickly, but eventually the film is completed (minus the iconic ‘mechanic fight’ at the airfield); but friendships are broken, relationships destroyed, houses (and people) are nearly obliterated in fire stunts, and the path to addiction is paved.

Eventually the film is discovered (by Eli Roth no less), and thanks to Harry Knowles of geek website Ain’t It Cool and the Alamo Drafthouse (who are also responsible for this Blu-ray release) the friends are re-united again to finish the last shot…as adults, while battling the demons of the past and the responsibilities of the present.

As great as the film is; the extras on this release really help expand the tale even more as you get over 30 minutes of deleted scenes, a Q&A with the stars of the film, and two lively commentary tracks (one from Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen; the creators of the doc, one with Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala).

RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE is nothing short of inspirational. If you have ever wanted to make a film, but were afraid to try due to limitations in talent or budget; this film will most likely make you want to get off your ass and start realizing that dream! This is a great film if you don’t have those aspirations as well, as it serves as a classic coming of age story (replete with broken homes, abusive step-parents, and fictional characters becoming father figures), a tale of friendship and all of its ups and downs, and a great time capsule for those of us that grew up in the 1980’s. Additionally, you will also see what an ass-pain it is to get a small dog to play a Nazi monkey and give a salute…and I know we have all wondered what that would be like at one point in our lives.

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