Back in the 80s a couple of guys from my hometown did a shot for shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and they’ve been featured in a magazine(I believe Vanity Fair), and I’ve seen them on TCM and I think they’ve appeared on one of the late night talk shows as well. Tonight I finally got to see it, and I was very impressed. For what it is, a couple of teenagers playing adult roles and shooting a globe trotting adventure epic in South Mississippi it is amazing. The guys worked on it for something like 7 years, although the first two were essentially pre-production, and the last was editing. It was shot during the summers when they were out of school and the amount of sets and costumes, as well as the quality of the sets and costumes were staggering. Not to mention that the editing was seamless and the acting was good enough to carry the film without it becoming cheezy- at some points you actually forget that you are watching kids perform in all of these grownup roles, and at times you are at the edge of your seat and feel like the characters are genuinely in peril as they are being dragged hanging onto the front of a truck, or set fire to a nepalese bar constructed inside their parents’ basement.
Apparently, one of the guys who made it would show it to friends in college, and someone made a copy, who had made a copy for someone else, and Eli Roth ended up with one, who gave it to one of the bosses at Amblin, who showed Stephen, and so they got to meet Mr. Spielberg.
Has anyone here seen the thing?
No, but I have heard of it and read an article on /film about it that said it could come to cinemas because of the success of something like Son of Rambow. Here’s the link http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/03/23/raiders-of-the-lost-ark-the-adaptation-coming-to-cinemas/
I’ve seen some of it. It’s available on YouTube or Google Video, I think.
I hadn’t heard of this before you posted about it. I’m amazed how impressive the effects are for a homemade movie in the 80s.. I wonder if this was an inspiration for Son of Rambow. Here’s a good article on the film with some video clips: http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/news/2007/05/diy_raiders
now, I just need to go back and watch Raiders again. I’ve only really seen it once, a LOOONG time ago, and I always liked The Last Crusade the most.
This is a great film. Eric and Chris are pretty strict about how this film gets seen (it’s not legally available online or for rent) but I was able to catch it at a festival in Los Angeles. This is a very inspiring story – they’re actually coming out with a book later this year, which you can buy for pre-order on Amazon.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
What I found most amazing about it is that at a certain point you stop watching it for kitsch value and start thinking, “Watch out, Indy! Duck!” They did an amazing job for a project shot on a VHS FUCKING CAMCORDER!
Yeah, it’s pretty incredible, especially for the time. I can’t imagine being that focused, that determined, that I would spend that many years working on a project – especially as a kid (and it was actually shot on Betamax, not VHS).