Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015) Review

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Raiders!Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)

 

It’s 1982 and you’re 10 and just seen Raiders of the Lost Ark so what do you do?

You find yourself a beta-max camera and start filming a shot-for-shot remake.
But first get rid of the beta-max camera because it places the letter A in the top right corner and rewinds 3-5 seconds everytime it starts recording meaning you’ve lost most of the footage from the previous scene you just filmed.

Three friends decided to do just that in Mississippi, America and this is a documentary following them 20 years later trying to film the last missing scene where Indy fights the big Nazi that is chopped to peaces by a planes propeller.

The problem is they recreate this shot as professionally as possible going as far as to build a replica plane and film in HD which only causes problem after problem and certainly must look out of place with the old VHS footage that seems to show how adults complicate something their younger selves could’ve filmed in half the time if they had found a way to make it.

With interviews from friends and family who were there when these lads were making their tribute as well as from Indiana Jones series actor John Rhys-Davies and the man probably responsible for the general public being aware of this almost lost gem Eli Roth.

Over seven summer holidays these three friends filmed this labour of love despite, or maybe because of, family troubles, and facing girlfriend troubles, health and safety troubles and even troubles with each other.
We hear about how they all fell out and came back together to finish what they started as 10 year olds.

There are plenty of anecdotes and behind the scenes footage from their shoots including their creative, and very very dangerous stunt work and special effects like taping fireworks to their wrist and do you remember the classic truck fight scene where Indy crawls underneath it and is dragged by his whip?
Well they recreated that in all its glory so it is no wonder when one was set on fire the parents decided that adult supervision was needed.

And it came from a Dawn of the Dead (1978) Extra that shows having adult supervising doesn’t necessarily mean safer as the pyro in that scene almost threatened the entire house.

With the Blu-ray is a nice 16 page storyboard booklet but not with the actual remake probably for licencing reasons so here is Star Wars: A New Hope recreated shot-for-shot 15 seconds at a time by different contributors.

There are plenty of extras including deleted scenes and commentary and watch out for the explosive ending.

An interesting humorous watch that does get a bit depressing at one point but overall interesting and informative.

Now I’m just showing off so here is my Indiana Jones Trilogy (what fourth film?) Laserdisc box-set next to the DVD box-set for a size comparison followed by a trailer for Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.

Cover Indiana Laserdisc comparison Indiana Laserdisc FIlms