Different fans have different reactions to their favorite movies. Some cosplay as their favorite characters. Others write fan fiction. And some dedicate years of their lives to filming a shot-for-shot recreation of a movie, complete with elaborate costumes, car chases, and even some pyrotechnics.
Which is exactly what three Mississippi 11-year-olds did in the 1980s after they saw Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. For seven years, they worked tirelessly on a faithful recreation of Raiders, and their final project became the stuff of cinematic legend, making fans out of everyone from Eli Roth to John Rhys Davies. The documentary Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made chronicles their effort and reunites the fan film’s original cast members, years later, to complete the only scene they never finished: the epic airplane fight scene.
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In the exclusive clip above, the filmmakers discuss one of the trickiest scenes they shot as teenagers: the explosive shootout in Marion’s Nepalese bar. Doing so required a bit of playing with fire — and a slight disregard for safety.
Two of the original filmmakers, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, are currently on tour across the United States, showing a double feature of the documentary and their original fan film. Raiders! will debut in theaters and on VOD June 17.