Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
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.