After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, 12 year-old Eric Zala got the idea to remake the movie, shot for shot, as an experiment with his buddies.
Over the course of the next six years, they did just that, doing a remarkable job of re-creating the legendary Spielberg film note for note. Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made captures the creative team as they set out to film the one shot they never got: the massive airplane explosion after the fight with the big, bald Nazi.
There’s a lot of fun stuff about the making of the movie, including the time the boys almost burned a house down. They also almost burned one of the actors, and nearly suffocated another with a plaster mold on his face. Another amusing fact: They used a little puppy instead of a monkey for the infamous Nazi-salute monkey scene.
The film includes interviews with Eli Roth and Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles, who were both major champions of the project. At the documentary’s center is the reunion of the boys, 25 years later, to film that final airplane explosion—with actual big-budget props.
It’s a fun movie about fanatical fan boys—and how being a geek can sometimes pay off. Sometimes.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.