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Raiders! The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made Blu-ray Review

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“Raiders! The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” is a frustrating movie.

Throughout the course of their childhood in Mississippi, 3 friends (Chris, Eric, and Jayson) embarked on a quest to create a shot by shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” They very nearly completed their quest but have yet to film the plane sequences. Now, as adults, Chris and Eric have come together to finish the film they set out to make so long ago. This documentary film (as well as the book of the same name) chronicles their journey.

Today fans films are a dime a dozen, but back in the 80’s, they were not as common. Even less common was an ambitious (and ultimately dangerous) shot by shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as done by kids. In seeing the footage of the film, it’s easy to admire their loving tribute to the Spielberg classic. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that full film here for obvious rights reasons. What we do get is a documentary film about the making of it which feels self-congratulatory to say the least.

I understand Chris and Eric’s need to finish the project and to get some closure on a chapter of their lives, but seeing them as adults trying to finish the film doesn’t feel so charming. This is especially evident as we see them begging for money, putting people’s lives in danger during the production, and, in the case of Eric, putting the film over his own career. It just seems odd and awkward to see them devoting so much creative energy into something that isn’t new.

The rest of the film feels strangely cluttered due to the odd editing style where scenes feel out of order. The bulk of the film sees the crew trying to complete the plane sequences and the rest of the movie explores the family troubles Eric and Chris had, their childhood, the crazy and sometimes dumb actions they did in filming scenes, their dedication to the project, how the fan film became a cult hit, Chris and Eric’s falling out, etc. On top of that, “Raiders!” includes interviews with extras, cast members (and their family members) and with John Rhys-Davies, Eli Roth, and Harry Knowles.


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The newly shot footage looks really sharp and the old VHS footage from the fan film has poor quality, but that is to be expected.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD. How does it sound? Truthfully, it doesn’t sound like 5.1 track but it’s decent enough.

* DVD copy and digital copy.
* A booklet featuring storyboard pictures.
* 10 deleted scenes.
* 19 minutes of Outtakes From The Adaptation.
* “Q&A At Alamo Drafthouse Premiere Of The Adaptation”- A 40 minute Q&A with Eric, Chris, and Jayson from a 2003 premiere.
* Commentary by writers/directors Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon and another commentary by Eric Zala and Chris Stompolos. Both tracks are a bit stiff, but the latter track is definitely more insightful.
* Drafthouse Films trailers and a “Raiders!” trailer.
* Easter egg.

August 10, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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