#REVIEW: “RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
In the summer of 1982, 12-year-olds Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, Jayson Lamb and a group of their friends took on the herculean task of creating a shot-for-shot remake of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. They filmed each summer for seven years, and filmed every scene except for the complicated action sequence involving a German war plane. Nearly two decades later, the group reunite as adults to Film the epic scene – but it will not be easy.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made may have an obnoxious title, but the content is fascinating and wildly entertaining throughout. This is a Film for the dreamers, and for every kid who ever tried re-enacting scenes from their favourite Movies. The story of how this group of kids put together this micro-budget remake is unbelievable, but the grainy home video footage proves it actually happened. I cannot remember the last time I watched Raiders, but the remake footage shown here gave me goose bumps with how authentic it looked.
While I can appreciate Directors Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen not shying away from some of the darker elements of their now adult Film subjects (one admits to being a former meth addict), I feel like they could have gone a bit more in-depth. Raiders! is about the joy of filmmaking first and foremost but the mindset these subjects describe is only given passing interest over the brisk 95-minute running time. They spend ample time discussing the ups and downs of filming for seven straight summers, but the more interesting material seems to get covered up as fodder between archived footage. They even inexplicably fade out an interview with Lamb airing his frustrations, as he is talking.
I digress however, as Raiders! is still a lot of fun to watch and I am certain it was even more fun to relive. The stories are intriguing, and the footage is truly astounding. Now I just need to get my hands on this remake and see what all the fuss is about.
Films We Like release RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE in select theatres starting Friday, June 17, 2016.