Saturday, December 10, 2016

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made - 8 stars out of 10

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made - 8 stars out of 10

“Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” is a quirky documentary, but it is also kind of genius.  This story is 30+ years in the making and its origins are just as fascinating as its current predicament.  In 1982, a trio of 11-year-old friends began work on a shot-for-shot recreation of “Raiders of the Lost Arc.”  Not only did they decide to take on one of the greatest action films to date, but they had to do so before VCRs and home video was an option!  Their early storyboarding of the film is incredible on its own, but the actually filming is even more fantastic.  The documentary is full of stories that involve nearly burning down a house, almost being run over, dealing with the police, and the resourceful MacGyver-like techniques used to bring these special effects to life on a budget that consisted of… their allowances.  Unfortunately, there was one scene that was impossible to film with their lack of resources: the airplane explosion.  Their incomplete film became a cult favorite at film festivals but now, it is time to invest the money into completing this final scene.  One of the coolest parts of the film is seeing these boys grow up and watching the support that they now receive from their own children in pursuing their dreams.  But there is a greater theme to this film than following your dreams.  I feel that it really captures the imagination of a generation that didn’t need the newest phone, tablet, and video game system to have fun.  It is that group of “Sandlot” kids that would play baseball all summer, the group of “Goonies” kids who went on one final adventure.  But the people in this documentary are not characters – they are real kids who lived the dream of every nostalgic coming-of-age film.  “Raiders!” captures a piece of our childhood that has been lost in modern generations.  Get ready unrefined acting, improvisatory special effects, and a strong dose of nostalgia.

[Pictured: This seems like the least-likely crew to recreate "Raiders of the Lost Arc"]

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