The story of the greatest fan film ever made is told in Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. In 1982, eleven year old Mississippi friends Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jayson Lamb set out to shoot a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The boys kept shooting this remake over the course of seven years and finished every scene except for one. More than thirty years later, Eric and Chris reunite to try and finish the work that they started.
Raiders! recounts both the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, while also following Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos as they attempt to finish the project by shooting the 124 shot airplane sequence. The film also features interviews with the likes of Eli Roth, Harry Knowles, and even sage advice by John Rhys Davies.
This remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark was both a passion project and refuge for these three individuals, who all had somewhat troubled lives, particularly Chris, who has a history of drug addiction. It is almost by a fluke that the remake became a cult success, as tapes were passed around, eventually landing in the hands of Eli Roth, who deciding to bring it to Harry Knowles’ annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon event, with the rest becoming history as they say.
Probably one of the biggest messages to come out of Raiders! is that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, even if it is a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark you made during your childhood. Altogether, Raiders! is a very entertaining and even touching look at these individuals setting out to fulfil this dream.