Raiders: The Ultimate Fan Film?

Raiders: The Ultimate Fan Film?

A new documentary gives us a behind the scenes look at one of the most famous fan films to be ever made, Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation.

In 1982, two young boys from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Chris Strompolos (11) and Eric Zala (12) decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark shot for shot, literally. Being of such your age they asked friends and neighbors to help build sets, act in the film and recreate the dangerous stunts.

The project lasted seven summers and in 1989 they had finally finished. The film was never publicly released but somehow in 2002, film director Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) managed to acquire a copy. He passed it onto Harry Knowles of the famous movie website, Aint It Cool News, to show at one of his Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festivals. Due to this, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation received a huge push in terms of publicity.

Chris and Eric even got to meet Steven Spielberg who later said,

“…to this day, still the greatest bit of flattery that George [Lucas] and I have ever received.”

A book was written detailing the story of the children making this film and how it affected their lives. The trailer for that book can be seen below.



In March of 2014, Chris and Eric started a Kickstarter fund for filming of the only scene they couldn’t achieve as children, the flying wing sequence. They successfully raised the money and now they could finally complete the film they started more than twenty five years ago.

Now a new documentary to be premiered at this years South by Southwest 2015 film festival in Austin, Texas entitled, “RAIDERS! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” will bring to the screen the story of two young boys recreating their favorite film and of two men trying to finish it.


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John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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