Raiders: The Adaptation Review by crocoPuffs

By crocoPuffs

I feel lucky today, punks. (I know, that line has nothing to do with Indiana Jones.) Today I saw a film I've been wanting to see for over two years, from when I read this article. It's a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, created by three teenage kids in the 1980s over a span of 6 years. Basically, it's the coolest f***ing home video ever made. And you may never have an opportunity to see it. (How did I see it? I work for a company that got its hands on a copy. Oh, and the three kids, all grown up now, were there to screen it for us and field a Q&A session.)

Anyone who spent a summer obsessing over some pop culture item of some sort can relate to the passion these boys poured into the making of their movie. For me, I spent a month in the summer of 1987 building an "authentic" Freddy Kreuger glove. It only took a week to actually make it, but it was 3 weeks of trial and error to get things right. When those guys tell a similar story of taking years to complete their 6 foot boulder, but only a week to actually create the final one, I know exactly what they're talking about. But all I have is a dumb glove that I can break out on Halloween once every 5 years or so. Those guys have a feature length film. Their dedication is impressive.

Because it was filmed over 6 years, the actors aged during the process, sometimes to great effect. My favorite bit is a fortuitously edited sequence in which Indiana Jones ages about five years after the girl with the "I love you" eyes blinks at him. Unintentionally hilarious. The film is chock full of moments like that, and the amazing thing is, these guys nailed the film. The dialogue, the action, the humour, all the things that make Indy Indy are here.

What are these guys doing now? This is the cool part, they're using their film as an inspirational and educational tool for youngsters interested in filmmaking. It's the type of thing kids can watch and think, "hey, I can do that! If those guys did it, I can do it too!" "It" being whatever it is you think you can't accomplish because you're just a kid with no money. Their story is of the type which made Clerks and Kevin Smith so popular. His $27,000 credit card binge to get his movie made is legendary. The main differences being Smith was older and he worked from his own material. I like to think Kevin Smith has seen Raiders of the Lost Ark - The Adaptation and loves it to death.