Raiders: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015) SXSW Film Review

We have all dreamed of being in the movies, or at least I have. Maybe it’s storming the beaches at Normandy, or drawing your light sabre and taking on a Dark Lord of the Sith, maybe it would be taking a punch from Bruce Lee, for most kids (of all ages) wanting to be in these situations is enough, but that’s not enough for everyone. Some people have to go that extra mile, in the case of the kids from Raiders:The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, they went beyond even that.


This film is a film about a film about a film, but more than that it’s about growing up and the realities we face or how we can use a fantasy to escape a pretty tough reality. Escapism is something we all do to cope. In the case of this film it’s to cope with living close to the wage line, living with an abusive parent or just being a little weird. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc is one of the all-time greats, Indie is just too cool especially with the hat, the whip and Harrison Ford, it’s a knock out combo. We can’t blame these kids for doing what they did. To sum up what they did a group of pre-teens began filming a shot for shot version of Raiders of the Lost Arc, they did this every summer for about 6-7 years. The film was finished expect for one scene, the cast and crew reunite in 2014 and to film final shot which is the battle on the landing strip. What the guys never knew was that a VHS version of their tape had become sort of an underground cult sensation, with people including Director Eli Roth becoming instant fans. Watching this movie with its awful quality is surprisingly moving, but I can see why, you really are waiting to see will they get the next shot and how it will turn out, for anyone who likes rooting for the under dog this is the flick for you.


It’s a pretty powerful tale. These kids did so much with nothing; their dedication to this was amazing. From setting themselves on fire, rolling under a moving truck and giving up all their free time for several years, it shows what you can do with just determination and ingenuity, it’s incredibly impressive.

In the end the guys got what they needed to finish their final shot, they got the equipment to build and blow up a Nazi Airplane, of course none of it goes to plan, but it’s an amazing watch. There are many life lessons that can be taught by this picture and some good laughs, it’s a film that really surprised me so give it a watch and you won’t be disappointed. I wont tell you how it turns out but I will say this I found the ending very satisfying.

SXSW Film Screening Schedule:

The World Premiere screening of Raiders!  was held on Saturday, March 14 in the Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar, as part of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.

Director: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen

Executive Producer: Kyle Newman

Producer: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen

Cinematographer: Tim Irwin

Editor: Barry Poltermann

Additional Credits: Cinematographer: Ed Stephenson

Principal Cast: Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, Jayson Lamb, Angela Rodriguez, Guy James Klender, Eli Roth, Harry Knowles, John Rhys Davies, Mark Spain, Francisco Gonzales

For more on Raiders!

Official Site:


The 2015 SXSW Film Festival took place from March 13 to March 21 in Austin, Texas.


Categories: Reviews

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