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Nordling here.

I'm dying to get my hands on this book.  I was at that fateful Butt-Numb-A-Thon in 2002 when Eli Roth brought this innocuous videotape to play between movies, and the ingenuity and heart on display so won over that crowd that some of us wanted to watch that instead of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS.  I've seen people dismiss this as just a fan film, but it's more than that.  These kids showed real courage, joy, and yes, talent, in getting this made.  They didn't make it just so they could throw it on YouTube like so many other fan movies - they made it out of a pure love of cinema, and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in particular, and those magical years changed their lives.

I have yet to see the entire movie - I'm dying to know how they stick the landing - but I think this is more than just copying a great movie; it speaks to a passion that should always be applauded.  Here's the trailer to Alan Eisenstock's book.  Just look at the little moments of the RAIDERS fan film in this trailer.  This was made out of love, even when times got hard; puberty hit (and changed faces and voices forever) and the movie was made for very little money.  I'm glad to have been witness to this very strange but heartfelt true story.  This is SUPER 8 for real (without the alien):

RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE! comes out November 13th at bookstores everywhere.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 24, 2012, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Wow, these kids were crazy

    by DickButtkiss

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Looks interesting

    by Waltuo

    Been hearing about this film, need to see the documentary. What we're capable of even on non-existent budget and resources given the right kind of determination truly is amazing.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Tha gasoline bit was CRAZY

    by Ricardo

    These kids had vision, had focus, had talent... but they were out of their fucking MINDS!

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by NzYme

    Holy shit they were throwing gasoline around like it was water! Freaking nuts!

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST

    an unappreciated and lost era

    by omega_786

    Back in those days film was a privilege. It was something that was discovered and was elevated to pure escapism if you believed in the film. There wasn’t the multi screen cinemas of today, constant barrage of advertisements across TV, radio, billboard, internet (did this event exist back then?) It was just pure film. A process of invested emotion to promote the end users emotion. It was like a high to source out the film on VHS at your local video store, book it in advance and repeat watch it before you gave it back. You would try and source a pirate copy not because you wouldn’t to pay for a copy, but because you wanted to ingest that emotion as quickly as possible and then purchase/rent the film upon general release. It was a sense of love for film that is lost. Today, film is product. A process of analysis to promote end users maximum financial spend. As a result the end user sees film as a one dimensional consumable and not as a source of emotional, spiritual and educational nourishment. I feel sad that we have lost that approach to film in this age. Like my daughter said to me the other day…’why are you watching that again for?’

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by Eric Zala

    ... from Amazon:

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Glad I saw the ending years later.

    by John Maddening

    I was in the BNAT screening when the film ended right as Indy said "What truck?!?" When it showed up in Minneapolis four years later (because the girl who played Marion now lives up here), the wife and I were super excited. It was just as fantastic as when I saw it after being awake for 26 hours.

  • Salivating over the fact that three fucking wankers made a ripoff of a popular movie and somehow managed to sell their story of doing it. That’s when I realized that AICN wasn’t really about reporting “cool news” and was really seen by Knowles and his flunkies as their IN to Hollywood. This was at the time when the studios were still trying to get a handle on what the Internet meant to them and was shortly before they realized that fanboys like Knowles have no real power on public opinion apart from a small group of people who visit this site. It was at this moment that they understood that they still had the power and could easily manipulate websites like AICN and CHUD for favorable reviews and promotion in exchange for freebies, screening, interviews, set visits and pweasants. I remember getting into flamewars with delusional fucking morons who were screaming that “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY!!!”. No it wasn’t. A bunch of guys with WAAAAAY to much time on their hands (and I say that fully knowing the irony of how much time I’ve wasted posted on AICN over the years but then I do it mostly at work or at home when I’m bored) who decided to COPY , because that’s what they did, a popular movie and their project had no more artistic merit than Edward Penishands. But the fanboys continued to shriek as I pointed out that the time spent on COPYING someone else’s movie could have been better spent making something ORIGINAL. But the fanboys didn’t care about ORIGINALITY so much as “OMFG, YOU MEAN I CAN RIP OFF A MOVIE AND HAVE SOME SUCKER PAY FOR MY LIFE STORY!?!” not to mention the never ending attempt to mythologize what these guys did which was outright PLAGERISM! And that’s the heart of the matter because for all the incessant bitching about remakes, sequels, spin-offs etc… (in most cases, rightfully so) what most of the fucking cocksuckers who post here and run sites like AICN and CHUD, who dream of working in the movie industry, really want is to simply get rich. Hey, nothing wrong with that but would you rather be a failure at least knowing you did something original or forever be known as someone who got rich by ripping off someone else’s work? Each of you has to answer that question for yourself but your decision reveals the true worth of your character or lack thereof.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST



    Couldn't have said it better myself. It was the kind of thing that would drive kids to make stuff like this.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    It says everything...

    by filmcoyote

    that here were two clearly talented kids with drive and an incredible passion for film and the incredible commitment to put 7 years of their lives into making a movie and finishing it, even after they had fallen out with each other, and all that extraordinary energy went into... copying an existing film. They should go far in Hollywood with that level of creativity!

  • This is my favorite story that I've heard in my life to date. I just love that these kids had such a strong commitment and bond that they stuck with this for years and years through all the other stuff that was going on in their life, they came back to it over and over. I really hope this book captures everything about this story and is well written.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Remake Crystal Skull next!!

    by DarthBlart

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    My friends and I did this with Top Gun....

    by Mel Garga

    but upon watching the final product realized how sensationally homoerotic it was that we dared not show anyone.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Cant believe we didnt get a teaser for this trailer

    by Logan_1973



  • Oct. 24, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Is the Raiders! fan film available to watch anywhere in its entirety?

    by gruntybear

    Again, I'd love to see the film, but don't happen to live in Austin or L.A. Can it be purchased on DVD/blu?

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by DrunkyMcLush

    Hey, Grunty. Because the film is considered copyrighted material, Eric and Chris cannot sell it, but they do travel quite a bit to show it all over the world. I'm going to talk to the guys to see if they'll set up a Twitter account so that fans can be updated as to where and when it's playing.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Got my hands on an advanced copy

    by DrunkyMcLush

    and the book is fucking fantastic. And yes, it does get very dark, but it is overall a very uplifting book.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 11:51 a.m. CST

    I was there in 2002 at BNAT and also have a copy of the Adaptation...

    by RockHardTobascoSlimJim

    After seeing most of this at BNAT, I was surprised to see a copy pop up in a newsgroup a couple of years later. I have it on a disc in a box somewhere. Didn't realize it was that rare. Honestly I've never actually sat down and watched it.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by Bobo_Vision

    I'll pay you $5000 to make thousands of digital copies of that disc for a 51% equity share and I'll give you 5% royalty from the total profits. We'll form a website and take this film global and make a bundle. Deal? My people will get a hold of you.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by Darth Macchio

    as the great Daffy Duck has often been heard to say... Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich!!!

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by dwer

    I went to college with Chris. Glad to see he made the big time.

  • The rules said you could do a painting, sculpture, a movie... whatever you wanted to show your love and excitement for the upcoming and "last" Star Wars movie. As a kid, my brother always made 8MM and Super 8 movies as far back as the early 1970's so choosing to make a movie made perfect sense. In the summer of 1983 I was 12, he was around 18. Us, along with a group of friends made an epic 40 minute long super 8 movie called "JEDI GUY". It was part fan-fiction, part spoof, part remake, but it was an all original story with the main characters of Star Wars played by a bunch of kids 12-18. In fact, it was so ambitious (for a bunch of kids in the suburbs) that we missed the entry deadline for the contest! But we kept going and finished it anyway. The part with the gasoline in this RAIDERS movie reminds me of how we made our own explosions on-set... with GUN POWDER! Looking back as an adult I am surprised that we didn't kill ourselves or, at least, catch our house on fire. But that was the way things were back in the early 1980's. No bike helmets, and piles of gun powder to create explosions. Ya know, fun stuff! Filming began before Return of the Jedi came out, but finished after it was released. It is an amazing look into the minds of kids and the excitement of the final entry into the Star Wars saga. Made before home computers, home digital effects and before you could go to the store and just buy a realistic Darth Vader costume. My brother still has the movie and I hope one day to get it "out there" for everyone to see.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    @emperor_was_a_jerk, you should post it up!

    by Lakewater

    I raise a glass to everyone (from the time before the internet) who almost blew their arms off trying to achieve that perfect scene from homebrew movies.*

  • So we can assume that every fan movie, hell, every indie no-budget film put up on Youtube by aspiring or amateur filmmakers are not done out of love for cinema? Or out of the desire just to create something? Second question. Are we going to believe some silly notion that these kids who produced this homemade Raiders remake, wouldn't have put it online for other Indy fans to see if they had Youtube back in the day? I think it is great what these guys did with their teenage years, making this film out of love for the great film that is Raiders. But to slag off all fan films or pretty much anyone who shares their film online as being a bunch of good-for-nothings that must only be making their film for the attention, is shortsighted and just plain wrong. And before anyone says I'm blowing this out of proportion, learn to read between the lines of what Nordling said, and the extra little jab about basically saying *fuck The Two Towers, let's watch this Raiders fan film instead!* I say why not watch both! Also, the Eli Roth statement in the video of *this Raiders movie will reaffirm your faith in filmmaking* says it all. Sorry Eli, but if you lose your faith in the cinema that easily, maybe you should step aside and let someone else have a chance at putting their work on the big screen. Fuck it. I think I am done with this site.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by yesiamaplant

    That is a perfect example of looking for something to complain about. What a sandy vagina.

  • Oct. 24, 2012, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Available on torrents

    by john

  • How disappointed I was to find that it was just a warmed-over "Gooniefield."

  • Oct. 25, 2012, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Oh cinema I love you! Jizz jizz jizz! Argoooooo!

    by Fries Against