Like Star Wars and Back To The Future, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of those timeless movies you can lazily watch again and again. Hungover on the couch on a Sunday afternoon? Throw on TNT or USA there’s a good chance it will be on for your hungover ass to soak up while drinking blue Gatorades.
Inspired by the Indiana Jones trilogy, Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos — two childhood best friends from Mississippi — famously made a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the ’80s. The project, which started in 1982, took almost seven years, from beginning to the end, the nerve-wracking scene at the end. When they started, they were 12. They ended the project when they were 19.
The fan film earned attention from Steven Spielberg about 15 years ago and was featured in a huge Vanity Fair piece called “Raiders of the Lost Backyard” in 2004. Many other places have written about it over the years. It’s known as “the greatest fan film ever made” and various clips from it exist from around the Internet. Like this one:
And this one, which apparently some fun-hating lawyer at a movie studio hates and filed an audio copyright claim against (probably because they used the famous John Williams soundtrack… because WHAT THE HELL ELSE WOULD YOU USE FOR AN INDIANA JONES VIDEO?):
There is only one scene missing from their shot-for-shot remake of a two-hour movie: The Nazi fight plane scene, because getting your hands on a prop plane when you’re a cash-strapped teenager isn’t easy. Last year they launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to make this missing piece of the puzzle finally happen, decades later. VICE followed along for their newly-launched American Obsession series, shooting this documentary: