Wish Fufillment: Remakes by Fans

Posted in The Screening Room by - November 19, 2015

There’s a weird trend amongst people who want to be filmmakers; when they are children, we aspire to do our own versions of our favorite films. Perhaps this is the result of playing with action figures, especially with so many movies made by kids essentially being sort of animated movies with hands waving action figures about while the director gives them a voice from off-screen. As we get older we may attempt to still do the same, only that instead of action figures, we end up acting in them ourselves or with out friends. The internet has brought forward a lot of these fanfilms that often are remakes of their own favorite films. Here are some that I personally find interesting or that have caught the attention of even their own creators:


Flirting with Disaster and The King of Comedy

Back in 2005, when I was about sixteen years old, I watched David O. Russell’s comedy Flirting with Disaster and as I had just become a fan of the film, I wanted people to look at the trailer. Of course, back then, YouTube was barely getting its legs on the world wide web, so it wasn’t easy to find the trailer for the O. Russell movie, but what I did find was a trailer for the movie that had been put on by teenagers.


Flirting with Disaster REMAKE Teaser Trailer by DougKeara

The director’s website reveals that indeed, he did go out of his way to remake the whole film, along with Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, having only watched the trailers, it’s difficult to judge the quality of these remakes, but given that Flirting with Disaster is a rather risqué sex comedy, it does beg the question if there were any angry or uncomfortable parents.


Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation

In 1982, a group of twelve-year-olds from Mississippi began their adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark with only a five-thousand dollar budget. Since the movie was not available on VHS or any other home media at the time, they had to collect magazine articles and a recording of the movie’s audio to know exactly how they’d remake it. Seven years later, the movie was completed and premiered at the auditorium of a Coca-Cola plant.

Thirteen years later, Eli Roth had obtained a copy of the remake, and gave it to Harry Knowles, hoping he could screen it in 2002’s Butt-Numb-a-Thon. The planned print for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers arrived late and Knowles decided to show the film to great applause from the Austin audience, leading Roth to track down Chris Stompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, the cast and crew of the remake. Once they were in Los Angeles promoting the movie, Steven Spielberg took the opportunity to praise them for their inspiring achievement. In 2014, they got together again and did a Kickstarter campaign to fund a scene that had been cut as it was too dangerous for them to perform at the time.


Scarface

A fan remake of a remake of a Howard Hawks movie, this short viral video made its way into the internet with much controversy due to its mixture of children and one of the most violent crime films ever made. This remake only features the movie’s climax, but depending on your sense of humor, it can be hilarious or outright appalling. Its creator, Marc Klasfeld said he made it with the intention of not only getting a laugh, but also commenting on the pervasiveness of violence in the media.


Jurassic Park

With the release of Jurassic World this year, this little fan film acquired traction online. Personally, what I love about this video is how reflective it is of kids’ versions of movies; the abridged running time, the mixture of lines, the adaptation to whatever toys were available. It’s a cute and funny watch, and worthy of childhood nostalgia.


Star Wars

Fans from all over the world contributed to this crowdsourced fan film, with the whole film recreated in different styles and ways, depending on each scene. The result is funny, bizarre and always entertaining. Thankfully, they’ve also made The Empire Strikes Back with similar fun results. Although there are no news of them doing Return of the Jedi, here’s hoping that they do it soon. With a new sequel trilogy and more films around the corner, there’s no better time for it. As a bonus, here’s a Robocop remake that was done in similar fashion:

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