For most people Raiders of the Lost Ark is still the best of the Indiana Jones films, and I think it’s safe to say that this is the case for Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, who devoted most of their summer holidays as teenagers in the 1980’s to making their own version of this classic film.
I know what you’re thinking. A couple of teenagers remaking a big budget Hollywood film set in a number of far flung locations – it can only be completely rubbish right? Well, I thought the same, but after seeing the first ten minutes or so, where Indy grabs the idol from the cave and is chased by the giant boulder, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it can’t hope to live up to the same standards as it’s inspiration, but the boys sure gave it a good shot.
I’m surprised I haven’t heard about this before, since the adaptation is pretty much scene for scene complete, only missing a few bits which the lads were just plainly unable to shoot, and comes in at around 1 hour 40 minutes in length, about 15 minutes less than the original. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation was even given a cinema release in 2003, although admittedly only in a single cinema in Texas.
Many thanks then to the Big Stupid Idiot blog for bringing this to my attention, and for an in depth look at the making of this frankly astounding piece of amateur film making, there’s an article on the Vanity Fair website. Check out those first few minutes of the film below as well. I urge you to stick with it until the fun stuff where Indy steals the idol from the cave.