Raiders of the lost ark documentary

In 1981, when Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark was released, everyone was changed by the world of Indiana Jones. However, few changed as much as Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala. The then teenagers decided they wanted to remake the film, shot by shot and did so over the course of the next seven years. It’s a story that’s very well known on the Internet because the Internet pretty much brought it to the masses. The end game of that story is a new documentary called Raiders!, directed by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, which not only documents the process and struggles behind the original version of the remake, but incorporates new footage as Strompolos and Zala come back decades later to complete the one scene they were never able to do: the airplane fight scene.

Raiders! had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend and you can continue to read our Raiders of the Lost Ark documentary review below. Read More »


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It’s one of the better stories in film fandom: two kids, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, with cinematographer Jayson Lamb, were such huge fans of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark that they remade the film, shot for shot. It took seven years, but eventually Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation was complete enough for people to watch, and years later even got the attention of Spielberg himself. The creators are not kids any longer, actually; the guys weren’t even teens when they started to shoot the Raiders remake, and the project got going in 1982.

But while many people have seen The Adaptation, the creators never really considered it as 100% finished as they were never able to shoot the airplane scene. You know the one, with the giant propellor, and the bald Nazi mechanic, and all that blood.

Now, as a documentary about The Adaptation and a dramatic film about its creation both get into gear, the original three creators are trying to raise money to shoot that one final scene. Read More »

Raiders Adaptation Book

Though you may not know their names, odds are you’ve heard the story of Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala. They’re the two long-time friends who, at the age of 11, set out to make a shot by shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And they did! It took them seven years, but their homemade version of Steven Spielberg‘s 1981 masterpiece has since become a cult classic, screening at small festivals and repertory houses before being documented in the book Raiders by Alan Eisenstock. Now, in a beautiful twist of fate, Hollywood has bought the rights to that book and plan to make Strompolos and Zala’s filmmaking adventure into an adventure film of its own.

Jeremy Coon, who produced Napoleon Dynamite, has just optioned the rights to Eisenstock’s book. He plans to first direct a documentary about the story, then turn that into a narrative feature. Strompolos and Zala are attached as producers and their life rights are part of the deal.  Read More »

Here’s a trailer for a book spawned by a fan film spawned by the greatest adventure film ever made. The adventure film is Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark and the fan film is Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, the most famous fan film ever made, a shot by shot, low budget remake of Indiana Jones’ first adventure. Now, author Alan Eisenstock has written a detailed book on the making of the fan film called Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made and a trailer has been released teasing the book, which is out November 13. Check it out below. Read More »


Before Be Kind Rewind, before Son of Rambow, there was… three kids remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark, just for the heck of it. It took them seven summers and they grew up during the long shoot, but they saw the job through and, personally, I prefer their film to the original (though, before you jump down my throat, I can see that the original is superior in most respects).

Some fourteen or so years after it was completed, the ‘project’ received a rocket of publicity when Harry Knowles screened a VHS copy at his Butt-Numb-A-Thon festival. There have been other screenings, with proceeds typically given to charity I believe, but the film has never received a wide release. Until now…

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