raiders of the lost ark

FILM REVIEW: “Raiders!” documents the making of a fan-film classic

Three Mississippi teens spent seven years making a shot-for-shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." This is their story.

Apologies to Voltaire, but if Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb didn’t exist, it would be necessary for film geeks to invent them.

These three adolescent maniacs spent seven of their Mississippi summer during the 1980s making a backyard, shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” That part of their story is relatively familiar by now to those who share some portion of their cinematic obsessiveness. “Raiders: The Adaptation” has had sporadic big-screen appearances in Portland and elsewhere, thanks to the legal graces of Steven Spielberg.

Now, adding another layer to this pop-culture cake, comes “Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made,” a documentary about the making of the adaptation. You might be tempted to think that this is too much of a good thing, that even this inspirational story of DIY filmmaking and naïve cinephilia isn’t worth a 90-minute expose. You’d be wrong.


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