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Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2012

Format: Book
By:   Alan Eisenstock and Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos
Genre:   Movies / biography
Review Date:   November 21, 2012
RevSF Rating:   9/10 (What Is This?)

Raiders tells everyone that they don't love their favorite movie enough. The kids in this book filmed a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark starting when they were 12.

The story happened in the early 1980s, around the same time I was these guys' age. Their efforts point to the purest, unfiltered nerdiness. The book tracks the kids as they struggle to talk to girls, deal with school, get jobs, have spats, and lose touch, all the time with the movie as their connection.

The story lovingly, honestly depicts the nerdiness of my era, before the Interwebs, when our social network was our fellow dorks at school. I'm jealous of today's tech. If we had tiny video cameras when I was 12, I would have filmed episodes of Manimal with myself as the panther. In 2012, kids filming their own movies is so easy. They should be required to do it.

These guys built a boulder. They had to find a Marion actress to kiss the kid who played Indy, who was 12. One kid had to be cut out of a plaster mask. All that is in the book.

Any biography worth its weight doesn't skimp on personal details, usually to over-dramatic extremes. The sucky parts of their childhoods don't overtake the book. I say that not to diminish their problems, but to note that a bad biographer would dwell on that instead of the fun parts. But the fun parts get the focus here. Most of the book is the guys' detailed memories of filming their movie.

This story speaks to the inner and outer nerd, with an unironic look at guys who took their geekiness to a wonderful extreme.

Ten Minutes of the Movie

See ten minutes of the movie at the Raiders official site. (You can buy the book there, too.)

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