It never fails. You stand in line with antisocial strangers, suffer through countless previews, and struggle to have at least one hand full of popcorn left when the opening credits roll. What is your reward for all this effort? A bastardized one-dimensional caricature of a story with little to no plot development. It’s enough to make you complain on the internet!
As productive as yelling at strangers on Twitter can be, there are better uses of your time. These fans took their outrage and focused it into a drive to make something, to fix what Hollywood had broken, and to save all mankind from the scourge of poorly written dialogue. They created low budget fan films that put their big budget counterparts to shame. These are the best fan films on the internet, and you can feel the love in every frame.
1. Batman Versus The Terminator
How can you improve upon the monumental disappointment that was Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? Set it in a post-apocalyptic future and pit Batman against a man made of literal steel! This animated fan film, cleverly titled Batman Versus The Terminator, has all the fun of Batman in a mech suit being an old grizzled badass, with the added bonus of metal manhunters being crushed under the treads of his giant bat tank!
2. Spawn: The Recall
There are few who remember the 1997 adaptation of Spawn, and those of us who do wish we could have those memories permanently wiped. The fan film Spawn: The Recall renews the adolescent excitement of that late ‘90s summer. In a time when Man of Steel can be dark and brooding, and Deadpool can kill it with an R rating, why can’t we have the Spawn film we all wanted in the first place?
3. Dirty Laundry
The 2004 adaptation of The Punisher is the closest we have gotten to a really good film about the beloved homicidal antihero. Sadly, the critical backlash and less than stellar box office sales pretty much ensured we would never see a sequel. In 2012, Adi Shankar and Phil Joanou decided that if Hollywood wouldn't make a sequel, they would do it themselves. They produced and directed this short fan film Dirty Laundry with the intention of turning it into a feature-length sequel. They even recruited Thomas Jane to reprise his titular role!. Sadly, Marvel put the brakes on their project, and we are left with just10 minutes of awesomeness to remind us of what might have been.
4. Red Queen
If there was one thing that could have saved DC’s critical flop Suicide Squad, it would have been more Harley Quinn. Well, maybe not more Harley Quinn, but better Harley Quinn. A bit more abstract than the rest of the films on this list, the fan film Red Queen delivers a disturbed and complex look into the mind of everyone's favorite psychotic girly girl.
5. Ghostbusters III: The Video Game Movie
Despite the valiant efforts of four very talented women, the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot was a disaster. While reboots are usually disappointments, we did get a true Ghostbusters sequel back in 2009, we just didn’t know it. Ghostbusters The Video Game was an original story, written by Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd, and starring the entire original cast. One observant fanboy saw this and knew what must be done. He put together a master cut consisting of every cutscene, and a few relevant in-game sequences, to give us Ghostbusters III: The Video Game Movie.
6. Zordon Of Eltar
No matter how good the Power Rangers reboot might be there is no way it could ever live up to the hype that has been created. So when you inevitably leave the theater confused, disappointed, and a bit bloated from overpriced popcorn, head home and pull up this little gem. The fan film Zordon of Eltar is a prequel to the original television show. It chronicles the life of Zordon before he became a disembodied face, mentoring a group of multicultural teenagers in matching outfits.
7. Wolverine (Fan Film)
In 2009, Twentieth Century Fox decided it would be a good idea to make a movie about Wolverine’s origin story. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was catastrophically bad and inspired a generation of fans to want to make something better. The folks at SOKRISPYMEDIA met this challenge and then some. The short Wolverine (Fan Film) delivers the angsty X-Man fighting a spec ops team in a lumber yard. There is no backstory, no context, and nothing to distract from the clawed Canucklehead tearing the bad guys to shreds.
8. Darth Maul: Apprentice
The steaming pile of prequel that was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace had but one redeeming quality and his name was Darth Maul. The enigmatic Sith lord graced the silver screen for just a single fight scene before being cleft in twain and tumbling down a bottomless hole. The fan film Darth Maul: Apprentice fixes that error by giving us 18 minutes of uninterrupted force-flinging, lightsaber-swinging action. So go ahead and pretend those pesky prequels never happened, this fan-made masterpiece is all you need.
9. Star Trek Continues
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboots have given us high-tech CGI, time travel plot holes, and a lens flare for every occasion. There is nothing inherently wrong with a modern update, but for fans who still long for the simpler times of cardboard buildings and styrofoam rocks, there is another way. Star Trek Continues is a web series that follows Kirk, Spock and the rest of the original crew of the USS Enterprise beyond their original five-year mission (that only lasted three seasons) with all the charm and grace of the original series.
10. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man
How many reboots does one web-slinging superhero need? Sony hasn’t decided yet, but it’s definitely more than two. With all this recasting, resetting, and rehashing, why shouldn’t the fans get in on the action? Marvel Knights: Spider-Man is a full-length fan film that includes all the witty banter and bad guy buffoonery that we expect from our friendly neighborhood wall crawler.
Do you remember when someone thought it would be cool to hire a British guy and a Colombian kid to play two Italian plumbers in another dimension? The monumental folly that was Super Mario Bros. can never truly be forgiven, but thankfully the story doesn’t stop there. Though it’s only a trailer for a nonexistent fan film, Mario gives us a glimpse at what a serious emotional drama based on an eight-bit video game from the 1980s might look like.
12. Mario Warfare
I know we already have one fan film version of the red and green plumber brothers and their pink princess, but Hollywood’s Super Mario Bros. was so bad it deserves more than one shot at redemption. Mario Warfare is a web series that takes the source material and runs with it in a completely different direction. Follow your favorite characters in an exciting action thriller complete with machine guns, polka dot fedoras, and really fake mustaches.
Disappointment is an awful feeling. These inspiring fans turned filmmakers have proven that you can transform disappointment into something wonderful. With a script, a camera, and some basic editing software you too can put right the wrongs inflicted by Hollywood’s careless corporate bureaucracy. So go forth, create, and maybe you’ll be on my next list.
Want to see another film remade into a different movie? Check out the video below to see a very different recut of Star Wars: Rogue One:
What is your favorite fan-made masterpiece?