Never Hike Alone (2017)

I dare say that not only is “Never Hike Alone” one of the best fan films ever made, but it’s easily the best “Friday the 13th” fan film ever made. A mixture of “127 Hours” and “Friday the 13th,” director and writer Vincente DiSanti provides a riveting small scale sequel to “Friday the 13th” where he offers up a brand new twist to the conventional tale featuring Jason Voorhees. It’s a shame we might never get an actual sequel to the series because with a small bit of polish, and twenty extra minutes of extrapolation on our main character, “Never Hike Alone” could pass in theaters as the sequel to the series that we’ve always wanted. I’d say it surely is the sequel that I’ve always wanted, as it focuses less on cannon fodder and T&A and spends a lot more time on build up and suspense.

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Hardware Wars (1978)

With only one movie under its belt in the series, and little resources, Ernie Fosselius’s “Hardware Wars” is a solid fan film for “Star Wars” and the first ever made. Fosselius doesn’t try to make a movie so much as a mock movie trailer that runs down the events of the first film with humorous results. It’s filled with literally nothing but satire about the original movie, even skirting copyrights by altering everything enough to avoid legal trouble.

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Star Wars: Hoshino (2016)

This is the story of Ko Hoshino, a skilled blind Jedi Master who learned the hard way that patience and wisdom can mean life or death when you’re training to battle the dark side. Stephen Vitale’s fan film “Hoshino” is a visually fantastic tale about the coming of age of a brilliant Jedi warrior, and writer Eric Carrasco delivers a tale that’s steeped in simplicity like classic “Star Wars.” Jedi master Ho Koshino is learning to build her own light saber and thinks back to her tragic origins. Continue reading

Outer Rim – (A Star Wars Fanfilm For The Rest of the Empire) (2017)

We don’t often think about every character standing outside of the big stories in major fantasy or science fiction, because we assume it’s just not interesting. Director Thomas R. Wood delivers a short but very unique tale of two working joes that are spending their days just doing their job. They are in the middle of the desert and unbeknownst to them there is a massive war taking place around them.

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The Bootleg Files: How Did You Happen to Get Snoopy, Charlie Brown?

BOOTLEG FILES 584: “How Did You Happen to Get Snoopy, Charlie Brown?” (2017 fan film based on the Charles M. Schulz characters).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The unauthorized use of copyright-protected characters.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

There has been so much talk about childhood bullying in recent years that it is difficult not to recognize the role that Charles M. Schulz played in encouraging this negative environment. Yes, the creator of the long-running and beloved “Peanuts” comic strip used the concept of casual bullying as a light comedy theme focused on the character Charlie Brown. But let’s face it, the idea of a young boy constantly being harassed and insulted for his alleged stupidity, lack of personality, lack of athletic ability and overall clumsiness is not exactly hilarious in principle – and the fact that Charlie Brown’s tormentors are never punished or are very rarely remorseful for their malice is equally problematic.

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Emilie Black’s Top 10 Favorite Short Films of 2016

So many, many short films are made each year, yet a lot of film fans overlook them, thus making themselves a disservice.  2016 saw a fantastically good crop of shorts from a variety of countries, showcasing the talents of filmmakers worth watching.  In 2016, I saw over 175 short films through film festivals, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.  Choosing a top 10 was tough this year and kept changing from day to day.  Out of those ever changing titles, here are the 10 Best short films, or my 10 favorites at the moment, and a bunch more worth checking out.

Special mentions (aka I wish it were a top 25):  Innsmouth, Postpartum, Stained, Injustice for All, Japanese Legends: Slit, Watchbear, The Puppet Man, Kaddish!, Little Boy Blue, Deathly, Overtime, Hoshino, The Tunnel, Bionic Girl, and Disco Inferno.

On to the Top 10…

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3 Great “Harry Potter” Fan Films to Prep for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

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Pictured: The OMEN Chronicles

With “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” coming to theaters this week, some will binge watch (or read) the Harry Potter series (which in film form is just under 20 hours without breaks) while others won’t have time.  That does not mean there’s nothing out there for those with less time to get hyped about going back into the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.

One quick search will give you hundreds of Harry Potter related videos and shorts that you can watch on You Tube.  Of course, the quality of these varies greatly from “I can’t believe this is fan made” to “I can’t believe they’re letting people watch this” which is why we went through a ton of them to bring you some of the best ones out there.

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It All Goes Away (2016)

itallgoesawayWe are in dire need of tales about Superman that are more thoughtful and awe inspiring. Superman can inspire hope and heroism and act as an avatar for humanity, and “It All Goes Away” proves it. Director Zachariah Smith adapts the short Superman story “Sam’s Tale.” Penned by comic book writer Jeph Loeb, the story was written him as a form of grieving for his son Sam who, very sadly, died of bone cancer in 2005, just as he was beginning to break out in the comic book world. Originally titled “Sam’s Story,” Loeb takes a very contemplative look at Clark Kent living in a world where death is an inevitability.

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