The official companion book to the hit feature-length documentary, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, in theaters and on video on demand June 27th 2016
In 1982, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Chris Strompolos, eleven, asked Eric Zala, twelve, a question: "Would you like to help me do a remake Raiders of the Lost Ark? I'm playing Indiana Jones."
And they did it. Every shot, every line of dialogue, every stunt.
They borrowed and collected costumes, convinced neighborhood kids to wear grass skirts and play natives, cast a fifteen-year-old as Indy's love interest, rounded up seven thousand snakes (sort of), built the Ark, the Idol, the huge boulder, found a desert in Mississippi, and melted the bad guys' faces off.
It took seven years.
Along the way, Chris had his first kiss (on camera), they nearly burned down the house and incinerated Eric, lived through parents getting divorced and remarried, and watched their friendship disintegrate.
Alan Eisenstock's Raiders! is the incredible true story of Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, how they realized their impossible dream of remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark, and how their friendship survived all challenges, from the building of a six-foot round fiberglass boulder to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Fans of all things Indiana Jones will enjoy this new book by journalist and author Eisenstock (In Stitches, with Dr. Anthony Youn), who details the story of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, a shot-by-shot remake of the Steven Spielberg classic that was started in 1982, the year after Raiders release, by three 12-year-old friends Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb in the backyards and basements of their Ocean Springs, Miss., homes. Eisenstock details the daily process, which resulted after seven years and only $5,000 in a 100-minute film that successfully turned suburban Mississippi woods into Amazonian rainforests, Boy Scout uniforms into Nazi costumes, and fiberglass into the famous giant boulder that chases Jones at the beginning of Spielberg s film. Eisenstock relies heavily on the recollections of Strompolos and Zala, recreating long dialogues that are often too detailed but just as often quite funny. Eisenstock also details how the trio s friendship bitterly crumbles over time. But he also provides a sympathetic look at the film s triumphant rediscovery in 1992 by director Eli Roth and Harry Knowles, who proceeds to screen it to enthusiastic audiences at cult film festivals, leading to the trio finally meeting Spielberg and to the future possibility of making a movie based on their youthful venture.