Tired of the way filmmakers seem to have run out of ideas over the last decade? It feels like we’ve seen more remakes, prequels and sequels than ever before, as cult-classics like Total Recall have their names dragged through the dirt so that Hollywood can make a quick buck.
My two favourite remakes never saw a cinematic release, nor are they available on Netflix for rent. Sci-fi fans rejoice, George Lucas’ definitive Star Wars Episode IV and Paul Verhoeven’s iconic sci-fi RoboCop have both been remade lovingly by the Internet.
And you can watch them both, online, for free!
The Star Wars Uncut project is a good few years old now, with the idea initially taking off in 2009 when filmmaker Casey Pugh asked the Internet to remake Episode IV. The idea was to cut the film into 15-second chunks, delegate these scenes out to various filmmakers and using the powers of crowdsourcing assembling it all into one continuous film.
Continuity would be a problem were this not Star Wars – you really won’t get much out of this unless you’ve seen the original (or at least know what it’s about). The finished product, Star Wars Uncut: The Director’s Cut, has been featured in documentaries, recognised with a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement and according to combined Vimeo and YouTube statistics, has been viewed more than 4.5 million times.
You can check the website at starwarsuncut.com and watch the full film, above. Expect the fan remake to be suitable for the same age groups as the original film.Enthused by their success, the team have now undertaken a new project: The Empire Strikes Back. All scenes have been claimed at this stage, which means production is already underway. There’s a teaser, below, and it’s amazing
And now for something completely different. While Star Wars is a family friendly-affair, RoboCop was always an ultraviolent window into the harsh world of OCP, and a Detroit ravaged by a future that just doesn’t care. It’s grungy 80s sci-fi at its best, but it’s not for children.
Thankfully, the fan-made remake is no different. Just like the Star Wars Uncut project, Our RoboCop Remake is a crowdsourced jumble of varying quality, but the sense of humour and integrity remains high at all points. Unlike Star Wars Uncut, this isn’t a shot-for-shot remake, but a scene-for-scene one. This gave the 50 or so professional and amateur filmmakers involved in the project a little artistic license, and that’s what makes the film so good.
A few stand-out scenes involve some serious time, money and special effects to produce something worthy of (and at times, surpassing) the original. This might have more to do with the project’s blatant disdain for Holywood’s decision to remake the classic, declaring that “if anyone is going to ruin RoboCop, it’s us”.
The best part is they didn’t ruin it at all. It’s unsure whether the team will do it all over again to another film, I guess we’ll just have to see where the Hollywood remake machine takes us next. Check out OurRobocopRemake.com for more, and watch the whole film (blood, guts and adult-themes aplenty) above.
Fan remakes generally aren’t terrible – just take a look at these LEGO brickfilms. What would you like to see remade by the Internet next? Maybe you actually know about another terrific fan-made remake I’ve missed out on. Don’t keep it to yourself, share it with the rest of us in the comments below.