Top 10 Fan Films

NinaBergman as Wonder Woman in the Wonder Woman fan frill from Hardcoded

Nina Bergman as Wonder Woman in the Wonder Woman fan-frill Hardcoded

We live in a glorious age where studio quality technology has found its way into the hands of the general public. This technology mixed with a teeming geek culture, both in and out of the industry, has generated some truly wonderful visual art. However, one of the coolest aspects of synthesis of technology and common culture is the fan film. Fan films have been around for a while, but they have grown more prevalent over the past ¬†decade with the advent of sites like VIMEO and YouTube. As I was watching the glorious Marvel Zombies VS. The Army of Darkness fan film* last week, I was reminded of some of my own favorite fan films. I wanted to share some of these with you, so I’ve curated a list of my top 10 best fan films currently online.

1) Grayson:

While fans wait to see Superman and Batman meet for the first time on the big screen, many of us have already seen the pantheon of live-action DC heroes meet in the seminal fan trailer GRAYSON. This trailer teases a movie that will sadly never be, as a retired Dick Grayson goes in search of his mentor’s killer, a mystery that could stretch all the way to the top.


2) Mario:

This bumper of SXSW 2011 offers up a hipster take on “The Super Mario Brothers” that includes a bad break-up and eating magic mushrooms in this post-modern wink for Nintendo fans of the past.


3) The Han Solo Adventures:

This animated fan film follows everyone’s favorite smuggler, as we finally get to see what happened to make Jabba the Hut so upset. Why did Solo dump the cargo, and what was he carrying for Jabba in the first place?


4) Tomorrow’s Memoir:

This fan film offers perhaps the most serious take on Superman ever put to film. We see a good mix of Kingdom Come and the classic George Reeves series, as a long retired Clark Kent is discovered by a young man with his own superhero family roots.


5) Wonder Woman (Double Feature):

I had to include both of these fantastic Wonder Woman fan films, because they are both brilliant for different reasons. The first one, from the folks at Hardcoded, offers a gritty WWII setup that I really like, getting back to Princess Diana’s 1940s roots. The second fan film by Rainfall Films offers modern epic action on a level we don’t often see in a fan film. Wait, why don’t we have Wonder Woman feature film yet?


6) Judge Minty:

If you’re like me, then you might be one of the few who saw Dredd in the theaters and loved every second of it. If that film wasn’t enough futuristic, post apocalyptic carnage for you, then look no further than Judge Minty. This fan film follows the aging Judge, as he’s cast out from Mega City One to bring law to the lawless in the barren wasteland of the “Cursed Earth”.


7) Saturday Morning Watchmen:

The fevered brain of animator Harry Partridge has given us a cartoon promo for a Watchman Saturday Morning cartoon reminiscent of the stuff we used to see in the 80s. Jam-packed with inside jokes from the graphic novel, this short parody fan film is hilarious to those of us who know the tragic double meanings.


8) Zelda: The Lost Oracle:

This fan film gives us a glimpse at what could have been if the missing installment of what was to be “The Oracle Trilogy” had been created. It’s short, fun and fills in the “missing” Link.


9) Fallout: Nuka Break:

This comedic fan film was so well received, it spawned a series on MACHINIMA. When three “friends” cruise the barren wasteland in search of a Nuka Cola, they run afoul of some bounty hunters looking for trouble. Fans of Fallout should find a lot to love in the hilarious short.


10) The Punisher: Dirty Laundry:

It’s no secret that fans of The Punisher prefer the Thomas Jane iteration to any of the incarnations before or since, which is why it was such a treat to see Jane star as Frank Castle in the unofficial fan film Dirty Laundry. The film is brutal, to the point and is reminiscent of a Garth Ennis one shot. It also includes the wonderful Ron Perlman!

So, what are some of your favorite fan films? Let us know in the comments.

*Unfortunately this short has been taken down! It’s a shame because it’s a fun piece of work. See the announcement HERE

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