Fan films may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a creative way for zealots of the source material to express their unbridled love on a larger platform. Most of them are stuffed to the brim with bad acting and low budget special effects, but some are surprisingly well-made and deserving of attention. These films are generally free, too, so there’s no buyer’s remorse after watching a stinker—which, let’s face it, is a common occurrence with Hollywood films.
Fan films don’t have a beefy budget to utilize, so strong characters and faithful representations are regularly the focus. It’s not a bad thing, either, as relying too heavily on an inflated budget can create such tire fires as Michael Bay’s Transformers films. If you’re willing to give them a shot and overlook certain shortcomings, such as consistent acting, fan films can be a rather addictive venture if you’re scouring YouTube. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds to absorb if you’re willing to invest the time, and most of them look to rectify botched opportunities from Hollywood.
With that in mind, if you’re new to fan films, let this be your guide to exploring some of the better ones available on YouTube. Some you’ll hate, some you’ll love, but it’s a good start in exploring what can be an overwhelming catalogue of mixed successes. Most of these are specific to video games and comic books because let’s be honest, those films are routinely mishandled by Hollywood. But that’s enough chatter. Read on and be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section.
15 Pac-Man: The Movie
14 Gremlins 2 “Film Break”
13 Batman: Dead End
12 Metal Gear Solid Philanthropy
11 The Punisher: No Mercy
10 Left 4 Dead: Impulse 76
9 The Lord of the Rings: Born of Hope
8 The Confined: Silent Hill
7 Half-Life: Enter the Freeman
6 Spider-Man: Eclipse
5 Escape from City 17
4 Skyrim: Into the Void
3 Fallout: Nuka Break
2 The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum
1 The Punisher: Dirty Laundry
While The Punisher didn’t receive glowing reviews from critics, many fans of the comic books praised Thomas Jane for his portrayal of Frank Castle. Enter The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, a fan film that had Jane reprise his role and kick serious ass for its 10-minute run time. It’s bloody, action-packed and even has a cameo from Ron Perlman. I mean, what’s not to love here? The production value is fantastic, the acting predictably great, and the ending fits the Punisher mold. It’s brutal, no holds barred action that Punisher fans have come to expect. It’s not as ridiculous as the Punisher: War Zone, which is a good thing. If only Jane would don the skull again for a full movie.
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