With any long-lasting fandom there are bound to be films made by passionate fans in an effort to be part of something they love. Some are better than others.
Here I present my thoughts on four fan films presented only in order of me discovering them. These are all available to view for free on YouTube.
PREDATOR: Dark Ages
- Written and Directed by James Bushe
- May 26, 2015
A group of Templar Knights having returned to England from the East, are sent to kill a “demon” stalking the woods. Now they are put to the test facing a foe from the stars.
I go into fan films expecting the worst. I cannot imagine a small fan-based production achieving quality and more often than not I am proven wrong. Once again, I am proven wrong. It sports good production values and looks slicker than you might expect. More importantly the cinematography is up there with professional productions with quality effects all supporting a solid script. And the acting is good as well. Disney needs to take note here if they ever do another film.
This is an exciting and different direction for a Predator film that Fox or whatever they are calling themselves now are unwilling to do and one indicated in the finale of Predator 2. At the end of Predator 2, a Predator tosses Lieutenant Michael R. Harrigan (Danny Glover) a pistol with “Raphael Adolini 1715” written on it indicating that these alien killing machines had been coming to Earth for some time. Interesting concept but instead they decided to focus on the other cool thing indicated by the wall of skulls in the movie and do an Alien crossover that failed to be as entertaining as any of the comics or even the videogame.
This is more or less a rehash of the first film with the Templars replacing American commandos. But it is also a fresh spin on the story by placing it in the distant past. New elements that force the story in different directions are introduced and prevent things from being repetitive. The story is thin but this is only about 30 minutes so that is not a big deal.
The film looks great. I do not know how much they spent but the movie does not look cheap. The costumes and effects are fantastic.
PREDATOR: Dark Ages is one of the better fan films out there. It is an exciting action short that will please fans of the series.
Predator: The Creature from The Big Mountain
- Written and Directed by Damien De Bourguignon
- October 2, 2018
A man and a woman are running through the woods with Nazi soldiers close behind. But a chance encounter with a female predator changes everything.
This is a short little action piece. It is well produced and in an interesting twist they film it in black-and-white and use the old universal pictures logo. I know the original predator was a 20th Century Fox production but I just enjoy the use of a period logo.
The film is largely in German (I think) with only smatterings of English. It makes for following the plot closely difficult at times. I tried to do some research for this to get a clearer understanding of what was what but all the resources I could find were not in English. But in the end who cares? The actions onscreen are clear enough that you can determine what is going on well enough to enjoy the story though. It will just be a little mental catching up at times.
The action is kickass. Despite the WWII setting they manage to emulate the classic vibe of the first two films. What stands out is that normally the Predator is the overall villain to fear but how do you fear somebody that is wiping out Nazi soldiers? You do not. By setting it in the time in which they did and keeping a certain group armed they mix things up without completely changing things. The Predator is reframed as the hero in this yet still does what these aliens are supposed to do in the way they are supposed to do it.
As established in the second film of the Predator series, the Predators do not kill pregnant pray as all good hunters do. This time is no different and the implication at the end is that this young woman is pregnant with the child that would go on to become Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the original predator film.
Predator: The creature from the big mountain is a great fan film that you do not need to understand the language to fully enjoy because it is a well-done script that translates across languages. The action is solid and in the classic predator vein. Fans of the original and even fans of the successive films will enjoy this one.
Predator The Hunt
- October 31, 2019
Two rednecks and a cop with weird accents go to search for a man that has disappeared in some local woods only to encounter a Predator.
This is done on the super cheap. I am talking poverty row cheap. It is a simple enough premise which works well for a fan film. Local woods known for people disappearing takes one more and a search party stumble across the alien. The issue is the look of EVERYTHING.
This film is hampered by a virtually nonexistent budget. One cop shows up. One. And apparently he starts his investigation in the middle of the woods interviewing the people that called it in and not in a parking area near the woods. And why only one officer? Why Not a second? And why is it a detective looking guy and not a patrolman or a forest ranger? I tried to look up ANY information on this movie and found didley with a smattering of squat. IMDb and Wikipedia ignored this.
Another issue is the acting in this film. I am not expecting high-quality acting, but it does not look like they practiced their lines all that well. They may not even have had lines to practice at all. And the reference to the Jesse Ventura line “I ain’t got time to bleed” was so forced and out of place.
But the most egregious sin is the cheapness of the Predator itself. The helmet works fine but the dreadlock stuff that hangs from the head looks bad. I am not sure what they are made of here, but they do not look good. The flesh portion of our favorite alien is a loose-fitting off-color bodysuit. A bodysuit that you can see the wrinkles in. A morph suit, one of those single color things appropriately airbrushed, would’ve done the trick much better than whatever they used here. Or even just skip the airbrush.
The special effects in this film are bargain basement laptop effects. Even the flash of the gun that the cop uses is computer-generated. REALLY?! All these flaws indicate a lack of experience. They reach for the stars but do not know enough to know that they lack the skills and resources to do it and understand the need to make creative choices.
As fan films go Predator The Hunt is a good idea hampered by inexperience and poor budget. I would like to embrace it, but I cannot. Pass on it.
- Directed by Chris R. Notarile
- December 24, 2019
**May contain spoilers on the upcoming film**
A Native American woman (Lexsy McCowan) is being hunted by two female predators (Courtney Leigh and Mariah Maison). Just that.
It is a simple enough premise. The whole thing is really more of an action scene than an actual story, but it is an interesting spin on the Predator concept that dips into the idea that they have been coming for some time. The action is good and even though this is on the lower side budget wise the Predators look sharp. Their best choice came with the Predator flesh. It looks like they used morph suits that had spots and such airbrushed on. The film is also noteworthy for featuring female Predators. I am not sure any of the features have done that.
Warrior: Predator is a good spin on the mythos that would work well if it was expanded upon. This is a short but entertaining film.
**NOTE: This was watched and written about by me long before I or anyone else was aware of any details of the upcoming film. I never expected Fox to expand upon this concept.**
As with any fan films the quality does varies but 3 out of the 4 seen here are of good quality and enjoyable for what they are.