Think the best movies can only be found in theaters or on your television screen? Oh, how wrong you are, friend. YouTube is virtually bursting at the seams with its wealth of fan-made films based on some of the most beloved nerdy franchises—and here’s a countdown featuring five of our absolute favorites! So take that, Hollywood!
Sonic the Hedgehog may not be as popular as he once was during his ‘90s heyday, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a following of steadfast devotees. Some fans—on the other hand—go beyond wearing shirts or buying merchandise emblazoned with the Blue Blur's visage, instead showing their adoration by making a full-fledged movie. Produced by Blue Core Studios, Sonic is a pure action flick guest-starring some of YouTube’s nerdiest personalities, including James “Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe! And for a small budget, the special effects are pretty spiffy, too.
4) Mario Warfare
Saying that 1993’s Super Mario Bros. was a box office bomb is a gross understatement. It was more akin to a nuke that traumatized Nintendo from ever making another licensed movie again. So while the Big N continues to rock itself in a corner in the fetal position, fans have taken it upon themselves to make a Mario flick that the people deserve! Mario Warfare is a realistic, gritty take on the original story wherein the brothers Mario go from lowly plumbers to gun-toting freedom fighters. It’s kind of like Expendables by way of Super Mario World, except it’s actually entertaining.
3) Batman: City of Scars
It had a budget of under $30,000, was filmed in less than a month, and the trailer's riddled with horrendous typos (heh, “Jocker”), yet Batman: City of Scars is by far one of the best fan-made flicks based on DC Comics’ crime-fighting cash cow! Produced by the father and son team of Sean and Aaron Schoenke, respectively, City of Scars is actually a part of a series of films going back to 2005, hailed by fans nationwide for their quality storytelling and the use of replica Batmobiles that are indistinguishable from the originals. So while it may be flawed, it is definitely a labor of love.
2) I.M.P.S.: The Relentless
Sure, the Rebel Alliance risked everything to free the galaxy from the Empire’s stranglehold, but, c’mon, who can say with a straight face that they were cheering for them at the end of Return of the Jedi? No, real fans rooted for the boys in white that rode on speeder bikes, maintaining order and peace for all galactic beings. And that’s what I.M.P.S.: The Relentless is all about: glorification of the Stormtroopers who put their lives on the line to combat those ungrateful Rebel turds demanding “justice” or some other hippie garbage. And indeed, that is Peter Cullen's gravelly voice—the original voice actor for Optimus Prime—providing narration. We swear, that man could read a phone book and we'd be entertained.
1) Doctor Who Anime
A long time ago in a decade far, far away, children’s entertainment company Nelvana was geared to produce a Doctor Who animated series, yet for one reason or another (no doubt the Devil's work) it never came to be. It isn’t likely we’ll ever get something like that in the foreseeable future, but for now we have the superbly animated and 100% fan-made Doctor Who anime. Created by British artist Paul Michael Johnson (a.k.a. MightyOtaking on deviantArt) and inspired by Japanese anime of the ‘80s, this absolute gem stands among series including Robotech and Mobile Suit Gundam. No joke, BBC America and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim should tap MightyOtaking and work together to give us a good excuse for staying in on Saturday nights.
Which film is your favorite?