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Two New Fan-Made Short Films: Half-Life and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Two new fan films hit YouTube this past weekend. The first is a highly anticipated 12-minute fan film based on the video game series Half-Life, called Beyond Black Mesa. We here at Laser Orgy love Half-Lifewe gave Half-Life 2 our top spot in the Laser Orgy 500, so you know we're serious. Commenters over at Kotaku panned this fan film for its "inaccurate" zombies, and I get what they're saying, but personally I see this film as more a tribute to the zombie shooter game genre as a whole rather than a fan's attempt at a flawless rendering of the Half-Life universe. If I'm going to whine about anything in this video, it'd probably be the fact that the one non-white character is the first to die. I mean, come on! That said, the nostalgic sound effects and breakdancing-meets-martial-arts swagger are good enough that I'm almost willing to overlook the clichés. Almost.

 

This next fan film isn't getting nearly as much press as the Half-Life one, but it should be. I suspect this short clip is merely a preview of what's to come ... or at least, I hope so. What can I say -- I think it could be sweet to see a modern take on April O'Neil, as she's one of my favorite childhood heroines. (I've always had a soft spot for the female-journalist-as-bad-ass trope. I wonder why that would be?)

That said, I have no idea what a full-length fan film of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would look like, let alone a Dark Knight-inspired interpretation like this one. It makes me giggle that the filmmakers tried to make TMNT so dark, considering that the franchise actually began as a parody of goofy superhero tropes. You didn't think the creators of a show called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had any intention that the show would be taken seriously, did you? And yet, here we are.

By the way, if you don't think corny, kid-friendly franchises can ever be transformed into terrifying horror shows by mere fans, then you probably haven't seen There Will Be Brawl, the hardcore fan makeover of Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers. Drop everything and watch it right now. It will blow your fucking mind, and no, I am not over-selling it.

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