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The Original Short Film on DVD


Written and directed by Eric Zala

Running time:  20 minutes + Bonus Features


By now, many have discovered RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION, the 80’s Betamax love letter remake of the Spielberg blockbuster by kids, subject of book and documentary.  However – largely unknown to even its fans, is that the makers of that unique collaboration did actually work together again… on an original short drama, no less.


Eric (director, played Belloq) wrote and directed AN EARLY TWILIGHT, casting Chris (played Indy) in a supporting role.  Shot in 16MM, over 9 days on location in upstate New York, this short drama won 19 awards on the film festival circuit back in 1993, but has never been publicly released – until now.


Non- spoiler synopsis:


Within an isolated rest home, one man is not what he seems.  His pain and frustration explode into violence.  This is the peculiar story of Peter and Jill – his desire, her repulsion – their love.


“Eric Zala directs an amazing love-conquers-all story… This is a well directed, original, and touching drama.” 


– LA Showcase




The bonus features are plentiful, a trove of video goodies sure to delight any RAIDERS ADAPTATION fan: 


Now we can see SURVIVORS HAVE IT TOUGH in its entirety.  Eric’s 6th grade class film about survivors shipwrecked on an island encountering mysterious bad guys features Eric playing a Toht-like character -- that led to Chris seeking out Eric to partner with on RAIDERS. 


Even included is Eric’s audition tape for NYU Film School.  With editing help of local TV station staff, Eric personally narrates almost-finished RAIDERS ADAPTATION footage, including heretofore unseen hilarious outtakes, resplendent in its earnest, awkward-age dorkiness.


At NYU Film School, some of Eric’s crewmates asked him to “act” in their weekly film assignments.  They asked Eric to play a trench-coated, weapon-wielding villain – so popular, it became a reoccurring bit in class.  All four appearances comprise the “Eric Serial Killer Montage”, including an “Eric vs. Eric” doppelganger fight sequence (can’t make this up).


Eric gets more personal sharing some of his NYU film school assignments that, in different ways, stem from his RAIDERS past.  One is a drama, FOR AN ABSENT FRIEND, a thinly-veiled reenactment of Eric’s discovery of his best friend’s betrayal with his high school girlfriend.  The other is a dark comedy called THE CRAZY CLOWN GAME.  Also included is its inspiration, the ORIGINAL CRAZY CLOWN GAME, a late-night spontaneous skit featuring some of the RAIDERS ADAPTATION kid cast.



The funniest of the lot, however, may be BACK TO THE FUTURE 4.  In 1990, over the summer after finishing RAIDERS, Eric recruited his friends and co-workers at the local movie theater – including one with access to an actual DeLorean – to create this spoof of BACK TO THE FUTURE.  In this imagined sequel, we pick up after the events of BTTF 3, with Marty returning home…


Finally, we also get Eric-directed trailers for AN EARLY TWILIGHT, and the Book Video for the RAIDERS! Eisenstock book’s release.  Trailers for the fan film and documentary round out the extras.




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